Have you heard anything about a movie released on 2011 called The Raid? If not, let me tell you a thing or two.

The Raid is an Indonesian movie directed by a Welsh director who also wrote the script, Gareth Evans. It became greatly success after winning a film festival in Toronto on 2011 and released worldwide on 2012.



It looks like there is a ‘recipe’ of success in Indonesian film industry : get a foreigner to direct/write/produce a movie using Indonesian culture and…. voila! It’ll become a hit!

There are already some examples in this: the trilogy of Merah Putih (Red and White—the name of Indonesian national flag) which consist of three movies : Merah Putih, Darah Garuda (Garuda’s Blood), and Hati Merdeka (Free Heart). The producer and director was a foreigner named Connor Allyn and he used his Hollywood team to help creating this movie, such as Adam Howart (Saving Private Ryan, Blackhawk Down), John Bowring (The Thin Thin Red Line, Australia, Wolverine) or Scott McLean (The Pacific, Matrix). The touch of Hollywood contributed a lot in these movies’ quality and it became a box office in Indonesia and probably one of the best movie Indonesians had ever seen. Now, The Raid also uses the same formula and its success is much more than Merah Putih trilogy.

Because of that, The Raid’s prohibited to enter Festival Film Indonesia (Indonesian Movie Festival) just like Merah Putih trilogy. The requirements for a movie to enter Festival Film Indonesia is all the cast and crew must be Indonesian, but The Raid has a Welsh director/scriptwriter, so no matter how great is this movie, it still can’t win any awards from this so-called the most prestigious movie award acknowledged by Indonesian government.

Maybe you will ask : isn’t there any good director/producer/screenwriter in Indonesia? Of course there is! Some of Indonesian directors make a very good movie and acknowledged worldwide, such as Garin Nugroho. But usually the movies of those great directors are not for commercial purpose. The movies usually are very hard to understand because they create the movie for art/idealism purpose and usually submitted into film festival abroad. Yeah, sometimes they win the award, but when the movie released in Indonesian cinema, it’s usually sucks. It happened on one of Indonesian movie, Sang Penari (The Dancer), which won four trophies in Festival Film Indonesia but didn’t make it into box office.

That’s why Indonesian tends to avoid creating good movie because they knew it won’t make a good business. Only a few make exception with a lil percentage of success. It where the foreigners comes in, because they have a lot money and great ability to make a movie. Just like The Raid.


A group of special police force planned to raid a building full of thugs lead by Tama Riyadi (Ray Sahetapy), who was, until now, untouchable by the police. This simple idea backfired as the thugs make a brutal counterattack and the police heavily outnumbered. Rama (Iko Uwais) and his fellow police squad must think of a way of survive by any means necessary before they were slaughtered.


I must say that The Raid is not a movie for all. This movie is surely not for kids or the faint hearted. It’s not for women too if you are not ready for ultrabrutal scene. Yeah, The Raid’s brutality will make you shock to death. The brutality is overexpose to the point of you will see clearly how the blood splatter or a bone broken. The Raid shows many ways to kill people, such as being shot repeatedly, blown up by a gas tube put in refrigerator, slammed down until your back is broken, etc. From guns, rifle, machetes, hammer to chair, all things can be used to kill people in this movie. And if the casts don’t find anything to use, they will use their pencak silat—Indonesian martial arts to disable the enemy. And the moves are pretty violent too. I often winced or turned my head when watching this movie to avoid the brutality. Even one Indonesian blogger said the brutal scene had remind him of the violence he went through a few years ago.

Not only that, the plot is rather confusing. Until the end of the movie, I don’t know who is behind the misleading raid and what is their motivation. Tama said something about Reza and him being paid, while the motivation of Liutenant Wahyu (Pierre Gruno) is still unclear. Does he want to promote his rank or just to move Tama from his position? There isn’t enough conversation to explain it because almost all duration of the movie used for action scene.

The acting of the casts also are not too good. The conversation of Rama or Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian) look awkward and their intonations sometimes are not suitable with the moment they are in.

And the subtitle…. oh, my, the subtitle really is screwed up. As an Indonesian who can speak English, I can say that the grammar isn’t good. And the translation is not really accurate either. If you can speak Indonesian, then you will know that many dialogues are not translated as what the actors are really spoken. If the movie is to be released worldwide, Merantau Film should hire professional translator.

