The Raid : Redemption – One Perfect Movie For IB and WCS

Click on the images to read more about it.

This is my first time reviewing a movie that can fits to two events at the same time. Indonesia Banget is my monthly post which I shared every 17 of the month. It is a monthly post where I shared about Indonesia. You can read more about it in my first Indonesia Banget Post. Why I think The Raid suits this monthly post? Simply because it is one awesome Indonesian movie and it shows how great Indonesian Martial Art (Pencak Silat) is.

World Cinema Series is an event hosted by Caroline @ Beauty Is a Sleeping Cat. The event is very simple, to watch movies across the world…and I think it won’t be fair if Indonesian Movie is not included in it. Unlike my other review for WCS, I do not include the map (like this) for this one because pointing an arrow from Indonesia to Indonesia is really pointless 😉

Enough with the introduction…let’s move on to the movie 🙂

I share the trailer in the beginning because there are other interesting videos afterward

I have heard so much praises on this movie by both Indonesians and foreigners. I wanted to see it since the first time I saw the trailer on TV because I have been longing for good action movie from my own country. Indonesia often produced silly horror movie ( such as Jenglot), comedy and drama. I like comedy but I rather wait it to be played on TV while the silly horror is a definite pass and so does the drama…I never find the joy of watching romance drama. When The Raid showed up, I was so busy and couldn’t find time. My friend urged me to see it through her own review in Bahasa. Finally managed to see it yesterday 🙂

Just as I expected, the story is not special but it isn’t boring either…I mean what else can you expect from a movie about policemen raiding a crook’s lair.

Somewhere in Jakarta (don’t ask me where because I have never seen the building), a rundown apartment building had turned into the place where murderers and criminals stayed together. The building was owned by Tama Riyandi (Ray Sahetapi), a criminal who had his way of buying the police.

One day, early in the morning a group of police elite led by Sergeant Jaka (Joe Taslim) under the order of Lieutenant Wahyu (Pierre Gruno) ambushed the apartment building. At first everything went smoothly, they entered the building unnoticed but a single escape made the whole building woke up in alert. Tama realized that there was uninvited guest in his building. He told all the tenants to get rid the guest in anyway they like and they will be rewarded afterward. And so the battle between the elite police and the criminals began…it was a war in small scale.

In short, we can summarize the story like that, I don’t want to go to detail because it will reveal too much out of a simple story…I will just let you see the story by yourself. It is more interesting to talk about everything else beside the story.

Iko Uwais as Rama

Apart from those characters and actors I have mentioned above, the key characters were actually Rama played by the silat expert Iko Uwais and Mad Dog who was also played by a silat expert Yayan Ruhian.
You probably never heard of the word, right? Well, Silat which we often called as Pencak Silat is Indonesian Martial Art (just like Kung Fu belongs to China). Here is a quote from wikipedia:

Pencak silat was chosen in 1948 as a unifying term for the Indonesian fighting styles. It was a compound of the two most commonly used words for martial arts in Indonesia. Pencak was the term used in central and east Java, while silat was used in Sumatra. In modern usage, pencak and silat are seen as being two aspects of the same practice. Pencak is the performance aspects of the martial art, while silat is the essence of the fighting and self-defense. It is often said by practitioners that there can be no silat without pencak, on the other hand pencak without silat skills is purposeless.

Yayan Ruhian as Mad Dog

In The Raid you will see both gun fight and bare hand fight but gun fight is soooo not as interesting as bare hand fight. It was such a breathtaking moment when Rama tried to defeat all the small time crooks by using a knife in one hand and police baton in the other hand. His move was so precise and effective, there was no useless move at that time. My other favorite part is when Mad Dog told Sergeant Jaka that killing him with a gun would be the simplest way but it wasn’t fun, Mad Dog wanted to kill him in a duel…so they fought, it was a fight to the death.

Iko and Yayan are expert in Silat and they are also the fight choreographer in The Raid….and I have to say that all the fights are beautiful to watch, it was like seeing a beautiful deadly dance.

Here is a video of Iko Uwais performing the art of Pencak Silat (Uploaded by Garudangangkang). You can see how fast he moved and how beautiful Silat is. Don’t stop in the middle because he showed you how to use sharp weapon effectively 😉

Let’s move on to the movie atmosphere. Gareth Evans, the director, had done something unusual toward action movie. At some scenes, it gives the chilling feeling as if we were watching a horror movie rather than police ambush kind of movie. The way all the light turned off and the way the criminals showing up have a similar feeling with appearing of a ghost or monster…I love that part so much!! I have never seen such action movie made like that before.

