Photo: Sony Picture Classics
Yesterday was a very exciting day for action movie fans: director Gareth Huw Evans tweeted that he'll be starting filming on January 19th for the sequel to “The Raid: Redemption,” which will be titled “The Raid: Retaliation” in the US. He also announced that the story will pick up a mere two hours after the first movie ends, giving protagonist Rama (Iko Uwais) almost no time to unwind after the hundreds of men he killed.
Evans has previously given some indication as to what audiences can expect from the sequel, which is that the famous minimalism of setting (one building) and narrative (bad guys are in the building, Iko Uwais must kill every single one of them) are being exchanged for a more expansive array of villains (one of whom is evocatively named “Hammer Girl”), with “The Raid: Retaliation” taking place across the entire city.
Characters and setting are one thing, but the main attraction in the “Raid” movies, as in Evans' debut feature “Merentau,” is the brutally beautiful martial art that is pencak silat. A form that combines speed with devastating force, silat is also a relatively novel form for Western martial arts moviegoers, whose main exposure to it thus far has been through Evans' movies, which have been outstanding showcases. With silat masters Joe Taslim and Yayan Ruhian no longer available for narrative continuity reasons—a euphemism to avoid blatant spoilers—the franchise adds the blindingly fast Cecep Arif Rahman, whose moves truly have to be seen to be believed.
No release date has yet been set for “The Raid: Retaliation,” though it's expected to be completed and unveiled at some point in 2013. Action fans can ease their anticipatory fever with this demonstration video of Cecep Arif Rahman's silat mastery: