What's a Welshman doing making a pencak silat action film in Indonesia? Showing Hollywood exactly how it's done
Will it take a Welshman-directed Indonesian action film to show Hollywood exactly how it should be done? According to swooning bravos from both critics and audiences alike, it's looking like a definitive yes.
With superlative praise like "the best action movie in decades" bestowed on The Raid: Redemption on the international film festival circuit earlier this year, you'd think that Gareth Evans (picture) was a multiple-award-winning director armed with an A-list action superstar as his leading man. Nope - the made-in-Jakarta film is only the 31-year-old film-maker's third feature film, and stars a truck driver and Indonesian martial art pencak silat student named Iko Uwais.
Scenes from The Raid: Redemption
The action-packed tale of a SWAT team on a mission to capture one of Jakarta's most powerful crimelords holed up in a building that doubles as a drug lab is a premise simple and straightforward enough. But it is what Evans manages to do with it that has caught the international film community by storm. Now that he's introduced the world to the martial arts styling of pencak silat, Evans is set for two sequels and a US remake, of which he will be serving as the excutive producer, and Uwais (who also appeared in Evan's first film, Merantau Warrior) as the action choreographer.
Going from pencil-pusher in Wales to director of the year's cult action movie? It's a Hollywood dream - set in Jakarta.
The Raid: Redemption opens in cinemas tomorrow.