Action cinema fans know the name Gareth Evans, and the rest of the world is starting to take notice. The Raid 2, currently in theaters, continues Evans’ Indonesian crime saga about a rookie cop who becomes embroiled in a criminal underworld after being trapped in a Jakarta tenement. Evans helped introduce the Indonesian martial art pencak silat to mainstream audiences, choreographing stunning fight sequences and shooting gonzo-style action scenes. Naturally, we’re curious about his favorite fights in cinema, so the good folks at SlashFilm read our minds and spoke to the filmmaker to find out more.
Evans discusses his top five favorite action scenes in film in this video, and leads the discussion with two Jackie Chan movies. Sammo Hung’s Wheels on Meals features a fight between the action icon and former kickboxing champ Benny Urquidez — regarded as one of the greatest martial arts moments captured on film. Evans reveals the scene helped him learn how to utilize props during fights and choreograph movement within an entire space. The famous scene where Urquidez performs a spin-kick so fast it extinguishes the flames from nearby candles is naturally Evans' favorite part.
The filmmaker also throws some love at 1986’s Armour of God — the movie that almost took Chan’s life after cracking his skull during a stunt. Evans cites the extremes of Chan’s style in the film — from playful to extremely violent — as one of the movie's more compelling aspects. He goes on to note that the scene’s rhythm and pacing, as well as the complexity of choreography, taught him timing and precision, discussing this influence on the soundtracks for his films. The number three spot goes to the beloved Nada and Frank "sunglasses" fight (between Roddy Piper and Keith David) in They Live.
Click on to find out what other action scenes made the cut.
The Raid 2 is currently in theaters. We highly recommend you check it out.
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