Also, there are some words that repeated over and over again on this movie. I don’t like it because it shows the lack of creativity and vocabulary of the scriptwriter. One of the example is the word “anjing” (dog) that was used many times, while Indonesian has many vocabulary for swearing, such as “bangsat”, “bajingan”, “jahanam”, etc which the meaning basically are same as motherfucker, badass, or bastard. Besides of that, there is this sentence “kita/kamu tidak disini untuk misi kemanusiaan” (translated “we/you are not here to do good” while the correct translation is “we/you are not here for humanitarian mission”) which was said by two different men (Jaka and Bunawar). It is funny to me because how could two unrelated people say the exactly same sentence on a movie? For me, it looks like the scriptwriter can not separate one character to another.

So, despite all the praise, personally I think it’s not that great.


This movie has raised the casts and crew’s names to the top. Gareth Evans, the director, has been compared to the famous Asian director John Woo. Iko Uwais, the main actor, also rumoured to be Liu Kang on the latest Mortal Kombat movie. Yayan Ruhian also received a lot of attention because of his acting as the bloodthirsty Mad Dog. Now, who are they?



Gareth Evans is a Welsh director who is interested in pencak silat and about to make a documentary of it when he found his muse, Iko Uwais. Together, they made movies based on pencak silat, such as Merantau (roughly I translated it as “The Journey”) on 2009 and now The Raid on 2011. He has a plan to make trilogy out of The Raid series. The next series is Berandal (Thugs) which will be filmed on the end of 2012.



Iko Uwais is a former truck driver and pencak silat champion. His first debut is in a movie called Merantau, but he becomes insanely famous after his second film, The Raid, hit box office worldwide. In Indonesia, he is rumoured to have triangle love with Indonesian actress, Jane Shalimar, and Indonesian female soloist, Audy. Jane, who has been Iko’s girlfriend for two and half years, accused Audy to flirt his boyfriend on twitter using that singer’s account (@aawdee) so she warned Audy using her account (@janesha26) but Audy ignored her. Then a photo appeared as another evidence of Audy and Iko’s affair behind Jane’s back. It was uploaded on Audy’s instagram (Aawdee), titled naracap or pacaran/dating, where Audy’s eyes covered by a guy’s hand wearing a watch like Iko’s. Jane also said that Iko had changed since he knew Audy. Jane and Iko broke up afterwards and not long after that, Iko became Audy’s official boyfriend. Jane accused Audy to ‘steal’ Iko from her, but both Audy and Iko denied it. It caused the tweet war between Jane’s fans and Audy’s fans, where Jane’s fans saying that Audy was a bitch who stole anyone’s boyfriend while Audy’s fans defending their idol. Only two months after they were officially dating, Iko proposed Audy and insisted to marry on the same month. It was shocking because usually Indonesian tends to marry after years of dating. Besides, Audy looked so fat while she was launching her new album at that time (usually an artist who launch new album will try to look good and pretty, right?) That made many people assume on forum and twitter that they’re actually MBA (married by accident—the girl is pregnant before the marriage and it’s taboo in Indonesia). It caused the second tweet war between Jane’s fans and Audy’s fans. Many said that Iko had got a  star syndrom. He seemed to forget about who he was before being a famous international star by dumping Jane who has been dating with him since he was still no body. Finally Iko married Audy, but without inviting Jane while Jane had confirmed that she would come to the wedding if Iko invited her.



Yayan Ruhian is an international pencak silat referee and trainer. Gareth Evans described him as ‘very polite’ and he is surprisingly have a good humour sense. That is nothing alike his character in The Raid, Mad Dog, who is very dangerous but like to fight with his bare hands



Personally, I am not that fond of The Raid. Maybe because I am a woman, so I don’t like violence too much.

In Indonesia, The Raid is a hit but still can’t beat the record of Laskar Pelangi (Rainbow Troops) that could make 4 millions people came to cinema. The Raid viewer’s only reached 1,8 millions. I think that because it’s a segmented movie (just for boys and action lovers?), while Laskar Pelangi can be watched by everyone from children to adult no matter what their genders are.

Finally, I think you should choose another movie because of the overwhelming brutality level.  This movie is lacking of another element besides of action.

source: from anywhere



  1. Hello there. Im from indonesia. Yea, i guess im agree with you. I know i must respect for the staff and actress work, but this is just my opinion. Tonight, i saw it in tv, (first time) its like watching china movie, i mean, old movie. Not the action, but the visual (i hate this kind movie). And thats just fight. Hit, hit, jump, break. dialogue only slightly. Its.. not natural. I more like Merah putih (for action genre. but i like laskar pelangi too, very much =D) not only action, but spirit for win. btw, this is the begin stage for my country. Hope the second chance is more better. Im sorry im bad in english -w-

    Hey, i late two years


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