Jonathan Melville: Die Hard again, this time in Jakarta Indonesia

AS a long-time fan of the original Die Hard, I’m of the opinion that setting any film in a tower block and pitting a hero against the odds is a good idea.

The makers of The Raid, a new Indonesian action flick from Welsh director Gareth Evans, clearly thought the same and it’s not long after the opening titles that we’re knee-deep in the sort of fight scenes and divided loyalties we don’t see enough of on the big screen these days.

The Raid introduces us to a SWAT team in Jakarta who are being sent to liberate a block of flats from a local crime lord who has been renting it out to undesirables.

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Inexperienced cop, Rama (Iko Uwais), may be preoccupied by his heavily pregnant wife, but he’s still dedicated to the job, even when it starts to look like a carefully prepared plan is falling apart around him.

Though the film isn’t non-stop action – there are some moments where characters are allowed to pause for breath and explain their backstory – this is really just an excuse for fight sequence after fight sequence, each one more ludicrous than the last.

The Indonesian martial art of Silat forms the basis for these sequences, characters forced to perform moves that Bruce Willis would shudder at, but which keep the pace frenetic.

There may be a few subtitles here and there but don’t let them put you off enjoying one of the most fun (if you can ignore the odd fatality) nights out at the cinema you’ll have had in a while.

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