The Indonesian action movie The Raid was a big hit at the Toronto International Film Festival, and writer/director Gareth Evans has the People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award to prove it. You can sample the crazy action in the trailer, and see why Sony Pictures Worldwide picked up the North American distribution rights months ago. Despite the universal appeal of SWAT teams and martial arts, The Raid still has one major commercial hindrance: it’s pretty Indonesian. Now that The Raid is in the Sony family, the logical move is for sister label Screen Gems to pursue a remake. The Americanization process will be interesting, and perhaps doomed—the original relies on the Indonesian martial art silat to flavor the action. It will be difficult to return the lightning to the bottle, especially since Evans has preemptively declined the job to focus on a shooting a sequel next February. It is not yet clear what Screen Gems has planned, though Heat Vision reassures the studio is “aware the unique fighting style is one of the movie’s strengths.” Awareness! That’s not not encouraging. Screen Gems is currently on the lookout for a director.
The Raid rode a wave of TIFF buzz to sell remaining worldwide distribution rights to Celluloid Nightmares, so you should be able to see the silat for yourself soon enough, no matter where you live. Hit the jump for the trailer and official synopsis.
In the heart of Jakarta lies a rundown apart¬ment infested with druggies and drifters. It’s ruled by a ruthless drug lord who uses the tenement to shelter his junkie customers, pushers, enforcers and brutal killers. The apartment block is considered untouch¬able by even the bravest of police—until one early morning when, cloaked under dawn’s dark¬ness, an elite SWAT team, led by officer Rama (Uwais), raids the peril-filled structure. As Rama’s squad races between the maze of rooms and floors, encountering a barrage of gunfire, machetes, and ruthless hand-to-hand combat around every corner, the stakes get higher and higher building to an explosive crescendo and an ultimate battle.