Small wonder there are already plans afoot for an American remake of “The Raid: Redemption,’’ Welsh-born director Gareth Evans’ eye-popping, jaw-dropping and bone-crunching action film about an Indonesian SWAT team that encounters far more resistance than it bargained for.
The action is brutal, bloody and virtually nonstop in this adrenaline-packed riff on “Assault on Precinct 13.’’
The setup is simple: An armed police squad — including some unfortunately undertrained recruits — is ordered to raid a building that’s long been the stronghold of the untouchable drug lord Tama (Ray Sahetapy).
Our hero Rama (charismatic Iko Uwais) is immediately suspicious that his men have gained entry to the building so easily.
And he quickly begins to have doubts about the corrupt veteran cop who’s leading the raid, Lt. Wahyu (Pierre Gruno).
Wahyu seems relatively unsurprised — and unconcerned — that Rama’s men immediately come under heavy machine-gun fire from Tama’s army of drug dealers, who extract heavy casualties.
There’s no time to worry about who set up the cops as Rama, Wahyu and a couple of other survivors fight their way, floor by floor, to Tama’s lair in the penthouse.
It’s filled with monitors providing camera-eye views of every corner of the building, as well as helpfully equipped with a public-address system to issue threats.
Aside from the odd knife fight and torture scene, most of the film is devoted to Rama and his colleagues in hand-to-hand (and foot-to-groin) combat with Tama’s brutal henchmen Andi (Doni Alamsyah) and Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian).
It’s not for the faint of heart, nor the weak of stomach — especially when a fluorescent light bulb is used as a weapon. There is one especially suspenseful sequence where a bad guy uses a machete to probe a wall behind which two of the cops are hiding.
While there are several modes of fighting employed, the dominant martial-arts combat on display is an especially brutal local variety known as silat.
The sound effects are terrific, and the North American release is equipped with a new score by Linkin Park.
“The Raid: Redemption’’ has a couple of neat plot twists and a bit more characterization than you’d expect from this kind of film. But mostly it’s an action lover’s dream par excellence. In addition to that American remake, two sequels are also in the works.