First, let me start off by saying that, no, The Raid: Redemption ( aka The Raid) is not a horror film. It is an action film and it is perfect. I want to apologize to Gareth Evans and all those involved with this film as I originally thought and told other people that it was Thai. It is actually Indonesian, so my deepest apologizes on getting the origin wrong. With that said, I want to be clear that I am taking a stand on this topic. I have heard news that The Raid would be getting a remake. My thoughts? Hands off.
The Raid is a wonderfully done, beautifully shot, makes you go “Holy balls, did he just kill him with a door?” movie. (For the record, yes. Yes, he did.) Starring Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Donny Alamsyah and Ray Sahetapy, The Raid brings all the elements of a good action movie. It is brutal, relentless, bloody and fast-paced with all of the excellent fighting sequences one would expect in an action movie. The Raid does not disappoint on any level. Even the storyline is fun as a raid is conducted on a crime lord’s apartment building where just about every person living there is a criminal renting a room. True, we have innocents in the building who are just trying to live, but they get caught in the crossfire as the police officers go in and the crime lord sends out the word that those who kill them will be granted free permanent residence. (Free rent? Hells yea.) The Raid does not waste any of the viewer’s time getting to the action and the script is so well-written that you don’t necessarily need a backstory to begin relating and feeling for the characters. Rama (Uwais) is the hero of the story, a young rookie with a pregnant wife at home. Following the orders of his lieutenant, Rama and his team storm the building, meaning to bring the crime lord, Tama, down. Only snag is when they find that they need help, the truth is revealed that the raid isn’t actually sanctioned and no help is coming. Go, Rama, go! (For those who have not seen this film, I highly recommend that you do. Forgive any spoilers that may have slipped out, but believe me, the film in its entirety would take much longer to talk/gush/rave about.)
Now onto the heart of the matter. Here are my questions/issues with making a remake of The Raid. First question: Why? It’s not needed or necessary to have a remake. The Raid: Redemption was released in 2011 and we just had Raid 2: Berandal earlier this 2014. We can afford to wait some years, decades even, before a remake is necessary. Second question: How arrogant are we? Seriously? If Patrick Hughes (director of The Expendables 3) is really thinking of making a remake for 2015, let me stop you now. What is your reasoning for this, Mr. Hughes? In all honesty, I really want to know. Many of us Raid fans are of the belief that since The Raid is an Indonesian film (i.e., not English), therefore we as Americans just have to put our own stamp on it. I sincerely hope that this is not the case. Our track record for remaking foreign films is not that great (Pulse, One Missed Call, Dark Water come to mind). Our film directors and producers sometimes lose focus on where to go with a remake, intending to make it “better” and falling short. Believe me, the original is worth having to sit and read subtitles. Stop being lazy, people. You can enjoy a movie while reading subtitles. It can be done.
While I am happy to hear that Evans and his fight choreographers would be involved with The Raid remake, I am of the opinion that the remake can wait. Let Evans continue on with the franchise until he can do no more, then ask him how he would envision an American remake. Give me Uwais and Ruhian going at it until someone’s knees give out. That would make me happy.
You can find The Raid: Redemption playing on the Crackle app and Raid 2: Berandel is set to be released on DVD July 8.