By now, you know whether or not you're excited for The Raid 2: Berandal; if you even just "liked" 2012's The Raid: Redemption, you're on board with Gareth Evans' sequel, and even if you haven't seen the original, there's a decent chance that the many trailers released for the new film's promotion have your ticket bought and sold. But that doesn't mean that Evans and co. can't expend their energy trying to raise your excitement even further, and so today they've released a ten-minute featurette that goes deep into the inner workings of The Raid 2's action and plot.
Following an extended, partially animated lead-in featuring the film's primary cast - which begins with Iko Uwais, reprising his role as Rama from The Raid: Redemption, and ends with Yayan "Mad Dog" Ruhian, returning for another go-round in a new role while serving as fight coordinator - we hear from Evans himself as he describes The Raid 2: Berandal's set-up. If you're not already aware, entry number two in the slowly-burgeoning franchise puts Rama square in the middle of larger-scale gang warfare following his exploits in The Raid: Redemption; now he's caught between rival mob factions, one led by local crime boss Bangun (Tio Pakusadewo), the other by Goto (Kenichi Endo), patriarch of an interloping Yakuza family.
So, with gang heavies and the corrupt cops on their payroll all on our hero's tail, Rama has to disappear, going undercover in the city's criminal underworld to work his way into the ranks of Bangun's syndicate. Once you listen to Evans talk about The Raid 2: Berandal's narrative, though, you'll realize that there's a lot more nuance to the story than that; it's big, complex, and almost in the same vein as Game of Thrones. Trust, paranoia, and tenuous alliances appear to lay the groundwork for the film.
All of this suggests that, unlike the original, "stripped down" isn't an apt descriptor here, which marks the biggest difference between the two movies at a glance. But what hasn't changed is Evans' philosophy on shooting and choreographing action; for him, a fight scene isn't just about cool moves strung together in the right sequence, but about pushing the story ahead, too. That's how he and Ruhian have approached the martial arts' work performed in The Raid 2: Berandal's titanic nineteen fight scenes, blending emotional investment with impressive physical prowess.
To go any further would be to give away the delights of watching the clip for oneself; suffice it to say that, like the movie itself, this featurette is utterly packed, down to the final minutes spent documenting the efforts of the cast and crew to film The Raid 2: Berandal's big car chase through Jakarta. (Put simply, it's amazing that everyone stayed safe on set during that stretch of production.) We're only weeks away until this hits theaters - we'll see shortly if it meets expectations and lives up to the hype.
The Raid 2: Berandal opens March 28th, 2014.