Director Gareth Evans talks THE RAID 2: BERANDAL

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You can klap gym, fight crime or drink an actual shot glass of pure snake venom, and you’ll never be manly enough to handle the sheer machismo of the upcoming action flick The Raid 2: Berandal. A movie so jam-packed with action, that it makes an entire locker room of UFC fighters look like a ballroom dancing club.

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Speaking to Coming Soon, Evans explained just how much work went into creating a fight scene, from start to finish:

I usually try to treat fighting scenes in the script kind of like prose. My job is just to give a sense of atmosphere, tone and location. The skill-sets of the fighters and their opponents. Then it’s about the bullet point headlines of what comes from that fight. Does he lose his stick or lose his knife? How desperate does he get? What’s the outcome? Then, all that information is relayed to my fight team. My choreography team. They start to figure out how to design the fight scene. We take five people and start with that, figuring out what the fight would look like.

Then we expand out. Give me another five people. Then we figure out all these different choreography movements based around that tone. That shift. That design. If I did it like, “Right punch. Upper cut. Left hook,” I’m the only one who knows what that looks like.

Despite having enough action to keep small eastern-European countries satisfied for years to come, The Raid 2 will also have something else that the original film didn’t. A sense of humour:

Yeah, I’m massively influenced by Japanese cinema, especially [Takeshi] Kitano and [Takashi] Miike. They have that deadpan humor. Sometimes something will come out of the blue and you’ll be like, “Where the f–k did this come from?” It kind of shocks you into laughter. Sometimes it might even be the violence. There might be an element of the fight scene where it shocks you so much, it elicits a reaction. When something elicits a reaction and you gasp and hear two other people gasp in the theater, it becomes a shared communal experience.

You’ve all shared that same sound and you all released right after how dumb it was to make that sound. You hear it and think, “Oh, it’s a movie! It’s not real!” But it still shocks you. Then it makes you laugh and it becomes this communal moment where you’re now laughing at it and it’s all cool. I’d rather people laugh than be repulsed by it or disgusted by it. If you’re repulsed and disgusted by it, it’s just overkill. It’s just too much. What I hope to achieve is those oohs and ahhs that make those laughters and make the overall experience so enjoyable.

It’s fine to laugh, even when it’s a really violent sequence. The humor is so deadpan and so dry as well that I love the fact that you’ve connected to it.

An American remake is on the way, even though most of Hollywood forgot that they already made such a movie in the form of Dredd 3D. That adaptation will be directed by Patrick “The Expendables 3” Hughes, who Evans says he wants to see make the movie his own beast:

With the American remake, my involvement is very minimal. I’m an EP on it, but I’m not directing it myself. I’m not going to have a massive amount of say in terms of the creative side of it. That’s not because I can’t. I could totally do that. I just don’t feel that it would be right to do that. I think that what’s right for that project is having someone like Patrick Hughes, who is going to direct, should just be given free reign to go and do what he wants, just like I was given free reign to go and do what I wanted on my first one. He should be given the same kind of deal. He’s a super-talented guy. “Red Hill” is great.

I haven’t seen “Expendables 3” yet, but from what I’ve heard about it, the guy did a great job on it. I’m kind of interested and curious to see what he’s going to do with it. A “Raid” remake is not a remake in the same way that there’s an “Oldboy” remake where it’s all about plot and character and everything is tied in to the very bitter end. This one is like a ten-minute intro. It’s a concept piece. Once you’re in that building and you tell the audience how that building operates, the rest of the action sequences can be completely different. They can be completely new and choreographed by someone else. All it has to do is maintain the same tone and the same kind of mood and atmosphere that we had.

That’s it. Content-wise, the fight scenes? It could be so different and so incredible as well.

Last Updated: March 28, 2014

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