Sometimes the film you’re watching has a scene that you just can’t comprehend; you start asking yourself how in the world they could have pulled a shot like that off, and you’re absolutely sure there must have been some green-screen involved.
Though this scene may not be entirely unbelievable, it’s one of those scenes for me. When The Raid was first released in 2012, it pretty much caught America by surprise by being one of the best action films of the year, and undoubtedly the best choreographed film of that year. This year, we got The Raid 2, the bigger, grander, more action-packed sequel that was originally written before the first.
But as grand as the two films get in their action, the best part about them is how practically they’re shot. And the car chase is one of the most stunningly shot sequences I’ve ever seen in a film.
One really important thing to note here is that both Raid films are Indonesian, and they don’t get too Hollywood with their effects. Even the driving scenes are shot on actual roads, and the most versatile shot of the sequence was shot entirely on-set as well.
Consisting of just one continuous shot, the camera panned through the street, into the car, and back out through the other side. So how’d that happen? If this was Spielberg, he’d probably have the guys at ILM do their work, like he did for the car scene in War of the Worlds. Gareth Evans and the crew on The Raid 2, however, accomplished the shot by literally having someone dress up as a car seat and take the camera from outside. If you want to cut right to the actual shot being made, skip to 1:50.
You can watch the entire scene itself here:
Actors and crew members always talk about how there’s really no glamour when you’re actually making the film, and they’re right in a way. It’s hard work, and I can’t imagine how frustrating that scene must have been to capture. It’s funny how ridiculous everything looks in behind-the-scenes shots sometimes, because those are always the shots that end up turning out the most awe-inspiring.