Once a week, The New York Times has a great feature called “Anatomy of a Scene” where a film director provides insight on his or her thought process behind the construction of a particular sequence. Given the fact that “The Raid 2” comes out on a limited release today, it only makes sense that Gareth Evans would be the latest director featured in the video series.
“The Raid 2,” of course, is Evans’s follow-up to “The Raid: Redemption,” which came out just over two years ago and created a lot of buzz among film enthusiasts everywhere, mostly thanks to the film’s well-choreographed fight scenes. What’s great about the “Anatomy of a Scene” episode, featuring a fight scene from the sequel, is that it helps us better understand Gareth Evans’s directorial choices when he shoots these set pieces.
As the director describes, the character featured in the scene is “a hitman who's fallen on tough times," who finds himself all alone inside a spacious nightclub. Evans made the decision to make the once-busy nightclub go completely empty, in an instant, to help give us a visual cue that something awful is about to happen this character. This moment of silence quickly leads us to an elaborate fight scene, where he explains that he prefers to give the audience a sense of geographical space, putting an extra amount of emphasis on wide shots to help give the film an added burst of energy. Compared to a typical Hollywood fight scene, where we often don’t really know what’s happening, Gareth Evans likes to film his fight sequences in a manner where you can feel and see everything.
The video is definitely worth a watch and for those who live in New York or LA, you can catch “The Raid 2” in theaters right now. One of our writers managed to catch the film at this year’s Sundance Festival and he praised it, calling it “that rare action film [that’s] precisely as beautiful as it is brutal, from the set design to the lighting to the way the film zooms between dirty back-alleys to gleaming penthouses” though he also admits that it’s “a slightly reduced echo of its predecessor.” Sounds like a blast nonetheless. Watch below.