The Raid also has one of the best movie scores I have ever heard (unfortunately if you watch the US version you might not think the same as I am because they change the scoring by using music by Mike Shinoda…I really don’t know why, is Indonesian musician THAT bad so they had to change with their own musician??). Ignoring the US version, I am going to talk about the scoring in the original movie (as first seen at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival) which was composed by Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal and closed by a band from Bandung. The score is PERFECT for each scenes…I can’t stop saying it to my friend how good the score is…I haven’t felt that excited about movie score since 28 Days Later. IT WAS PERFECT, the music really deliver the right feeling or atmosphere of the scenes it tries to connect. I am so proud of the composition and love to hear more from them. I do hope the rest of the world can hear the original not the Shinoda version. The trailer above is using Indonesian score.

From wikipedia

After its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), critics and audience alike hailed The Raid as one of the best action films in years

I have to agree with that quote…It is indeed one of the best action films in years!

Here is a video taken by my student, well used to be my student, when Iko and Yayan had a talk show in ITB (Bandung Institute of Technology).  You can see that they are really fast not just in the movie.

Donny Alamsyah

Although a lot of girls like Iko, I do admire his skill but it is Donny Alamsyah who played as Andy, Tama’s right hand, that captured my eyes…he was soooo cool as Andy, the coolest man in the movie. I think I want to see another movie by him 😉

Go and watch The Raid, in cinema or DVD, it worth every minute of your time if you are not afraid with blood 😉

Movie Detail:

Director : Gareth Evans
Producer : Ario Sagantoro
Writer: Gareth Evans
Starring : Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Donny Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian, Pierre Gruno, Tegar Setrya, Ray Sahetapy
Music : Fajar Yuskemal and Aria Prayogi
Cinematography : Matt Flannery
Release date(s) : 8 September 2011 (Toronto International Film Festival); 23 March 2012 (Indonesia and United States)
AwardsAudience Award and  the Dublin Film Critics Circle Best Film at 2012 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, and Cadillac People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award at the Toronto International Film Festival

Ps. If you have seen the one with English subtitle, I wonder how they translate the swearing, please let me know 🙂
Indonesian love using the word ‘Anjing‘ to swear (including me sometimes) that word means dog in English but I don’t think dog is a swearing word in English. I am soooo curious about that!!


  1. Oh, yes! One of the best action films, ever. It had the audience I was sitting to clap after certain fight sequences, in fact. Great highlight, Novroz.

    1. Yaaiiii good to hear that Mike 🙂
      The audience in the cinema where I watched it was more emotional, they sounded really hateful toward Mad Dog…but everyone was quite at the fight scene, devouring every details.

      And Mike…how was the swearing translation…they kept saying ANJING, what do they translate it into?

      1. Y’know, I thought the sub-titling came off well and pretty natural sounding to my U.S. point of view. There was cursing, but it didn’t come off as excessive. Now, regarding that particular Indonesian term I’d need to watch this again to see what it translated to in English. Is it pronounced as it’s spelled?

        1. Glad to know that Mike, a good subtitle always a good thing. I have suspected that they will change the cursing as it doesn’t fit your culture and habit, that’s why I am curious which cursing is to replace anjing, the common word here.

          anjing has 2 syllables with emphasize on the first syllable. an is read un like in unwell and jing is same with jinggle. I hope you can spot it because they use it so often

          1. Yo Nov! Haha..I watched it recently and they actually replaced it with f**k..
            It is confirmed… 🙂

  2. Setujuu, go for Donny Alamsyah! XD Nonton dia di Merah Putih gak Miss? Deg2 serr hahaha.. Fightingnya Iko emang keren, tapi saya justru lebih kagum sama Kang Yayan, orangnya humble banget 🙂
    Btw katanya scriptnya itu aslinya full bahasa Inggris, bikinannya si Om Garethnya sendiri, terus diterjemahin ke bahasa Indo..salut buat yang penterjemahnya bisaan banget bikin dialog & jokenya jadi lokal abis 🙂

    1. Iya nih jadi pengen nntn Merah Putih…ntar deh sekalian buat tulisan di bulan Agustus 🙂
      Hehehe baru sekarang (setelah duluuu banget sama Tio Pakusadewo) saya bisa naksir lagi sama aktor Indonesia. Dah ganteng akting oke juga…mendadak jadi fans 😉

      Keliatan sih kalo Yayan bukan orang yang belagu…makasih ya buat videonya. Enaknya bisa liat langsung gitu.

      Ah jadi penasaran sama swearingnya!!! Kira2 ada ga yang scriptnya beredar di internet?

