After all, it's just a ride….

The Raid 2 (2014) & Hackney Picturehouse Gareth Evans Q&A

riad2You remember The Raid, right? That was 2012’s blistering action genre smash which seemingly came from nowhere to (cliché alert) stick a shot of adrenaline into the flat-lining combat movie paradigm? Well, inevitably the enormous commercial and critical success of the film made a sequel inevitable, and London was blessed with a number of preview screenings last week to get tongues wagging and the blood pumping before the official release this weekend. I dodged a bullet by missing the numerous Cineworld screenings last Monday which were infamously plagued with a host of technical fuck-ups, opting to take a nice leisurely stroll over to the fantastic Hackney Picturehouse instead to catch the film later in the week alongside a subsequent Q&A with director Gareth Evans.  It was quite a screening as the fans were out in force,  previews for genre films are usually good fun from an atmosphere perspective, enticing the gorehounds out for an early peek at the latest incendiary instalment of an instantly enshrined franchise. I’ve already published my film review here but I figured I wouldn’t be doing the evening justice if I didn’t mention some other dimensions of the event, just to get you in the mood here is a deleted scene which was judged as to sedate and pedestrian to be included in the final massacre;

So yes this was one of those screenings where painfully sympathetic groans and frantic applause echoed around the auditorium at the movies crucial bone-crushing moments, the film is far from perfect and utterly bloated but when those action sequences blast across the screen all is forgiven. Mr. Evans was a fairly affable and friendly chap, interviewed by Empire’s  Chris Hewitt he had a amusing story that as a kid he and his brother would love watching potentially violent movies on VHS with their Dad who would rent the films with them, and then sit and watch the movies to ensure he wasn’t warping his young progeny’s minds. The problem was that his approach to this was to pause the film and usher them into the hallway when a potentially violent moment was incoming, so the impressionable young kids would be standing there hearing the chainsaw sequence in Scarface say where the sounds alone conjured far more gruesome imagery than De Palma would be permitted to soak up on screen. In terms of production it wasn’t surprising to hear that every set-piece in The Raid movies are storyboarded to death, then a couple of run-through are shot with a camcorder with the actors just to be sure that the angles work and the blow / block rhythm will work in the edit, with any adjustments or further inspiration introduced from this process into the final shooting script. With a STRONG spoiler warning, here is some background material which you can bookmark for later;

I do like the Hackney Picturehouse, it’s got a huge Screen 1 where this was projected and as I said it draws an expectant crowd who were wincing, groaning and clapping in unison at key moments which is all part of the sick celluloid fun, and as I alluded to in my review there are a couple of great new action movie characters in this picture which are always welcome to join the, erm pantheon of pain? OK, that’s a bit silly isn’t it? I’ll shut up now. Here’s the trailer again;

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