The idea of an action movie is to provide action. Dialogue is a nice bonus and it's okay if a director wants to toss in a sex scene, he can even mix in a piece of plot; as long as none of that stuff gets in the way of the action.


That's what we like about Sylvester Stallone, especially in his latter years. He understands what action movie fans want, they want action movies like "Rambo" and "The Expendables". Will they win Oscars? Nope, they weren't made for that, they were made for entertainment. And that is exactly the way I look at action films; especially extreme violence action films.


I don't go into a film that advertises extreme violence action with the expectation of dialogue and storyline. Just like I expect sex and lots of sex when I go to see a film that promises... sex! I don't want to see people holding hands and talking about their feelings!

All this is to say that Gareth Evans' latest film "The Raid: Redemption" delivers on what it promises... violent action. It's what I would call a splat film. That's the sound someone's face, head, chest, legs, etc... when they get got! SPLAT!


Starring Iko Uwais as a Swat Team leader named Rama in Jakarta. The leams mission is to enter a well fortified slum and extract - or kill - all the thugs, rapists, drug dealers, killers, and other no-goodniks hiding there. But the big fish they want to get is the guy who runs the place, a super crook named Tama (Ray Sahetapy) who gave the crooks sanctuary in exchange for their body parts. (Okay, that part was a bit weird.)


When the team enters the building, they are immediately betrayed by a spotter who rats them out and BAM! - the lights go down and the splat begins.


But how did anyone know they were coming? Could it be a set-up? Were they actually there on official business? Who cares! This is off the hook mindless fight action.

Well choreographed and well photographed by Matt Flannery (who also shot "Merantau"), it plays like a video game with the gamer going through the different levels on a quest.


Think of raid scene in "New Jack City" extended into a feature length film. Action movie fans get a kick out of the confining, claustrophobic feel of skulking through a dark building ready to meet your next opponent.


Evans, who was born in Wales and has found his niche in Asian martial arts films, clearly understands the concept of transferring the feel of a game to a actioner. And while some might try to find some other profound message or storyline in the film, I can assure you it is a simple seek and destroy plot. Okay, there is this silly attempt at a twist at the end, but we'll overlook that.


Iko Uwais uses the Indonesian martial art of Silat which has landed him the lead in the film reboot of "Mortal Combat". It's not as elegant at Bruce Lee's gung fu, but very entertaining.


"Raid Redemption" is a super-charged splatfest of mindless violence that will satisfy gamers and action movie fans who couldn't get tickets to "The Hunger Games". No plot, hardly any dialogue, just good old fashioned bone-crunching fun!   -- GEOFF BURTON