  3. Great contribution Novroz. I have never seen an Indonesian movie, it would be a first and it sounds like a very good movie. I liked your explanatio of Indonesian martial arts. Too bad about the score. i don’t really understand why they changed it?
    I have a fondness for duels and there seem to be duel-like fights in this movie.
    I also like it when a genre uses techniques of another genre, like here the atmosphere of a ghost movie.
    The Hurt Locker for example uses thriller/action techniques for a war movie. That was a great idea as well.

    1. To be honest, I don’t see much Indonesian Movies either even though I am an Indonesian…there are just TOO much romance and silly horrors. I have become more aware to Indonesian movies now and will watch more in the future, of course scratching silly horrors and romance.

      The movie has a lot of duels, although they use guns for time to time but the one on one or one on many duels is the emphasize of this movie.

      I really hope you can see it Caroline, the movie won an award in 2012 Jameson Dublin International Film Festival for Audience Award, and the Dublin Film Critics Circle Best Film, and Cadillac People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award at the Toronto International Film Festival (I should have mentioned it in my post…I will edit it soon).

  4. I really want to see this, but the limited release isn’t in my area yet. I might go out of my way to see this though given the high praise for its action sequences. Thanks for the write up.

    1. It is already in US since March 23 March but maybe only in limited screening. I don’t know if it is still around.

      We Indonesian called it jurus as kata belongs to Japanese

  5. Ahah, I’m glad that you loved it too. As you know, I probably won’t take a look at this movie if it weren’t from Indonesia. But I feel very proud of what this movie has accomplished. Top 50 action movie in imdb right after Warrior (last time I checked) is just so damn wonderful.
    and I feel you about the Mike Shinoda score. I even reviewed it in my blog a month before (his score) and you can imagine my disappointment when I found out they only play it in USA. One thing the movie lacks is some actor’s trouble in pronunciation, Joe Taslim and Iko Kuwais seem so much in a hurry on mouthing some words. But that’s just a small thing.
    Donny Alamsyah recently starred in Negeri 5 Menara as a teacher, but not quite as great as in The Raid, I think.
    Probably ‘anjing’ in subtitles would be : damn it! or similar words 😉

    1. Amazing isn’t it?
      Ah I understand that this movie is not up your alley 😉

      I think you read my review wrongly 😉 you wrote:

      I feel you about the Mike Shinoda score. I even reviewed it in my blog a month before (his score) and you can imagine my disappointment when I found out they only play it in USA

      ..but in my review I wrote that I feel disappointed that Mike Shinoda changes the score…I find the original score as very fitting and perfect for each scenes.

      Well, it’s action movie that emphasize on fighting…I don’t expect much from the actors. I will see Negeri 5 Menara later 🙂
      My friend and I also thought that it would probably changed into damn…but I want to know for sure not just guessing.

  6. I think that Iko Kuwais guy is cute, well cute but deadly sounds like 🙂 I don’t think The Raid will come to MN but I’d be sure to rent it. Maybe I’ll rent Merantau first though. Ahah, I was gonna ask you what building that is on the movie as I’ve never seen it either! 😀

    1. Iko is too cute for my taste 😉 I like cool man better. But his skill is indeed amazing.

      I havent seen Merantau but planning to, maybe sooner than I thought. Ow yes do watch it Ruth even though it’s not your kind of movie.

  7. Yes! I want to see this one too so badly, but it will play only in the biggest cites here in the US so I will have to catch it on DVD. 😦 I’m hoping I’ll be able to find the Indonesian release just to get the entire film as it was made, but we’ll see how that goes.

    Ahhhh!! About the changing of music…. that happens often when a film is released from one DVD Region to another. Like as not, the music was licensed only for Indonesia by the filmmakers, so to have it on the film elsewhere they would have to pay additional licensing fees. It’s just easier to let the license owner for the new Region make their own arrangement for the soundtrack, especially since they will usually also be paying for a new dubbing as well.

    Nice review Novia!! If you liked this one so much, it’s definitely got me very interested to catch it soon!!

    1. I know you would be so eager to see The Raid 😉
      Too bad it is only being played in big cities, watching this kind of action is better in cinema than DVD….HOWEVER, the DVD Version has good advantage, you can choose to watch it with Indonesian score 😉

      I think it’s not because of the lisence, Sony wants it to be acceptable in US hence using famous musician, but my friend told me that Gareth asked Sony to put option to use orignal score in DVD/Bluray. I haven’t heard the Shinoda version…but the Indonesian one really captured the scenes atmosphere.

      Thank you Miyuki…I look forward to your review once you have seen it.

  8. My stomach had a problem when i watched this movie cause there’s so much blood. I closed my eyes when they cut the neck. Hueek. But this is a great movie from indonesia beside laskar pelangi

    1. Hahaha Putra…you’re a boy and yet still afraid with blood 😉

      I think the blood effect is really good. I am happy Indonesian cencorship allows it.

