Gareth Evans Retrospective: Introduction
Gareth Evans is something of an anomaly. A Welsh-born director who is known pretty much exclusively for directing Indonesian language martial arts films. He comes by it honestly, though; as thousands learned from his 2012 sleeper hit The Raid: Redemption, the man (with the help of his enormously gifted star and collaborator Iko Uwais) can put together a martial arts fight scene like nobody’s business. And as those fans who have followed his career can attest, he’s shown an aptitude for horror as well, not just in his pure genre experiment Safe Haven (one of the short film segments in the anthology-horror sequel V/H/S/2), but in the often explicit horror movie imagery of The Raid: Redemption and its sequel.
Initially, the plan was to review that sequel, The Raid 2: Berendal, which I saw last week. But upon delving into it, I decided Evans was an interesting enough director that I’m going to try something a little different: In the coming weeks, I’ll be covering Evans’ brief but rewarding career as a director thus far. His debut film, Footsteps, is a bit of a pain to track down, so I’ll be starting with his 2009 entry into martial arts films, Merantau, which I have not yet seen, before getting into The Raid films and Safe Haven. Expect the first entry by the end of this weekend.
Strap in, folks. It’s gonna get messy.
UPDATE: Turns out I was able to track down a copy of Footsteps after all! The bad news is, this means the first part of the series is gonna get bumped back a day or two. The good news is, it’ll now be a five-part retrospective instead of a four-part retrospective!