“THE RAID 2″: Who is Hammer Girl?
Like its predecessor, THE RAID 2 is not wanting for chaos. Across its crime saga-fit runtime, there is no shortage of skin to slash, heads to smash, glass and bones to break, or bullets flying. But while almost every sequence is more spectacular than the last, it’s likely you’ll emerge from the film with one villain’s name on the tip of your tongue. Like Mad Dog before her, Hammer Girl is an impossibly violent piece of work immediately burned into your brain. Using the household tool as a natural extension of Tiger Style, and masking something with those bug big sunglasses, the beautiful, ferocious character is unknowable and so very cool.
Who is she, though? At the THE RAID 2’s World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, I found myself curious if writer-director Gareth Evans considered such. As he tells it, Hammer Girl as a character and concept, had lived in his head since development on THE RAID 2 began, when it was a standalone story titled BERANDAL. “I wanted to have this pop icon look to someone. In the first film, MERANTAU, we had a lot of people maybe mention some misogynistic quotes about the lack of a strong female character. Because I was going to do BERANDAL before THE RAID, Hammer Girl existed since then. She was my answer to that. I’ll give you someone really aggressive, hard, tough, cold blooded, but beautiful, elegant and capable of killing you with a hammer,” he tells FANGORIA.
So she is, but does Hammer Girl only exist as a mystery, with only part of her life exposed when her sunglasses are removed? Did Evans hold himself back from revealing all? Yes.
Note: Character details revealed ahead…
“I have it. I have the story for her,” says Evans. “Basically, what we wanted to do is this: Baseball Bat Man and Hammer Girl are brother and sister. The way they got into that underworld is they suffered at the hands of an abusive father, and one night they just snapped and they both, in a weird fit of teamwork, killed him. Before the police got to the place, Bejo’s [the main villain of THE RAID 2] man had recruited them already, brought them in, took care of them, and then provided them with this place where they could grow up. But, it’s basically training them to become assassins that would just follow every command. I wanted to put that there’s something childlike about both of them. Baseball Bat Man is always like, ‘Oh, give me the ball.’ That’s such a child thing to do. For Hammer Girl, we did a moment where they’re about to go off and fight against Rama. She’s being dragged out of her chair and she reaches behind quickly to grab her Hammer. It’s like a kid thing.”
“The coin spinning,” he continues, “my idea for that was every time their father would try to decide which one he wanted to beat up, he would spin the coin. Whichever side it landed, that’s the one he’d pick. Since then, she spun the coin.”
THE RAID 2 is in NY & LA theaters Friday, March 28. For more, see our full interview with Evans in FANGORIA #332 and keep an eye on FANGORIA.com this week for a chat with Hammer Girl herself, Julie Estelle. See our review of THE RAID 2 here.