In the past five years, director Gareth Evans has seen has status grow from relative unknown to one of the best action directors alive. His film, Merantau, introduced the Indonesian martial arts form of Pencak Silat to the wider world, and his two follow-ups, The Raid and The Raid 2: Berandal (out in theaters right now), expanded on Silat’s usage and featured some of the most creatively shot and choreographed action/fight scenes in recent memory.
I had the chance to chat with Evans recently about the making of his Raid 2 teaser trailer. We also spoke about his five favorite action scenes, and in the below video essay, Evans breaks down exactly which films they are from and why/how each has influenced him.
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Posted on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by David Chen
The teaser trailer for The Raid 2: Berandal was one of the most impressive teasers I’ve ever seen, a meticulously constructed series of attention-grabbing moments. The sound design was ominous, the shots were spectacularly violent, and the editing was expertly executed. Sometimes, directors don’t have much say over how their films are marketed, but I just had this feeling that director Gareth Evans had a hand in how this teaser turned out. It felt like so much thought had been put into it.
Ever since I saw the teaser, I’ve been really curious to know how Evans conceived of it. I finally had the chance to chat with Evans extensively last night, and the material from that conversation will be used for a couple of upcoming video essays. First up: How Evans created The Raid 2: Berandal teaser trailer. Check it out his trailer commentary after the jump.
The Raid 2: Berandal is out in theaters now.
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Editor’s Note: The following review was originally published on January 22nd 2014 after the film’s premiere at Sundance. The review is being republished as the film is being released in New York and Los Angeles this weekend, and expanding in the coming weeks.
In the case of an action movie like The Raid, I can’t fault anyone who wants to set plot aside and simply enjoy the action. With The Raid 2, that approach becomes impossible. Writer/director/editor Gareth Evans puts lofty goals fully on display in this sequel, which expands in every direction relative to the original. The action is bigger and more diverse, the story is more complex, and more emphasis is placed on dramatic performances even as the film’s physical demands intensify. Where the first was a tightly controlled action film that jettisoned all but the skeleton of a plot, this sequel is a huge crime tale featuring several criminal organizations competing for power, the police trying to catch up, and one young cop caught squarely in the middle.
Premiering the film at Sundance in a prime slot is a strange experiment of sorts. The Raid 2 isn’t a thing for general audiences; this is a hardcore genre movie. The swirl of Evans’ dramatic ambitions are punctuated by ultra-violent choreography, like a machine-gun snare drum tracked into a piece of classical music. It’s a tricky balancing act. The Raid 2 navigates the test awkwardly at best, because the story never connects as solidly as do the film’s thousand punches. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 by Angie Han
The Raid was packed wall-to-wall with gory, glorious action, and The Raid 2 promises to up the ante even further. A new clip from the movie offers just a sample of the insanity we can look forward to, as Rama (Iko Uwais) tries to fight himself out of a car during a car chase.
But even with a running time of 150 minutes there were a few scenes that director Gareth Evans apparently just didn’t have room for. One The Raid 2 deleted scene, featuring a bloody shootout between rival gangs, has just hit the web. Watch both the scene that made it in and the one that didn’t after the jump.
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Posted on Friday, March 21st, 2014 by Angie Han
The theme of the newest The Raid 2 trailer might well be that old schoolyard maxim: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” There’s no dialogue, just a percussive score, lots of shouts, and the glorious sounds of breaking glass and crunching bone. Check it out after the jump.
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Posted on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 by Angie Han
In case you were wondering, yes, Hiccup and Toothless are as cute as ever. A new batch of adorable How to Train Your Dragon 2 images is proof of that. Also after the jump:
- Watch a behind-the-scenes video for Alien: Isolation
- Legendary is “open” to a Pacific Rim sequel
- Universal schedules Ride Along for January 2016
- Here’s how The Raid 3 connects to The Raid 2
- Could HBO’s Girls make the leap to the big screen?
- Is Matthew McConaughey avoiding Magic Mike 2?
- Mike Bassett: England Manager is getting sequelized.
- There’s a Silence of the Lambs spinoff coming, sorta-kinda.
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Posted on Thursday, March 13th, 2014 by Angie Han
Whether you like family-friendly animated adventures or hard-R action thrillers, someone out there is trying to make a sequel for you. After the jump:
- Kristen Bell would do Frozen 2 “in a heartbeat”
- Sullivan Stapleton really wants there to be another 300
- Jean Claude Van Damme would like to be in Expendables 4
- The Raid 3 won’t get going “for a couple of years”
- Fast & Furious 7 is heading to Abu Dhabi to shoot
- Leigh Whannell doesn’t know anything about Saw 8
- … but does have a few details to share about Insidious 3
- Transformers 4 reveals a bunch of (human) character posters
- The GNN staff goes wild in a deleted scene from Anchorman 2
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
This Raid 2 featurette is 10 minutes of awesome. Just like Gareth Evans‘ action epic is longer than average (148 minutes), this behind the scenes video mimics that size and scope. It has a nice chunk of footage and insight into how the filmmaking team made one of the best action movies, well, ever.
Also, the featurette gives a better idea of the plot of The Raid 2, which involves Rama (Iko Uwais) going undercover to infiltrate the ultimate bad guys behind the first Raid. It’s a must watch for anyone anticipating one of the most badass, jaw-dropping, violent and exciting action films you’ll ever see. Check out The Raid 2 featurette below. Read More »