The Final Fight In The Raid: Redemption Was Relentless For Everyone Involved

"The Raid: Redemption," or as us cool kids like to say, "The Raid," certainly upped the game when it came to outrageously choreographed, totally brutal martial arts cinema. I know when I saw it that 30 seconds could not go by without someone in the audience oohing, ahhing, gasping, or just giggling as a means to release nervous energy. That first film is essentially one nonstop fight sequence contained entirely in one building that this police force is ... well ... raiding. It never lets up, never lets you breathe, and never stops topping itself.

While watching "The Raid," one can only think of all the injuries that Iko Uwais and the other performers endured while making this movie. There is a lack of grace and polish to this film from Welsh writer/director Gareth Evans. Every hit looks like a real hit. Of course, every fight was carefully choreographed, but when you have people who can really fight going full tilt at one another, there are bound to be some booboos — especially if you don't exactly have the proper amount of time to shoot a particular sequence.

This could not be more evident than in "The Raid's" final fight sequence. It is a two-on-one battle to the death, with Iko Uwais' Rama and Donny Alamsyah's Andi against Yayan Ruhian's Mad Dog. It takes place in just one room, but their stamina and pain threshold are off the charts. At one point, Mad Dog gets stabbed in the neck with a fluorescent light bulb and continues fighting for several minutes. It's a bravura sequence that serves as a fitting last throwdown for the picture. As it turns out, that scene was almost as difficult as if it had actually happened.

'They're all still alive!'

No movie has an unlimited budget or time to shoot (well, maybe James Cameron does for his "Avatar" films), so making a movie ends up being a series of compromises. Such was the case with this climactic fight scene. Like so many films that came before and since, the production of "The Raid: Redemption" found itself strapped for time, despite the mammoth undertaking that particular fight scene was going to be. In a Q&A for the film (via Den of Geek), Gareth Evans described the litany of challenges they faced filming that final sequence:

"For a six-minute, non-stop sequence like that, normally you'd want two or three days for each minute of action. So ideally, we wanted 14 or 15 days to film it, but we only had eight. So the guys had to basically get beaten up relentlessly for, like, 14 hours a day. [Iko] was saying, when we did the fight scenes, we did, as much as we could, full body contact. If we could get away with it, we'd put padding on [the performers] but we couldn't sometimes [laughs]. He also said that a lot of the fighters got injured, but they're all still alive!"

Gareth Evans skirted the line of problem-solving and cutting corners as much as he could. In a big fight scene where people's bodies and safety are on the line, a condensed amount of time is your greatest enemy. All rushing can do is make it easier for things to go wrong. Luckily for him, he had a trio of performers ready to put everything on the table for the sequence. Was it unsafe? I mean, probably, but if everyone involved consented, they were able to create an indelible fight that you can still look at with awe.