Sleepers to See: 'The Raid' Is an Adrenaline-Packed Face-Punch (Which Is a Good Thing)

This weekend, one movie will hit theaters that will give any movie you think currently holds the title of best action movie of all time a run for its money. It's a survive-or-die story with tons of mind-blowing great action sequences. No we're not talking about The Hunger Games. We're talking about one of the most buzzed about indie movies of the spring – The Raid: Redemption.

It was revealed recently that the Redemption would be the first of a trilogy of Raid movies, meaning we'll have two more adrenaline pumping films to look forward to. But first, let's turn our attention to Redemption.
As with most action films, the storyline is really simple, but don't confuse simple for stupid. That difference is all in the execution of the film and director Gareth Evans does a masterful job of continuously building up the shoot-'em-up and martial arts action sequences. Just when you think you've seen something completely jaw-dropping, the next scene tops it, and leaves you with a goofy grin on your face.

There's an evil drug lord living in the penthouse of a run-down, 15-story apartment building that's home to poor families, thugs and riffraff. A team of SWAT officers have been secretly tasked to arrest him, but that's easier said than done. The drug lord's cronies and enforcers are crawling throughout the building and before long, the SWAT team is whittled down to four men who much punch, kick and bust through floor after floor of bad guys. It's almost like Donkey Kong, but with evil dudes with machetes and axes instead of barrels.

We should point out that there are some pretty graphic scenes of violence in this movie, so it certainly isn't for the squeamish or the faint of heart. Action and martial arts film fans will thoroughly enjoy it though. I'm prepared to rank this movie in my own personal top five best action and best martial arts movies of all time.
If you're not for a 101-minute adrenaline punch, seek out the drama The Deep Blue Sea (not the shark thriller where Samuel L. Jackson gets eaten, but the romantic drama starring Rachel Weisz and Tom "Loki" Hiddleston) or All In: The Poker Movie, a documentary about, duh, poker, featuring Matt Damon, Kenny Rogers and a ton of poker players. And if you're looking for laughs, catch up on 21 Jump Street since most people will be jamming theaters to see that other movie--you know, The Hunger something. And if none of these films look like your thing, maybe one of this week's Five will be more to your liking.
Sleepers to See is an occasional column to tout lesser known films. This column is not studio endorsed but instead is a strong recommendation from the movie geeks here at Fandango for those looking for something outside of the Hollywood mainstream.
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The Five: Hungry for Something Else? Alternatives to 'The Hunger Games' This Weekend