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TIFF11: "The Raid" is All Action, All the Time

by Christopher Campbell
September 19, 2011 6:39 AM
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It’s common for us to fault an action movie for not having a well-developed story or plot, but if the movie is completely void of story it can bypass that sort of criticism. Gareth Evans’ "The Raid" is this kind of bullet-filled but bulletproof attraction. It’s not actually entirely lacking in story, but what little narrative there is comes simply, though not necessarily thinly, towards the end. For the most part, it’s really just nonstop action. 100 minutes of nonstop action.

Think of your favorite part of an action movie. I assume it’s the final third, where whatever the climactic fight consists of occurs. Now, imagine you took away the first two thirds of that movie. Stretch out what you’ve got left, fill in the extra space and time with more fighting, and that’s "The Raid." There’s a plot, because action is plot, but it’s basically just this official bare-bones synopsis from the TIFF catalog: “A swat team is trapped in a rundown apartment block filled with heavily armed drug dealers and killers.”

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