Last weekend we treated you to the first poster and pics for kung fu epic Man of Tai Chi. Today we’ve got the first trailer. The Mandarin-Cantonese-English production is the directorial debut of Keanu Reeves. It tracks the journey of a young martial artist (Tiger Hu Chen) who’s lured into an underground tournament run by an unsavoury chap (Reeves) dead set on corrupting him. Joining Chen and Reeves in front of the camera are Simon Yam (Ip Man), Karen Mok (Black Mask), and The Raid: Redemption star Iko Uwais. Former stunt man Chen first hooked up with Reeves while working on the Matrix series, as did the film’s action choreographer, the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping (also of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame). To sum up, this one’s boasting all kinds of ass-kicking cred, which will be on full display in a staggering 40 minutes of fight sequences.
As you’d expect, the trailer is jam-packed with kicking, punching, chopping and all-around carnage. Hit the jump to check it out.
Production has officially started on writer/director Gareth Evans’ The Raid 2 in Indonesia and we’ve got the first images from the sequel to share with you. Picking up where The Raid/The Raid: Redemption left off, Rama (Iko Uwais) leaves the high-rise behind in order to infiltrate a Jakarta crime syndicate with the intentions of protecting his family and unearthing the corruption within his police force. The sequel also stars Tio Pakusadewo, Putra Arifin Scheunamann, Julie Estelle, Alex Abbad and Roy Marten, and will shoot for the next 100-odd days. Check out Steve’s interview with Evans in which he talks about the sequel, then hit the jump to see the first official images and read the full press release for The Raid 2.
So many modern action movies are CGI and superhero spectacles. Yes, there’s action sequences, but they rarely involve real contact. And what’s great about The Raid (or as it was dumbly retitled for America The Raid: Redemption) is that when punches are thrown, they connect. You get the visceral thrill of watching people who know how to fight fight well. Director Gareth Evans gives you so many great bone-crunching moments of gleeful violence, the likes of which we haven’t seen much of since the rise of Hong Kong cinema in the 1980’s and 90’s. Our review of the Blu-ray of The Raid follows after the jump.
We knew that Iwo Ukais, star of director Gareth Evans’ The Raid, was set to return for the sequel, Berandal, but now we have our first look a a new character. Evans tweeted an image of Alicia, aka “Hammer Girl,” recently, but no other information on her character has been released. It’s not clear which side Hammer Girl will be on when Berandal hits screens. If you haven’t seen the original film, you’re in luck: The Raid: Redemption is now available in an unrated version on Blu-ray and DVD. Hit the jump to see the image of Hammer Girl and for more on The Raid and Berandal, including an interview with Evans himself.
We’ve got a few casting stories to share this afternoon. Briefly:
- Ashley Judd and Robert Forster are the latest additions to the Gerard Butler-fronted White House actioner Olympus Has Fallen.
- The Raid star Iwo Uwais has joined the cast of Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut Man of Tai Chi.
- Bradley Whitford is in early talks to join Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks.
Hit the jump for details on these casting additions.
[This is a reprint of my review of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The movie, now entitled The Raid: Redemption, opens tomorrow in limited release.]
A good action movie is not simply throwing every single bullet, punch, slice, and explosion into a blender and dumping it onto a screen so it can punch you in the adrenaline gland. It has to be finessed. There has to be tension—the wind-up to the hit, the pull of the hammer. The Raid: Redemption writer-director Gareth Evans knows how to deliver some of the most magnificent action scenes in years, but more importantly, he knows how to build to those scenes. Working off a bare-bones, serviceable plot and characters built more for their fists than their personalities, The Raid is an action feast that keeps finding new ways to dish out inventive kills and fights, and keeps its blood-thirsty audience cheering.
In the past, you might have read a few posts by us about director Gareth Evans’ The Raid, an Indonesian action movie featuring a small but elite SWAT team raiding a criminal-infested highrise. It all started with this ridiculous trailer followed by the news that Screen Gems was interested in picking up the remake rights. On that front, Deadline is reporting that Screen Gems has tapped Brad Ingelsby (Run All Night) to script the remake. Ingelsby has recently made waves with the script “The Low Dweller” which brought him onto Screen Gems’ radar. Before the theatrical release of the original film (via Sony) on March 23rd, Sony Pictures Worldwide has announced their purchase of the sequel rights. Hit the jump for much more on that project.