  9. Nov, thank you for your insight on this film. I didn’t know about the musical score change in the movie. interesting.

    I am so glad that you are a fan of this film. I have been wanting to see it for some time. I still have to wait as it hasn’t released in my area yet. Some pretty cool videos you included in this post. Thanks!

    1. Thank you for reading T 🙂
      I shared it to you because I remember you are sharing bits about this movie. I sure hope you can see it soon and share your opinion with me. Yeah, too bad about the music score…well at least the DVD will provide the original score.

  10. See? Told ya you’ll love it! 😀 And hey I thought you rated it 5 star last night? (I read it last night but wasn’t in the mood to leave comments)

    Hmm heran, orang2 yg sy kenal malah pada demennya sama Donny Alamsyah.. -__-a Menurut saya sih yg paling ‘wah’ ya si Iko..emang sih latarnya bukan akting, jd aktingnya jg ga menonjol2 amat. Tp krn emang yg bikin sy terpukau itu adegan2 fightingnya (sampe literally tahan napas di beberapa bagian, hahaha) jadinya suka banget sama dia ❤ Selama ini blm pernah ada aktor/artis Indonesia yang bisa memukau sy, sampe pengen ketemu langsung, LOL. Baru Iko Uwais aja. ❤
    Sy malah ngeliat Donny Alamsyah jd lucu/geli sendiri, abisnya baru bulan lalu liat dia main jadi ustadz di Negeri 5 Menara..tau2 disini jadi penjahat. LOL. Tapi berarti terbukti aktingnya emang oke.
    Btw you've watched Merantau as well, haven't you? I barely recognized Yayan Ruhian here, he appeared totally different from his character in Merantau! Hahaha. And oh yes he is so very humble. I praised his fighting choreography and he answered modestly. If only he didn't look so scary.. LOL.

    I think the swearing word used in the English version might be 'F**k'.. don't you think? It's the most common & most rude swearing word in English vocabulary, hahaha. Btw, I've always been wondering.. How come they use 'f**k' as swearing word? Indonesian swearing word sounds more logical, because 'anjing' and 'babi' are known as dirty/filthy animal or something like that.. While the word 'f*ck' literally means 'kawin', right? It's like when swearing someone 'f*ck you!' would literally be translated to be: 'kawin lo!' LOL it doesn't make sense.

    1. Hehehe it was a mistake, I though it was 4,5 but it turned out to be 5, I realized it after I published it and then change it to the real rate. If the story is something I can’t guess, it could be 5 stars but unfortunately the story is not that unpredictable.

      Hahaha beda selera Dhil, buat saya si Iko kelewat imut dan bukan tipe saya…saya suka co-co cool yang aga2 nyebelin gitu (makanya lgsg jatuh cinta ma Sherlock)…selain itu kalo urusan aktor yang mempesona, akting sangat penting.Kata teman, si Donny pengen main jadi gay tapi belum kesampean 😉

      No I haven’t watched Merantau yet…will watch it soon. I have heard that all three of them were in Merantau, Donny, Iko and Yayan.

      Hahahaha I can’t say anything about that..each country has their own way of cursing or swearing 😉
      There are more than one choice, F@*k, Damn, Shit, a**hole…which one is it?

      1. Donny was barely seen in Merantau. I think he also played as Iko’s brother or cousin or something.

        Haha iya, masalahnya emang yg sy suka bgt dr The Raid itu adegan2 fightingnya, makanya sukanya sm Iko. Ada tmn sy yg ngeh kalo di bbrp adegan, Donny pake stunt. Dan gerakan2nya dia juga ga secakep gerakannya Iko..makanya fix deh sy terpukaunya sm koreonya Bang Iko ❤ hahaha

        Well I don't know, but I'd assume it's the F word, because I think the other words don't really fit into the context.. but it's just my opinion.

        1. Iya emang si Donny pake stunt dan keliatan kalo dia ga luwes gerakannya, masih luwesan gerakan polisi yg dibunuh si letnan rambut putih, maklumlah dia kan aktor yg main film silat. Kalo si Iko pesilat yg main film…tp kl soal pesilat main film sy lbh suka si Yayan, aktingnya lbh natural drpd Iko.

          huahahaha I guess we’ll never know till someone from abroad lets us know 😉

    1. Thank you so much for the link 🙂
      I read every comment on it. I wish they keep the score, it can show the world that our real musician is really good (real musician meaning not the current silly pop idols liken by teenagers)

      I am glad the DVD will have the original score too.

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