×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Raid 2’ Helmer Gareth Evans Tells Audience to ‘Enjoy the Violence,’ Talks ‘Raid 3’

The line of people wrapped along Sunset Blvd. Wednesday outside the Harmony Gold Theatre was a testament to the fan base that “The Raid” franchise has garnered since “The Raid: Redemption” was released in 2011.

The Raid 2: Berandal,” the sequel to helmer Gareth Evans’ original Indonesian martial arts pic, premiered at Sundance earlier this year and its Los Angeles debut elicited gasps, screams and cheers from the audience with its intense and violent action sequences.

Evans, who also penned and edited the film, joked about the violent nature of his franchise before the screening began, calling “The Raid 2” a “mild PG-13 drama.”

Evans then introduced star Iko Uwais, who demonstrated his martial arts talents for the audience, before closing with a fair warning for those about to see the film: “Enjoy the violence.”

But, as Evans and Uwais explained, the violence isn’t just a gimmick — each of the fight scenes are carefully choreographed martial arts sequences.

Uwais, who has been practicing traditional Indonesian martial arts since age 10, told Variety (with the help of a translator) that his parents were martial arts instructors, so the practice is part of his heritage.

Uwais reprises his role as Rama in this film and said one of the key differences between fighting on and off camera is that he can’t show weakness while battling in a ring, but on camera he must convey his physical reaction to the punches, kicks and blows.

Staying in character and maintaining emotions between takes posed a challenge, but Uwais said he has a ritual in which he has his castmates hit him in the back to help him get his emotion back up again.

Though all of the action scenes are pre-planned using a video storyboard, Evans revealed that Uwais got knocked out while filming one of the final scenes in the movie.

“He blacked out for a second,” Evans explained as Uwais chuckled, recalling the incident. “We went for about four frames, and he was okay after that.”

Evans also said the fight scenes were carefully structured so that the film would remain balanced.

“If it’s a three-minute fight scene, we want to put four or five punch lines in there. Punch lines are like those moments in the prison riot when the guy has his head kicked into the tile,” Evans said. “If you just stack (these moments) all up next to each other, it would (become) overkill.”

After designing the scenes, Evans said he and his team would create a video storyboard using crash mats and a video handy cam to figure out camera angles and editing details — a technique he developed while making the first “Raid” film.

“I’ve done all of my work in pre-production, so when it comes to the shoot we have this video as a guide track… and we’re just shooting the real version on set,” Evans said. “All the editing decisions have already been made, so by the end of that day I should have the perfect vision of that fight.”

While the producers are anxious to begin work on another sequel, Evans said he needs some time away before working on a third “Raid” and sleep is his first priority right now.

“They’re going to have to wait a while. I don’t want to do it for three years, maybe. I do have a concept in mind,” he said. “If this one is two hours after ‘The Raid’ finished, ‘Raid 3’ starts three hours before ‘The Raid 2’ finishes. So you go back in time a little and then branch off for a different story.”

Evans is already working on pre-production for helmer Timo Tjahjanto’s neo-noir action thriller “The Night Comes for Us” in Indonesia and said he then wants to transition to the U.K. or U.S. to make one of the two films he currently has in development.

XYZ Films’ “The Raid 2: Berandal” bows in L.A. and Gotham theaters on March 28.

More Scene

  • Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells Black

    Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells Talk Snorting 'Coke' on 'Black Monday'

    “Black Monday” show creators David Caspe and Jordan Cahen divulged an intriguing detail to come later in the first season of the new Showtime comedy at its world premiere, held at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Monday night in Los Angeles. “The fourth or fifth episode opens with a sexual harassment seminar, which very well [...]

  • Alfonso Cuaron attends the 44th Annual

    Alfonso Cuarón to LAFCA: 'Thanks to Your Help We Can Break Down Walls'

    Inclusion was the big winner at the L.A. Film Critics Association Awards, which was held Saturday night at the InterContinental in Century City. “This year’s winners are the most diverse in LAFCA’s 43-year history,” announced its president, Claudia Puig, adding that 14 out of their 18 awards were won by women and people of color. [...]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Max Malandrino/REX/Shutterstock

    Hollywood Power Players Assemble to Save Iconic Deli Nate 'n Al

    A group of Hollywood executives and celebrities have banded together with the intent to save Beverly Hills deli and star haunt Nate ‘n Al, a stone’s throw from tourist destination Rodeo Drive. A consortium of investors including music kingpin Irving Azoff and wife Shelli, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Jeff Shell, and Rande Gerber and [...]

  • Charlie Collier, FOX Chief Executive Officer

    'The Passage' Team Talks Diversifying Races, Genders and Ages of Book Characters

    “The Passage” star Saniyya Sidney was unaware that the book version of her character was originally white until her father, a fan of Justin Cronin’s apocalyptic trilogy, informed her during the audition process. “I was like, ‘Oh, she is?'” Sidney told Variety at Thursday’s series premiere in Santa Monica, Calif. “And when I got it, [...]

  • KiKi Layne and Stephan James'If Beale

    Regina King Praised by 'If Beale Street Could Talk' Co-Stars for New 50/50 Initiative

    Two days had passed since Kiki Layne and Stephan James had attended their first Golden Globes and the “If Beale Street Could Talk” co-stars were still trying to wrap their heads around having been there. “It was such a special night — and pretty unreal,” says James, who was also nominated for his work opposite Julia Roberts [...]

  • Steven Van Zandt, Edie Falco, Tony

    'The Sopranos' 20th Anniversary Reunion: Cast, Producers Remember James Gandolfini

    Jan. 9’s 20th anniversary reunion of the cast and producers of HBO’s “The Sopranos” was a raucous family gathering from its first moments. “I saw a picture of myself in the newspaper,” series creator David Chase said at the start of the event. “And I thought, 20 years. Jesus Christ.” “People come up to me,” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content