Action movies can come in all manner of shapes and sizes, ranging from films such as John Wick (2014) to Big Trouble in Little China (1986) and even flicks like the classic Die Hard (1988). But occasionally a film will appear as if from nowhere and blow the minds of many, much like the powerhouse action of The Raid: Redemption (2011).
The Indonesian flick, directed by Welshman Gareth Evans stars Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim and a whole cast of ass-kicking characters in a story of violence, betrayal and incredible fight scenes.
Focusing on the seedy underworld of a Jakarta crime gang, and the SWAT team tasked with taking them out, the story throws the audience straight into the belly of the beast as rookie cop Rama (Uwais) fights his way through the many floors of an apartment block, dispatching thugs and goons left right and centre.
What makes this movie so brilliant and raw is the relatively low budget ($1,100,000) and the very obvious lack of CGI. Coupled with the entire film being subtitled for English-speaking viewers, The Raid is a modern triumph of action film making. But sadly that reputation may be tarnished…
It was announced that the film is going to be remade in the U.S., allegedly being directed by the A-Team’s (2010) Joe Carnahan, and starring Frank Grillo. Whilst it won’t be a direct re-shoot of the original film, it is expected to “pay homage” and focus around 12 central characters. My prediction is a film that will just be a more realistic version of Dredd (2012), which was already strikingly similar to The Raid. A huge budget and an ultimate goal of making as much money as possible will potentially put a dampener on an already stellar franchise.
Whilst some Hollywood reboots may not seem like a bad idea in every case, there are plenty of examples where it has cast a dark shadow over a previous hit. Films such as Spike Lee’s Oldboy (2013) or Colin Farrell’s Total Recall (2012) tanked for a very good reason, you cannot make a film that has already been done (especially in the last couple decades) and expect fans of the original to swallow it down. Some may think of a film that proves to be an exception to my “rule” but not including franchises like The Ring, the majority of remakes are utter tripe. It is bound to happen, but I can safely say there will only ever be one Raid franchise, roll on number three!