After his lean, gritty Indonesian action thriller The Raid stormed the box office in 2012, Welsh filmmaker Gareth Evans could have easily repeated that film's simple linear attack in the sequel. Instead, The Raid 2 is an epic gangster movie with added martial arts fighting.
The Raid 2 Is A Triumph For Gareth Evans
"The first one I saw as a survival horror film," Evans says. "This one is a crime thriller. The first one was about tension and suspense, and for the sequel I wanted to expand and tell this big sprawling crime saga about these families, father-son issues and all these different relationships."
Having proven himself as an inventive martial arts director, Evans decided to try new things this time around. For example, he was interested in putting a spin on the standard action movie car chase, so created a mind-boggling set-piece that has left audiences breathless, doing things with cameras that bigger-budget movies accomplish with digital effects. "It was about finding the gonzo moments," he says. "I started thinking maybe we should focus on the actual carnage of the crashes, like what happens to the person inside of the car. And I knew I wanted to do a fight inside the car, to make it a tight, claustrophobic space."
More: read our full review of The Raid 2
This kind of ambition has let to questions about whether he'd like to direct a big Hollywood franchise movie. But he laughs at the idea: "How am I going to do a PG-13 film? I don't even know how the f**k I can do that! This film, which is for an audience 18 and above, is probably more responsible than a 12A movie where a guy can unload a gun into someone and there's no blood, and that's okay. There's no consequence or feeling. I think that's a little bit more dangerous."
More: probably not as good as the original, but The Raid sequel is pretty damn good