Flash forward to…the first hallway machete fight in The Raid: Redemption | On Demand
Gareth Evans’s Indonesian action movie boasts one hell of a fight scene.
An elite SWAT team storms the high-rise stronghold of a ruthless drug lord; the big bust goes awry when the building’s criminal occupants catch the scent of the law and come out to play. That’s about all there is to The Raid: Redemption, an Indonesian crime thriller that expends mere minutes on setup before erupting into a nonstop orgy of jaw-dropping violence. Almost every scene is a stunner, but adrenaline junkies looking for an instant fix should jump to a hallway brawl about 40 minutes in.
Separated from his unit and saddled with an injured partner, the film’s rookie-cop protagonist (Iko Uwais, an action star in the making) must fend off a marauding gang of machete-wielding lowlifes. A master class in fight choreography, the three-minute sequence is both thrillingly visceral—try not to flinch when those blades make contact—and blow-for-blow inventive. (Walls and light fixtures become makeshift weapons in this narrow battle arena.) In an era of phony-looking CGI combat, it’s hard to overestimate the pleasure of seeing real martial artists practice their craft—especially when said craft involves disarming screaming, knife-carrying assassins with bare hands. (Available on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray Tue 14.)