Today: April 21, 2024

Gareth Evans – Raid 2 Reveal

Film4 Fright Fest attendees got a special surprise last Friday.  After the screening of found footage anthology V/H/S/2, one of the directors Gareth Evans was around for a Q&A session.  His co-directed segment of the film, Safe Haven, was pretty much universally loved by the audience and regarded as the highlight of the film.  As well as discussing his part of that film though, he was also able to discuss details of the sequel to his action movie success story of last year, The Raid.

The Raid (or The Raid: Redemption in the U.S.) was a martial arts action epic made in Indonesia, following a SWAT team’s attempt to take out a crime-lord’s tower block stronghold going very badly wrong.  It drew a lot of praise, for sheer violence levels, action, and for excellent use of Silat, the native martial art of Indonesia.  The sequel, The Raid 2 Berendal, is said to pick up with lead Rama (Iko Uwais) barely two hours after the events of the first film, in a story that will cover a period of about four years.

In the Q&A, Evans confirmed that filming the last few pickups had finished barely three days beforehand, though there was a somewhat hairy moment of one stunt performer being badly injured in a car stunt.  The post-production is due to begin soon, with a release date tentatively pencilled in for around February to March next year.  But the best treat was that he was able to reveal exclusively an early edit of a scene from the film.

The scene is apparently set towards the start of the film, and introduces a new character to the franchise, nicknamed “Hammer Girl” (Julie Estelle).  She appears to be some manner of hit-woman/assassin, as the clip shows her finding an assigned target on a subway train, and dealing with his bodyguards.  Her fighting style is said to be hari mau, or “Tiger Style”, which involves a lot of grabbing and pulling movements, only augmented by her wielding a pair of claw hammers.  What results is a sight somewhere between the Bride’s fight with the Crazy 88 in Kill Bill and the corridor scene in Oldboy, but incredibly memorable and violent in its own right.

Evans has said via Twitter that the footage will not be seen online officially any time soon, as it’s an unfinished edit, used mainly to gauge audience reaction.  Even for a rough cut though, it’s still extremely impressive and, if the rest of The Raid 2 is up to this standard, it’s likely to turn out extremely special.  Evans also confirmed his involvement with a new project with the Mo Brothers called Killers, a Japanese Indonesian co-production that’s also likely to be released next year.

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