Gareth Evans‘ 2011 action flick The Raid was a face-punching masterpiece of extraordinary violence and choreography, and against all odds, the 2014 follow-up, The Raid 2, was one of those rare sequels that lives up to the quality of its predecessor. Turning out the two films within a couple years of each other cemented Evans as one of the foremost working directors of visceral, kenetic, often bloody and bone-snapping action, but now it looks like he’s looking to do something a little different.
Evans posted a pre-vis fight scene to his YouTube account — a short samurai tale about a warrior tasked with delivering a treaty who finds herself hunted by two assassins — and it’s a decidedly more family-friendly fight scene. Evans explains in the video summary that he co-designed the sequence with Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman (who also perform in it alongside Hannah Al Rashid) as an attempt to maintain “the style and rhythm set out in [The Raid movies] while staying within the parameters of a PG-13″ rating. He also just “really fucking needed to shoot something after [2 years] without picking up a camera,” as Evans explained on twitter.
The short was filmed over the course of 3 days on location in Wales. Evans filmed on a a Sony NEX-7 camera with only himself and the cast on location. It’s pretty impressive sequence, and while Evans has disabled embedding, you can click here to jump over to his YouTube page and watch the full film. While there’s something sinfully delightful about the carnage of The Raid films, Evans and his cast do a great job of keeping the action charged without relying on the shock and awe of unfettered violence. Obviously, it’s a bit more rudimentary than his features, but Evans always makes wonderful use of motion and rythym in his sequences, both in choreography of the performers and the camers. Making it a sword fight is a clever way to keep up the intensity of impact without inflicting constant bodily harm. Basically, Evans proves again that he’s real good at action, and while this little treat is a delight, I hope he’s planning to get behind the camera for a full feature again soon.
Here’s the full setup for the short,
In a time of civil war, a young warrior is given the task of delivering a treaty between two rival lords. During her journey through the woods however, she finds herself hunted by two assassins intent on intercepting her message of peace in a bid to maintain the fear, instability and violent rule of their leader.
Does the PG-13 style work for you or do you miss the cring-inducing brutality? Want to see a full Samurai feature frome Evans now or would you rather see him take on a different genre? Head back after you check out the short and sound off with your thoughts in the comments.