The Raid 2011 ★★★★

This is a decent fight film bookended by two utterly fantastic scenes. The first is a masterfully directed and surprisingly inventive shootout, which comes close to rivalling Hard Boiled for insane gunplay. The second, a wonderfully choreographed martial arts final showdown, as playful as it is brutal. Both sections showcasing different styles and approaches to the genre, as well as the versatility of the film's lead. As a whole host of 1980s action heroes try to convince us that they've still got it, Iko Uwais' arrival is truly a godsend. He is consistently fascinating to watch, weaving his way past machete attacks and running full speed into the next encounter - you almost feel sorry for the endless stream of murderous residents throwing themselves into his path. Only outclassed by Yayan Ruhian, the short but deadly Mad Dog, who brings the challenge along with some much needed character to proceedings. There is a story to be found here too, but its pretty weak stuff. The tower block setting and the survival premise is strong enough that any time spent on plot feels like time wasted when there are arses still to be kicked.

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