Why Is It So Difficult to Make Good Cover Art for 'The Raid'?

Why Is It So Difficult to Make Good Cover Art for 'The Raid'?

Jun 26, 2012

The Raid is one of the best action movies to come along in decades. Yes, that sounds like hyperbole, but we're not worried one bit about overhyping this hyper violent yet grounded action flick from Indonesia. It's every bit as good as you've no doubt heard by now and we're quite confident in saying its status as a new action classic is not in jeopardy.

Well, it wasn't in jeopardy until Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released some regrettable cover art for the US release of the Blu-ray

The idea behind it, of using each window to show off a memorable bit of action from the movie, is fine, but the execution of it is just bizarre. There's no consistent sense of scale for the characters (the one aiming the gone out the window center right is either a giant or in a really tiny room), and the flames look like an afterthought-- is this movie about a SWAT team or firefighters? And why is Iko Uwais glowing? Is he about to go super saiyan?

Now, for comparison let's look at how the UK Blu-ray looks.

That's not wildly better - it adds in elements that aren't in the movie - but at least the composition looks cinematic.

And then there's UK retailer Play.com's exclusive Steelbook release of the film. We appreciate the more artistic approach to it, but star Iko Uwais' doesn't look anything like this:

They each somehow incorporate what this movie is about (cops vs. a criminal-packed apartment complex), but the US version is clearly the goofiest of the lot, and by a wide margin. So what would I prefer it look like? How about using the Australian poster for the film, which certainly captures the intensity of the astounding flesh and bone feats in this movie.

We really can't recommend this movie enough when it hits US stores on August 14, 2012. Honestly, it's incredible, we're just disappointed at how poorly cobbled together the official cover art is-- and we're quite sure it's the result of test marketing scores, not the filmmakers' desires. It would be a shame if it turned anyone off from picking up the film, but we couldn't blame anyone if it did. But what say you? If you knew nothing about The Raid, would you check it out based on that cover art alone? Or is it really not that bad and we're just being fanboys about this whole thing?

Follow along on Twitter: @PeterSHall and @Moviesdotcom.

Categories: Blu-rays and DVDs, At Home
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