When writer/director Gareth Evans and star Iko Uwais's second Indonesian action collaboration, The Raid, hit the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and general cinema release worldwide that spring, it was one hell of a sneak attack, gaining a (still-growing) rabid cult following less through traditional marketing hype than simply enthusiastic word of mouth. And so its sequel, The Raid 2: Berandal (the subtitle, meaning "thugs" in English, is being dropped by Sony Pictures Classics for the American release), has become one of the most anticipated releases of the season if not the entire year--and, accordingly, a red carpet premiere event was held for the film (which I must say, having seen it twice already, more than lives up to expectations and then some; the official review will be posted soon) in Hollywood on Wednesday, March 12. But in keeping with the film's cult appeal and down and dirty nature, it was a far more casual affair than the norm, being held in the low key venue Harmony Gold Preview House, with the afterparty being an unpretentious reception held in the lobby afterward.
Evans himself set the tone in his remarks before the film, asking Uwais, who joined Evans onstage along with with composer Joseph Trapanese, to "do some martial arts shit" prior to the feature presentation. Said "martial arts shit," and Evans's introduction, can be seen below.