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Iko Uwais, Stuber's villain, is Hollywood's next big action star



As J.J. Abrams is Risen Star Wars He Wanted Suspense – and Actors Who Enjoy the New Movies . For a particular scene in The Force Awakens as Raider assassins attempt to kidnap the Millennium Falcon from their galactic target, Han Solo, Abrams wanted action – and actor, it could feel real. So Abrams called Iko Uwais.

It was as much a fan request as a regieanfrage. Abrams spotted Uwais, as did many in Hollywood, through his work on The Raid: Redemption the Indonesian martial arts film of Welsh director Gareth Evans, who also died of The Hard an M.I.A. Music video and the Malay self-defense art form Silat. The Raid became one of the most famous action films of the century, offering close-quarters combat to make Jason Bourne a hooligan with street balls, and John Wick an inexperienced MMA fighter. John Wick Star Keanu Reeves was so fond of Uwais that he cast him in a small role for his directorial debut Man of Tai Chi .

Abrams wanted that Action. So he called and staffed Uwais and Raid co-star Cecep Arif Rahman to hunt Han. He also asked Uwais to choreograph a lightsaber fight for later in the movie. Uwais, a champion in Pencak Silat, had written and performed hundreds of murderous battle choreographies with knives and machetes. The concept he showed Abrams envisaged a duel and included a finishing move in which a fighter strategically retreats his lightsaber before he wins the back of his opponent, and then, as Uwais explains, "the dead with a quick move Lightsaber in the back of Abrams liked the choreography, but found the fight too violent for the film's PG-1

3 rating. Eventually it was cut out of the movie. In their own roles, Uwais and Rahman have less than five minutes of screen time: they perform a brief exchange with Solo. they are attacked by a monster with tentacles; They run, spin, shoot and die – mostly off the screen. When the "action" came to an end, the theatergoers probably had no idea that two of the world's best martial artists, who had helped to rejuvenate the most iconic movie franchise of all time, just stood around. Her role was essentially a cameo.

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Rendha Rais

Of course, Uwais does not see it that way and he was happy and honored that Abrams called him, Cameo or No was frankly rather surreal," says Uwais To live true passion, which is Silat, is certainly a privilege for me. "

Uwai's humility can be disarming, for a flashy elbow and throw-performer, his off-stage presence is surprisingly calm, he stands at about 5" 7 ", muscular but not dominating, and he smiles shyly and with the headlight-dislike native just for those who really never dreamed of a headlight.

Mark Wahlberg on Uwais: "badass".

Although Uwais is already an action superstar in the Eastern Hemisphere, it's only his non-cameo talents now coming to American screens. Last year, Uwais shot and fought alongside Mark Wahlberg as a threefold police investigator in mile 22, his first major American film role. Even surrounded by a cast that included Wahlberg, Ronda Rousey and John Malkovich, Uwais became the most electrifying part of the production, surpassing Actionstar Wahlberg in every action star sequence. During an interview for the film, Wahlberg Uwais simply called a "badass".

It's a nickname that more Hollywood elite has recognized.

Uwais will be seen this weekend as a pale blond super villain fighting Dave Bautista and Kumal Nanjiani in Stuber . In August, he will take the lead in his Netflix-produced martial arts series Wu Assassin's .

Despite all modesty, his surprise that people like Abrams, Reeves and Wahlberg even know who he is, Uwais could soon be the most sought-after martial arts star in the world.

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	<span class= Rendha Rais

The legend of Silat tells the story of a woman, Rama Sukana, who witnesses two wild beasts, and then takes these movements into a unique fighting style: Silat In some Regions are among the fighting animals a monkey and a tiger, others tell the story of a tiger and a hawk. (Uwais' figure in The Raid films is also referred to as "Rama.") In the human world Silat attacks with all body parts, grabs and throws, traditional weapons are knives and daggers.

Uwais began practicing Pencak Silat, an Indonesian-born variant, at the age of 10. He learned under his grandfather H. Achmad Bunawar , a master of form and founder of a silat school in Jakarta, where Iko was born The center of Jakarta was a dangerous place for a teenager in the 1990s, when Indonesia was overrun by economic difficulties and largely authoritarian rule. For Uwais, Silat was not just a family tradition. it also proved to be a necessary survivability.

One day at school, an older classmate jumped at him with five other friends because he thought he had a beef with Uwais. Uwais reflexively began to block blows, ignoring the five cronies and concentrating on one classmate. It felt like a spontaneous movement – warding off the six older children. He suffered a few bruises, but managed to escape unharmed. When Uwais told his grandfather, he just smiled, advising Uwais to stay away from fights, and then trained him even harder. Uwais was 17.

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Uwais says he always avoided fighting at school." That's absolutely nothing Silat is about, "he says. It is a self-defense and a spiritual martial art. The main focus is on respect for others to make your mind and body healthy. Martial arts skills without values ​​and responsibility can be dangerous. "

Rendha Rais

In 2007, director Gareth Evans moved to Indonesia and started working on a documentary film. When he introduced Silat, he went to see Bunawar. At this time, the 24-year-old Uwais drove a truck for a telecommunications company. He had fulfilled his dream of playing professional football for a local club for a short time and won the national Pencak-Silat championship two years earlier.

