The Raid's Director Has Released a Short Film About Samurai

The Raid's Director Has Released a Short Film About Samurai

Pre Vis Action brings the fight choreography of Gareth Evans' The Raid to an age of samurai warriors.

If you're an action movie fan and somehow haven't watched The Raid or its sequel, you need to fix that right away. These films, written and directed by Gareth Evans, blend Indonesian martial arts and fast-paced gunplay into gorgeously brutal films that left audiences at the edge of their seats. But modern action scenes aren't all Evans can produce - take Pre Vis Action, a short film that applies the same principles to samurai sword-fighting.

Pre Vis Action follows a messenger tasked with delivering a peace treaty between two rival lords. There's just one problem: Someone wants the fighting to continue, and has hired assassins to intercept her delivery. What they didn't expect was for the messenger to be an accomplished warrior herself. The end result is a wonderfully shot two-against-one fight that's as incredible as you imagine.

The project was originally a test action sequence designed by The Raid's Gareth Evans, Yayan Ruhian, and Cecep Arif Rahman. It's goal was simple: Translate the style and rhythm of The Raid into a PG-13 experience that all audiences can enjoy. Pre Vis Action pulls this off wonderfully, showing that you don't need graphic violence to create a dramatically tense action scene.

Evan's team is still working on The Raid 3, which isn't expected to hit theaters until at least 2018. Yet somehow, this footage almost has me wishing Evans could working on a full-length samurai film instead. Here's hoping when The Raid series is completed, Evans will take a crack at the genre.

Source: YouTube, via GamesRadar

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Beautifully shot, and the atmosphere was great- but I couldn't buy into the combat itself. In Iaido, we were taught that most fights weren't that flashy, and some of these deflections looked like they would have taken one of her two(!) katanas right out of her hands. But I'm sure for people who can shut that part of the brain off, it'll be awesome.

Camera felt a bit shaky.

But other than that, yeah, that was pretty sweet.

Somehow I doubt this Evans fellow is going to be struggling to find work in the foreseeable future.

the December King:
In Iaido, we were taught that most fights weren't that flashy, and some of these deflections looked like they would have taken one of her two(!) katanas right out of her hands. But I'm sure for people who can shut that part of the brain off, it'll be awesome.

Well, yeah. That basically goes without saying for any kind of combat in film.

Real world fist-fights, even between trained and experienced fighters, don't look remotely like anything you'd see on a screen. The real thing is a lot messier and clumsier. Same goes for shootouts. In the real world many soldiers go through a firefight without ever getting a clear look at an enemy.

I don't know much about sword fighting but I can only assume something similar applies.

Zhukov:

Well, yeah. That basically goes without saying for any kind of combat in film.

Real world fist-fights, even between trained and experienced fighters, don't look remotely like anything you'd see on a screen. The real thing is a lot messier and clumsier. Same goes for shootouts. In the real world many soldiers go through a firefight without ever getting a clear look at an enemy.

I don't know much about sword fighting but I can only assume something similar applies.

You're right, of course- I guess it just really stuck out to me this time, because it's the one martial art I have (a little) experience in.

Fanghawk:
Translate the style and rhythm of The Raid into a PG-13 experience that all audiences can enjoy. Pre Vis Action pulls this off wonderfully, showing that you don't need graphic violence to create a dramatically tense action scene.

I disagree.
The camera is way too shaky. I guess this style was chosen to hide the lacking combat but even then it fails. I can clearly make out that the blows lack power. Hiding or cutting on hits doesn't help either.
This is no better than any Hollywood action production of the last decade.

I love Evans and both Raid movies, but "Raid 3"? I was kind of hoping he'd branch out with something new.

certainly the camera was shaky but the fights were pretty cool. but felt more like a film fight compared to the raid movies were the fights actually felt more real.
raid 3 is a movie im looking forward to. the last 2 were really awesome.

This was actually really underwhelming, especially considering the source.
The action and coreoghraphy is extremely stiff and stilted, and even the great Yayan Ruhian looks almost amateurish in this.
If this was a fanmade or amateur film it could be considered a real achievement, but this didn't do anything for me.

