1 RUTHLESS CRIME LORD, 20 ELITE COPS, 30 FLOORS OF HELL.
A 20-man elite squad arrives at an apartment block in Jakarta, determined to kill a crime lord who has made it his headquarters, but not expecting a battle floor by floor. Director Gareth Evans reunited with Iko Uwais for another action film after Merantau (2009), once again showcasing Indonesian martial arts. The simple but ingeniously tight concept invites comparisons with Die Hard (1988), video games and zombie movies, as hordes of anonymous tenants keep popping up to attack the cops. This is virtually non-stop action, expertly made. Intense, brutal and exhilarating without letting the claustrophobia of the building overwhelm us.
2012-Indonesia-U.S. 100 min. Color. Produced by Ario Sagantoro. Written and directed by Gareth Huw Evans. Cast: Iko Uwais (Rama), Joe Taslim (Jaka), Doni Alamsyah (Andi), Yayan Ruhian, Pierre Gruno, Tegar Satrya.
Trivia: Original title: Serbuan maut. Followed by The Raid 2: Berandal (2014).
Last word: “We spent three months designing the action scenes. We’d workshop them in the office using crash mats, props and rubber weapons so we had nearly full video storyboards of the movie worked out before we started. I’d shoot a flat one-shot reference of a fight scene on a Handycam, then analyse it and break it down into individual shots. Obviously when you get on set some shots might not work perfectly or the stuntman might not be able to pull something off quite right but I estimate it’s still 95 per cent what we originally shot and planned for.” (Evans, The List)