The one question writer/director Gareth Evans hates is the one about how a Welshman became the leading light of Indonesian cinema. So I didn’t ask. There was too much to discuss anyway about his masterpiece, THE RAID 2: BERENDAL. According to both men, it was all about the details, From choreographing a stunning prison riot that takes place in several inches of mud, to a car chase like no other that finds star Iko Uwais, as the honest cop gone undercover in a violent crime family, fighting for his life in the footwell of a speeding taxicab, Details that included seeming quiet moments that were as powerful as any of the action sequences, and imagining detailed backstories for all the characters, even if those backstories were never seen on screen.
When we spoke on March 11, 2014, Uwais through interpreter Gary Gartenberg, one of those backstories, Evans explained the one for the film’s iconic assassins, Baseball Bat Boy and Hammer Girl. They also talked about why they find silat, the martial art form used in the film, so enchanting, and what it was like for Evans to discover first-hand (first-gut?) just what sort of punch Uwais can deliver.