The action film genre is challenging to show ingenuity and originality. There are only so many ways that you can use bullets, bombs, and fists to make audiences happy. That is why when an action movie feels entirely original, it is remembered. In 2011, Gareth Evans gave us the genre-busting, The Raid. With a film that both audiences and critics agree on completely (it scored 87% with both on Rotten Tomatoes), it was only a matter of time before someone tried to reboot it. However, news has broken that The Raid reboot won’t actually follow the original.
When speaking with Comicbook, the director of the film dropped a bomb on fans who are already conflicted about the decision to revisit the beloved classic. “It’s not a remake as such; it’s a reimagining,” Patrick Hughes said. Hughes is known chiefly for his back-to-back action comedies, The Hitman’s Bodyguard and The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. Whether that means he is planning to inject more of the Ryan Reynolds-esque sarcastic comedy into The Raid reboot or not remains to be seen. While the original film was stylistically known for its bone-crushing action and not witty dialogue, Hughes isn’t entirely inexperienced with such films. Before saddling up with Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, he directed some of the biggest action stars in history in The Expendables 3. We know what you are thinking. There is still some camp in that film, and it doesn’t lower your concerns for the reboot. He also directed Red Hill, a 2010 small-budget Australian western with strong, bloody violence and virtually zero humor.
If you are still concerned about the status of The Raid reboot, Hughes continues in the interview to talk about the difference between the two genres. He expresses his excitement in going from action comedies to something in a very real-world nitty-gritty. He calls this film a straight action-thriller that is on a saga level. Could that mean that he is looking at the possibility of a franchise of films? The Raid did get a sequel from original director Gareth Evans. Evans eventually stepped away from a third film. The possibility of a franchise definitely exists, and the fans won’t be against seeing more if Hughes nails the feel of the original.
In the realm of Hollywood reboot and remake obsession, The Raid seems to be one that will live or die by the nuance. If Hughes plans to move away from recreating the original film exactly and towards a take more inspired by feeling, the margin of error will be extremely small. At the end of the day, this reboot is a product of a lesser of two evils. According to the IMDB Trivia, this film is only possible because Stage 6 Films partially sold the rights to fund The Raid 2 back in 2014. When fans get their first look at it, they will have to decide if having The Raid reboot exist was worth the privilege of having The Raid 2 live as well.