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Merantau

Merantau - Iko Uwais, Gareth Evans, posterDirector: Gareth Evans (as G.H Evans)

Writer: Gareth Evans (as G.H Evans)

Cast: Iko Uwais, Sisca Jessica, Alex Abbad, Mads Koudal, Yusuf Aulia, Yayan Ruhian, Laurent Buson, Donny Alamsyah, Christine Hakim

Cert: 15

Running time: 107mins (International version)

Year: 2009

The lowdown: The breakthrough film for Raid director Gareth Evans, Merantau is a martial arts gem. A showcase for telecom-company-dispatch-driver-turned-action-superstar Iko Uwais and the Pencak Silat fighting style, this riotous adrenalin rush pays affection tribute to old school kung fu cinema. Uwais is perfect as the country boy pitted against gangsters and slave traders, while Evans directs like he’s got the hottest superhero property on the planet. Glorious fun.

Merantau - Iko UwaisMerantau - Alex Abbad, Iko Uwai, Sisca Jessica

The full verdict: Gareth Evans’ low budget debut ...

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The Raid 2: Berandal

The Raid 2 - posterDirector: Gareth Evans

Writer: Gareth Evans

Cast: Iko Uwais, Arifin Putra, Tio Pakusodewo, Alex Abbad, Ken’ichi Endô, Julie Estelle, Very Tri Yulisman, Cecep Arif Rahman, Yayan Ruhian

Cert: 18

Running time: 150mins

Year: 2014

medium_5

The lowdown: The Godfather Pt II of heroic bloodshed movies and surpassing the ballistic brilliance of the first instalment, The Raid 2: Berandal is a five star encore. Iko Uwais returns as beleaguered cop Rama, sent undercover to bust the criminal empire and corrupt police force hinted at in the final moments of the first movie. Yakuza crime movie cool slams headlong into Jacobean revenge tragedy, punctuated by some of the most exhilarating, red raw action ever slammed onto the silver screen. Watch it. Don’t make us tell you twice.

The Raid 2 - Iko Uwais, prison riotThe Raid 2 - Iko Uwais, Cecep Arif Rahman

The full verdict: The R...

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Carnival Freakshow Chaos: Gareth Evans On V/H/S/2

VHS2 - Gareth Evans intro at FrightFest 2013For a man who single-handedly re-energised the action genre, Gareth Evans is charmingly self-effacing.

You’d never guess the gregarious, affable 6ft+ Welshman could orchestrate the majestically choreographed mayhem of The Raid, but that’s exactly what he did last year. And reset the action movie bar in the process.

Even more surprising is that Evans (along with co-director Timo Tjahjanto) concocted the best, most terrifying segment of anthology horror V/H/S/2, the sequel to 2012’s cult smash.

Evans and Tjahjanto’s instalment, Safe Haven, concerns a documentary crew filming a suspicious religious cult led by the mysterious, unnerving Father (Epy Kusnanda). And it happens to be on the day of reckoning, all caught on camera.

We caught up with Evans to discuss his contribution to V/H/S...

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V/H/S/2

VHS2 posterDirectors: Jason Eisener, Adam Wingard, Gareth Evans, Eduardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto

Cast: Adam Wingard, Jay Sanders, Fachry Albar, Hannah Al Rashid, Zack Ford

Cert: 18

Running time: 96mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Follow-up to the hit anthology original that retains the same structure but loses some of the surprise and scares that made V/H/S a winner.  The Raid director Gareth Evans delivers the best episode, with other instalments coming from Jason (Hobo with a Shotgun) Eisener and Eduardo (The Blair Witch Project) Sanchez, plus You’re Next’s Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, who previously contributed to V/H/S.

VHS2 - Adam Wingard, eyeVHS2 - Eduardo Sanchez

The full verdict: It is fitting Eduardo Sanchez contributes to V/H/S2 (aka S-VHS) as he practically invented the found footage genre as co-director of The Blai...

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