During the shooting of Bunawar, Evans and his wife Rangga Maya Barack Uwais noticed a screen presence in his performance at a practice session Nsed and offered him a starring role in their upcoming project, Merantau, a feature film promoting Silat. The film became a cult hit, a martial arts film that was liberated from shrill acrobatics and was committed to a fast, real and brutal choreography. It made Uwais a local star.

Shortly thereafter, Uwais and Evans set to shoot their breakout project, The Raid: Redemption an action film with a location: A skyscraper, a group of SWAT officers, including Uwias and Floor for Floor of Evil . (Evans made The Raid with only $ 1.1 million.) Evans and Uwais then made the sequel The Raid 2: Berandal which premiered in Sundance, with even larger battle scenes and one Auto Chase murdered 327 people on the screen, causing an audience to faint and Malaysia initially banned the film, and fortified Evans & # 39; and Uwais & # 39; Status in the world of martial arts cinema: They were at the top.

Then Hollywood called.

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Uwais and director Gareth Evans

Larry Busacca Getty Images

In August 2018 as Mile 22 and its first major Uwais already filmed its next Project, Stuber. He had also returned to the East to The Night Comes for Us (Indonesia) and Triple Threat [19459004zudrehen] (China) – both poor-earning but Uwais was as busy as ever.

By the end of August however, Mile 22 had been thoroughly destroyed by critics and at the US This failure also meant that Uwai's most successful role in the US to date remains S remains tarred cameo every 3 minutes. [19659002] But the success of Uwais is not in number It is almost frustrating how satisfied Uwais appears despite his mild American reception. "I'm just grateful that I have the opportunity to introduce traditional Indonesian martial arts to a global audience," he underlines his role as a choreographer and cultural ambassador. he sees his role in generating shock and awareness.

But why, although Abrams, Reeves, and Wahlberg consider Uwais the next big thing, is not Uwais the next big thing?

Part of Uwai's lackluster American reception is branded into the history of Hollywood martial arts.

Jackie Chan, Uwai's own inspiration, was 26 when he appeared in his first American movie, The Big, Brawl a film that had only marginal successes at the American box office, but was critically reviewed by critics has been. Chan's outbreak in the US came later and with Rush Hour (1998), when Chan was 34 years old.

36-year-old Uwais faces the same challenges Chan – and also Chan's companion Hong Kong film star Donnie Yen – American directors in particular, who are not sure how to use his talent for the success of a film , (Yen was also cast in the new Star Wars franchise and had little to do despite his martial arts talents.)

Most Hollywood directors lack the eye (and ear) for action. When Uwais explains the aesthetics of Silat, he does so in percussive language: "Silat is not just block and punch; it has a specific rhythm, a dynamic. "Every combat scene, every block and stroke must be edited to a strike . Raid Director Gareth Evans would use this bar even for screen shots.)

One of the reasons why Chan, Yen and Uwais had (and had) such a difficult time adapting to westerns Cinema is deafness among Hollywood directors; You can not edit the special fighting and comedy rhythms of these actors.

According to Uwais, the result is that American films are starting to be "overworked" and to obscure fighting movements. They transform symphony into cacophony. Directors, Uwais says, must compensate those who lack the fighting skills. They use aggressive camera work to make movements look aggressive. Hence all the shaky handheld cameras and fast fighting sequences you see. (Yen's Star Wars fight lasts less than 30 seconds and cuts 19. Uwais's first hospital combat scene cuts in mile 22 19 times in the first 13 seconds.) [19659002] Quick-Cutting allows principals to simulate aggression at low cost without showing aggression, the cause and effect of combat movements that take months to prepare and shoot – and possibly beat the movie with a "limited" rating.

And until recently, the R-Rated cinema did not win at the box office. The success of Chad Stahelski's John Wick franchise, which undertakes major choreographic efforts in the name of realism, could help to improve this economic thinking. But until Hollywood is able to lean behind a fighter like Uwai's or Yen's to play a major role, their ability to act will likely be hidden, reworked, or simply undervalued. (And while this little image may not complicate Uwai's, it should make film fans more difficult, so why do not you want a well-choreographed action movie?)

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Uwais in The Raid: Redemption

IMDB

But perhaps Uwais's films are not those that Western critics or viewers want to see.

In his one-star review of The Raid wrote the critic Roger Ebert that the film has "no dialogue, no plot, no characters, no humanity. Have you noticed how cats and dogs look on a TV screen where things jump? "At this level of the reptile complex of the brain, the film speaks."

Asked if he considers his films overly violent, Uwais notes "I always try my best to bring the beauty of martial arts to the screen," he says. "The fight is finally an aesthetic." An art form. Still, it's an American cinema that's getting more and more dirty, or left in the background while Amateur A-listeners are cutting it out, or crossing lightsabers, not humanity.


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