Interview: 'The Raid 2' Director Gareth Evans on Ass Kicking Action
by Alex Billington
March 31, 2014
Now in theaters is the incredibly brutal, extremely awesome Indonesian martial arts sequel The Raid 2, which picks up immediately where The Raid left off, with Rama (played by Iko Uwais) returning to take on more corrupt businessmen and mobsters. The man behind this successful genre series is Gareth Evans, a Welsh filmmaker who has found his home in Indonesia making martial arts movies (yes, we even talk about this). I've been looking forward to chatting with Evans ever since The Raid 1, but was lucky enough to catch up with him for a full-on 20 minute video interview about action movies and The Raid 2 a few weeks ago.
As expected, Gareth Evans is very fun and fascinating to talk with. He knows his shit, he knows his action, and he knows how to make badass movies. So I wanted to delve completely into his mind, how they come up with these fights, how they integrate everything into the story, and how much it's a product of the location (Indonesia) as much as his own creative vision. If you're a fan of these films, this is a must-watch interview.
Watch my video interview with The Raid 2 writer/director Gareth Evans, shot on Flipcam in New York:
Timeline of questions: 0:20 - How do you continue to push the action genre in this day and age? 04:20 - There's almost a realism to it that makes it so good... 06:14 - What came first in the creation: the fights and locations, or the story and narrative? 08:22 - How much do you learn/discover through choreographing the fights? 11:40 - Was the success of the first one expected, and did that success help The Raid 2 get a bigger budget? 15:20 - How much of a product of Indonesia is this on top of your own vision? 18:28 - It's almost if the Indonesians have an ownership on this... 19:45 - What about the US remake - you are involved, correct?
Evans references John Woo's Hard Boiled and filmmaker Sam Peckinpah. After The Raid 2 (read my review from Sundance), I would definitely say Evans deserves to be ranked up there with those directors. I'm glad we could talk for so long and I hope my interview with Gareth Evans was insightful and interesting.
Gareth Evans' The Raid 2 started playing in limited theaters on March 28th and will continue to play in theaters around the country this spring. For more info and theater listings, visit the film's official website.