Done by newcomer Gareth Evans, The Raid: Redemption already is at legend status.
An Indonesian SWAT team invades a tenement building full of armed-to-the-teeth druggies and low-lifes. The goal is to get to the 15th floor and bring down the boss and his two very dangerous assistants.
Martial arts expert Iko Uwais plays rookie cop Rama, who has a personal agenda for going into the building.
While what passes for a plot is plodding, the choreography is superb. From the launch of the invasion to the predictable ending, The Raid: Redemption is packed with non-stop gun play and hand-to-hand, foot, elbow and head combat. Bad guys and good die in fast-motion and slow to raucous, overdone sound effects and soundtrack.
To his credit, Evans does a great job of coordinating the stunts. Some reports say a few of the fights took as many as three months to get down so they could be shot. One or two are very creative. But just one or two. The rest just kind of drones on.
That’s me. That’s my opinion. If blood and guts martial arts action is your thing, this is as close to nirvana as it gets.
With nowhere for the plot to go except somewhere predictable, it is not mine.
Mr. Movie rating: 2 stars
Rated R for extreme violence. It is playing at the Carmike 12.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.