Detailed trailer breakdown from director Gareth Evans for The Raid 2: Berandal
The first teaser for THE RAID 2: BERANDAL kicked everyone's ass a couple of weeks ago when it was released (the left and right sides of my cleftal horizon are still sore), and recently director Gareth Evans did a breakdown of the trailer for Empire. Similar to the one Bryan Singer did a few weeks ago for X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, Evans shares a ton of information on his upcoming film in this breakdown. There are details on several of the characters and the plot for his new film in his comments, as well as some possible spoilers, so if you don't want to know more about THE RAID 2: BERANDAL, avoid the rest of this article.
“The idea is that Iko’s character goes undercover in this one and there are shades of The Departed and Infernal Affairs in there. The prison section is the opening of the film, setting up his mission and that’s going undercover in order to infiltrate a mob family to uncover corruption in the police force.”
Evans on who the chalk outline figure represents in the film:
"That’s a good one. Oh, shit…” laughs Evans. “I wanted to have certain connective tissue to the first film and the choreography he does is largely the same, as much as he could remember on the day of shooting, as the choreography he uses for hitting the punchbag in the first Raid. In the first Raid, it’s all about him preparing himself spiritually, physically, emotionally so he can go off and complete his mission. He looks focused, he looks primed, he looks fired up. I wanted to contrast that now that he’s in prison on this mission and a lot of personal things have happened to him, so that ending to that punching session is designed to show a sadness and a tragic side to him as well. He’s full of regret as well.”
Who is the mystery man wearing a bag over his head in the trailer?
"I’ve stayed super-quiet about that. There are people on forums in Indonesia and they’re trying to figure out who it is. They’re comparing body shapes and how muscular his shoulders are. My stance is they’re all wrong. Even if they’re right, they’re all wrong.”
Indonesian actor Arifin Putra as Uco:
“He’s the son of the mob boss, Bangun. He’s the lynchpin for the entire movie. When we did the teaser poster, it was a purposeful thing to stick him dead centre of the frame. He’s the driving force of the storyline for this. He’s the one pushing the plot. Uco’s never had to fight a day in his life, and he’s starting to feel that. He’s sort of the personification of this new generation of ridiculously entitled rich kids you see flying around in Jakarta who are filled with anger and rage and pull all sorts of shit wherever they go, and they feel they’re entitled to be like that. Who’s going to touch them? Who’s going to stop them? He’s an interesting character, full of internal conflicts and complexes.”
Uco's dad, Bangun, played by Tio Pakusadewo, and how he's connected to the first film:
“Everything in the first movie - Tama’s building, Tama’s reputation - was all given to him by Bangun. He’s the guy who’s got the keys to the city. He’s dealing with the top-level cops, the ones we hinted at in the first movie, they’re all dealing with him and he used that building to facilitate paying them off, so it didn’t go through him.”
Cecep Arif Rahman's The Assassin:
"He’s The Raid 2’s Mad Dog. He’s this wordless, coldblooded assassin who specialises in using an Indonesian knife called the karambit. It’s a curved blade with a finger hook so you keep it very close to you. It’s brutal.”
Very Tri Yulisman as Baseball Bat Man:
“He’s another one of Bejo’s assassins,” explains Evans. “He uses a baseball bat and causes carnage wherever he goes. Very was training Julie Estelle [who plays Hammer Girl] and their chemistry was so strong that I cast him.”
The previously mentioned Hammer Girl, and how she is related to Baseball Bat Man:
“Baseball Bat Man and Hammer Girl are brother and sister,” says Evans. “The backstory is that when they were children they suffered at the hands of an abusive parent and when they killed him they were taken under Bejo’s wing. There’s a sense that neither of them have matured at all so there’s a childlike way about how they take out their targets."
Yayan Ruhian (who played Mad Dog in the first film) is back for the sequel, but not as that character. Meet Prakoso, master of the machete and Bangun's chief assassin:
“I won’t do a martial arts film without Yayan being in it,” says Evans. “I wrote Berandal before The Raid even existed. My intention was always to have Yayan play Prakoso, and it never entered my mind that he couldn’t do it. The great thing about Yayan is his ability to transform and shift. We straggled his hair, made it look grey, gave him a beard but people are always going to see him as Mad Dog. When you see his performance, it’s so different.”
Alex Abbad as Bejo:
“If I had to make a connection, he’s the Solozzo of The Raid,” says Evans. “He’s the guy who steps in and mixes shit up and causes a whole lot of trouble. He’s the catalyst for the all-out war that breaks out in the film.”
Kenicho Endo as Japanese mob boss Goto:
“What I wanted to do was mix things up so it wasn’t Indonesian gangsters vs Indonesian gangsters here. So I decided to import, and one of my favourite genres has always been Japanese Yakuza films. He’s the equivalent of what we have with Bangun. They’re on an even playing field. We establish early on that these two families have had a truce for over ten years. Bangun and Goto regularly meet up to discuss the territories and any issues they may have about security and safety. It’s almost like a mutual respect between the two of them. They’ve both seen enough violence now to be done with that aspect of their life.”
Ryuhei Matsuda's Keiichi, Goto's son:
"Both men are ambitious, but Uco is more reckless in his decision making and his ideas of what he needs to do and how he can impress his father and also show his drive and ambition,” explains Evans. “Keiichi is much more cautious. He takes a moment to think things through before he reacts.”
Oka Anatra as Eka:
“Not to keep referencing The Godfather, but he’s essentially Tom Hagen to Bangun. He’s the consigliere, he’s the level-headed one who helps control Uco and helps Bangun in his decision-making process as well. He’s earned his place and come up from nothing and he’s the true right-hand man for Bangun. I think that for people who like the moment in The Raid where Joe [Taslim, who played Sgt. Jaka] did the triple tap with the gun to the guy’s face, Oka gets to take that to a whole new level in one of his scenes.”
Gareth Evans was asked if the scene from the trailer of Rama being attacked while in a car is the car chase/fight scene many people have heard about for the new film:
“People are responding to the fact that we have two or three moments with cars in the trailer,” says Evans. “But none of them are from the car chase. They’re all individual scenes outside of the car chase. I’m holding that footage back. I’m debating whether I do show them in the main trailer. I don’t want to, for want of a better phrase, blow all my load with my money shots in a trailer.”
Kazuki Kitamura's Ryuichi:
“He’s the opposite number of Ecka, the right-hand man of Goto. We have a lot of parallels between the two families and how differently they react and stick together or fall apart. He’s the peacemaker in Indonesia.”
Gareth Evans on the shot from the teaser of Epy Kusnandar's Topan being flung through a window by Rama:
“This is my favourite shot in the entire film. It’s ridiculously complicated to get that shot done. If it was just a case of the camera going upside down, we could build rigging, but we wanted to flip the camera upside down, turn it back to level and then swing around in a whip pan back to Iko. We had two DOPs controlling the flip upside down and by the time you do the spin the other DOP has to leg it out of the frame for the turn around for Rama coming through the window. I’m super-excited about that scene. It’s pretty funny and fucked-up. We play around with a rough, raw, brutal, brawling martial art and a bit of gunplay as well.”
I think it's incredibly informative and cool when a director does something like this for their film, and I'm quite excited with the new details Evans has revealed. The sequel looks like it will be bigger and bloodier than the first one, and I personally can't wait for the new film.
THE RAID 2: BERANDAL will kick the shit out of theaters sometime in 2014.