Its not exactly good, its a real mess to follow due to the shakyness and the lack of colors dont help the raccord at all since it doesnt even use many key elements of the scenario to help.

Zhukov:

Well, yeah. That basically goes without saying for any kind of combat in film.

Real world fist-fights, even between trained and experienced fighters, don't look remotely like anything you'd see on a screen. The real thing is a lot messier and clumsier. Same goes for shootouts. In the real world many soldiers go through a firefight without ever getting a clear look at an enemy.

I don't know much about sword fighting but I can only assume something similar applies.

Yeah, you're more or less correct. I practice Historical European Martial Arts fairly regularly (German longsword specifically), and most sword fights, especially between unarmored opponents, typically end in about 2-3 seconds. Maybe a little longer if both opponents are very skilled. It typically goes something like (this is not all-encompassing, by the way):

1. Person A attacks Person B. Person B fails to defend properly and dies.
2. Person A attacks Person B. Person B immediately defends, counters, and kills Person A.
3. Person A attacks Person B. Person B defends and tries to counter, but Person A counters their counter and kills Person B.
4. Person A and Person B both attack each other at the same time. It's a double hit and they both die/get heavily injured.

This video does a pretty good job of showing what a sword fight might actually look like:

Gotta agree with most of the comments. It actually felt a bit clumsy. I never got that feeling from any of the fights in the Raid movies. It just wasn't as slick. Felt like the actors were holding back for fear of injuring one another (and maybe they were :-) )

The best Samurai choreography i've seen is probably in the Rurouni Kenshin live action movies. I was surprisingly impressed by their quality actually. Probably due to the fact that he uses a reverse blade sword and therefore they can actually strike people somewhat realistically.

shapaza:

Zhukov:

Well, yeah. That basically goes without saying for any kind of combat in film.

Real world fist-fights, even between trained and experienced fighters, don't look remotely like anything you'd see on a screen. The real thing is a lot messier and clumsier. Same goes for shootouts. In the real world many soldiers go through a firefight without ever getting a clear look at an enemy.

I don't know much about sword fighting but I can only assume something similar applies.

Yeah, you're more or less correct. I practice Historical European Martial Arts fairly regularly (German longsword specifically), and most sword fights, especially between unarmored opponents, typically end in about 2-3 seconds. Maybe a little longer if both opponents are very skilled. It typically goes something like (this is not all-encompassing, by the way):

1. Person A attacks Person B. Person B fails to defend properly and dies.
2. Person A attacks Person B. Person B immediately defends, counters, and kills Person A.
3. Person A attacks Person B. Person B defends and tries to counter, but Person A counters their counter and kills Person B.
4. Person A and Person B both attack each other at the same time. It's a double hit and they both die/get heavily injured.

This video does a pretty good job of showing what a sword fight might actually look like:

I do have to ask though: those swords seem REALLY light and flimsy. I'm not an expert on Medieval sword fighting, but something like that seems like it would have trouble cutting through even hardened leather, let alone chain mail or plate mail.

Ihateregistering1:

I do have to ask though: those swords seem REALLY light and flimsy. I'm not an expert on Medieval sword fighting, but something like that seems like it would have trouble cutting through even hardened leather, let alone chain mail or plate mail.

I've done quite a bit of sparring with steel swords (blunt ones of course, if they were sharp... that would end pretty badly for me) and I can safely say that they're not flimsy at all. They hit HARD. Even with protective gear on, you can still get nasty bruises from them.

Additionally, the techniques being done in the video I posted fall under the category of "blossfechten" or "unarmored fighting" in the German longsword system. The lack of armor means that any well-delivered cut, thrust, or slice to the body would be almost instantly fatal or incapacitating.

Historically speaking, swords weren't really the first choice when it came to dealing with armor, as a sword blade is very unlikely to cut through either mail or plate armor. You'd usually want to use weapons like poleaxes or maces to deal with armor. If you are facing an armored opponent with a sword though, you'd use "half-sword" techniques wherein you put one hand on the blade itself and use it to thrust into the gaps of the armor. You can also use the pommel-end of the sword as a makeshift bludgeon. Like so:

 

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