The Raid: Redemption – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Steelbook Review

Mark Pacis

The Raid: Redemption

The Raid: Redemption, a high-octane action thriller released in 2011, redefined martial arts cinema’s boundaries. Directed by Gareth Evans, this Indonesian masterpiece captivates with its raw intensity and breathtaking fight choreography, offering an adrenaline-pumping experience you’ll never forget.

Set in the heart of Jakarta, the film follows an elite SWAT team’s mission to infiltrate a high-rise building run by a ruthless crime lord. With limited resources and overwhelming odds, the team must navigate a maze of danger and deception. It’s a race against time and survival, where every floor presents a new challenge. All this culminates in a swarm of heart-stopping action sequences.

That is to say, The Raid: Redemption is a masterclass in action choreography. Each fight sequence is a symphony of brutality and grace, showcasing the Indonesian martial art of Pencak Silat. The relentless nature of these sequences keeps you on the edge of your seat, making The Raid an unforgettable experience for action lovers. Also, the close-quarter combat scenes are mesmerizing, displaying a blend of speed, power, and precision. Cinematographers Matt Flannery and Dimas Imam Subhono capture every bone-crushing hit and agile movement, immersing the audience in the relentless pace of the battles. Watch the hallway fight scene if you want a perfect example of this. It’s thrilling and artistically executed, elevating it beyond mere action into cinematic art. 

The movie isn’t just about style; The Raid also has some substance — the dramatic stakes are also at play here. Each scene intensifies the peril, with the protagonist facing increasingly formidable foes in a claustrophobic environment. The film cleverly uses its limited setting to heighten tension, transforming the building into a character itself — an obstacle course of traps, challenges, and foes. This ingenious use of space amplifies the action, making each encounter a physical battle and a strategic play for survival.

While primarily action-driven, The Raid doesn’t skimp on performances. Iko Uwais delivers physically and emotionally, portraying a compelling hero with determination and vulnerability. Though limited in character development, the supporting cast adds depth to the narrative, making each character’s struggle in this high-stakes environment feel genuine and urgent.

Overall, The Raid: Redemption is a groundbreaking action film, setting a high bar for the genre. It’s a must-watch for action enthusiasts and those who appreciate movies that push the envelope.

Movie Review: 5/5 atoms

The Raid: Redemption - Iko Uwais

The Raid: Redemption hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with an upscaled 4K, HEVC / H.265, Dolby Vision/HDR10 presentation with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The Ultra HD Blu-ray release of The Raid: Redemption presents a significant upgrade in video quality over its Blu-ray predecessor. Scenes are illuminated with a brightness that adds depth without any issues. At the same time, black levels are notably deeper, ensuring darker scenes retain detail and texture. With the film’s limited and mostly mute color palette, Dolby Vision can’t showcase its power.

Nevertheless, the colors that do appear on-screen look more vibrant and accurate, adding to the film’s intense aesthetic. Additionally, the clarity of detail is remarkably improved. Every sweat droplet, facial expression, and intricate background detail is rendered stunningly sharp. Film grain is present but handled carefully, preserving the film’s original texture without becoming distracting. 

Video Review: 4.5/5 atoms

The Raid: Redemption - Joe Taslim and Yayan Ruhian

The Raid: Redemption hits Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos or a 7.1 Dolby TrueHD audio presentation if Atmos is not supported. This review will cover the Blu-ray’s Dolby Atmos mix. While The Raid: Redemption‘s Dolby Atmos mix on Ultra HD Blu-ray might sound like an immersive feast for the ears, it’s more of a front-loaded mix. It’s not all that surprising since most of the film’s action takes place front and center. Thus, it doesn’t allow for any sense of dynamic sound because that’s how the movie is. Regardless, the object placement is precise — aligning perfectly with the on-screen events, putting you in the middle of the action.

Also, the mix utilizes overhead effects effectively, particularly in scenes with intense action, adding a dome-like layer of depth and immersion that is especially noticeable in a home theater setup. The atmospherics are also well-crafted, with background noises and subtle sound details contributing significantly to the movie’s tense atmosphere. Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese’s musical score is another highlight. It’s crisp, dynamic, and perfectly balanced with the rest of the audio. Dialogue is crystal clear, ensuring that every line, even amidst chaotic fight scenes, is easily discernible. The subwoofer performance is robust and impactful. The low-frequency effects deliver a power that adds dimension to the action sequences, making every punch and explosion more intense.

Audio Review: 4/5 atoms

The Raid: Redemption - Ray Sahetapy and Pierre Gruno
Special Features

The Raid: Redemption doesn’t have any bonus features on the Ultra HD disc. However, the following bonus features can be found on the HD Blu-ray disc:

  • Commentary with Gareth Evans
  • Behind-the-Scenes Video Blogs
  • Inside the Score
  • In Conversation with Gareth Evans and Mike Shinoda
  • An Evening with Gareth Evans, Mike Shinoda, and Joe Trapanese
  • Behind the Music with Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese
  • Anatomy of a Scene with Gareth Evans
  • Claycat’s The Raid
  • The Raid TV Show Ad (circa 1994)
Features Assessment

The director’s commentary offers sharp insights, delving into the movie’s creative process and sharing fascinating behind-the-scenes stories. Video Blogs give a raw and unfiltered look into the making of the film, showcasing the intense preparation and dedication that went into the action sequences. 

Next, the following features focus heavily on the movie’s composers, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda and Joe Trapanese. With Inside the Score, the feature offers an intriguing exploration of the film’s impactful score. At the same time, In Conversation reveals the collaborative process behind the film’s killer soundtrack. An Evening is an engaging session with the film’s vital creative minds, offering fans an intimate glimpse into their artistic synergy and shared vision for the movie. Behind the Music delves deeper into the musical aspect of the film, with Shinoda and Trapanese discussing their approach to crafting a score that elevates the film’s intense atmosphere.

Anatomy of a Scene breaks down key scenes, providing an in-depth look at the cinematic techniques and storytelling strategies employed in the film. Claycat’s The Raid is a unique and amusing claymation version of the film, offering a light-hearted and creative reinterpretation of the intense action. Finally, the TV Show ad is a nostalgic and entertaining TV ad that captures the essence of the movie in a classic 90s style.

The Raid: Redemption Steelbook

Finally, this limited-edition steelbook packaging pays homage to the film’s iconic imagery, featuring key imagery of Rama in the back and the film’s key art in the front. The design captures the essence of the movie in a beautiful, matte metallic finish.

Special Features Review: 3/5 atoms

Overall, The Raid: Redemption is a groundbreaking action film, and it’s still one of the best action films since its debut thirteen years ago. Additionally, the video and audio quality surpasses the Blu-ray version, making it a must-have for fans of the film. Unfortunately, there aren’t any new bonus features included in this release.

Overall Review: 4/5 atoms

The Raid: Redemption hits stores on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on January 16th.

This Blu-ray was provided by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment for review purposes.