When I walked into the theater today to see Gareth Evans‘ The Raid, I knew nothing about the film. I had heard some positive buzz coming out of the film’s midnight madness premiere last night at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival, but that that was it. I had no expectations, and no idea how hard my ass was going to get kicked by this Indonesian action movie. This is the best action film I’ve seen in years.

Read more of my spoiler free thoughts and watch the red band movie trailer now, embedded after the jump. Trust me, you want to see this.

The Raid follows a elite SWAT team as they raid a rundown apart­ment, which is ruled by a ruthless drug lord named Tama who uses the location to shelter his junkies, drifters, enforcers and killers. When their cover is blown, Tama puts a bounty on the members of the squad which is echoed over the loudspeaker system across the apartment compound. With no reinforcements coming to their aid, Rama and his men must try to survive and escape this apartment highrise full of killers.

This cleverly contained set-up allows from some really inventive set pieces, some really tense moments, highly-choreographed brawls and awesomely violent deaths. The film reminds me of when I first discovered the old-school films of John Woo like Hard Boiled. I’ve heard others making comparisons to Die Hard and Assault on Precinct 13. The first 15 minutes take place before the Raid and the 85 minutes that follow are almost non-stop action. Imagine a film which takes place in the space which is usually left for the climactic action sequence at the end of a movie.

Sony Pictures acquired the film during the Cannes Film Festival after only seeing a few bits of footage. Deadline just reported that Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda has been hired to create a new musical score for a film, which should make the film more marketable to American audiences. Indonesian martial arts actor Iko Uwais has the potential to top Tony Jaa stateside. I fully expect this film to be a hit among the cult circles — one of those films that passes from friend to friend.

Watch the red band movie trailer embedded below thanks to MTV:

International embed thanks to Twitch:

Official Plot Synopsis:

Deep in the heart of Jakarta’s slums lies an impenetrable safe house for the world’s most dangerous killers and gangsters. Until now, the run-down apartment block has been considered untouchable to even the bravest of police. Cloaked under the cover of pre-dawn darkness and silence, an elite swat team is tasked with raiding the safe house in order to take down the notorious drug lord that runs it. But when a chance encounter with a spotter blows their cover and news of their assault reaches the drug lord, the building’s lights are cut and all the exits blocked. Stranded on the sixth floor with no way out, the unit must fight their way through the city’s worst to survive their mission. Starring Indonesian martial arts sensation Iko Uwais.

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