The Star Malaysia

Thrills and spills

Speed demons, drift cars and revenge make the high-octane Evolusi KL Drift 2 a must-watch.

- By AZHARIAH KAMIN entertainm­ent@thestar.com.my

YOUNG director-actor Syamsul Yusof proved his sceptics wrong when his directoria­l debut Evolusi KL Drift raked in more than RM4mil in boxoffice takings two years ago. Syamsul released Bohsia: Jangan

Pilih Jalan Hitam a year later, which was also another success in the box-office (collecting RM4.5mil).

Now, three years later, Syamsul is back with the whiplash-inducing sequel Evolusi KL Drift 2 ( EKLD2) which is a dizzying ride of drift racers, cool cars, speed demons and daring action scenes that will take your breath away. And if the recent preview of EKLD2 was anything to go by, the film is, by far, Syamsul’s best directing job yet.

Despite being a newbie in the movie fraternity, Syamsul, 25, has proved his mettle with the movie’s edgy plot combining action-packed scenes, street gang rivalry, illegal races – and a bit of romance.

“It was not an easy job to work on this movie. I had to direct and act in it. It was tough! The pressure was enormous but you just have to carry both (roles) the best you can,” said the soft-spoken Syamsul after the movie preview recently.

“I was given 38 days by my father (the movie’s executive producer) to complete the filming of the movie. It strayed a bit and we were racing against time.”

In the first movie (which was filmed when Syamsul was only 22 in 2007), the focus was more on his screen character Zack, a young rebel who thrives on drift races with his friends Sham (Farid Kamil), Vee (Hetty Sarlene) and Joe (Aaron Aziz).

Picking up where the first film left off, Zack and Sham’s racing days are far from over. After hijinks in the illegal circuit, Zack is now a profession­al drifter who runs a small workshop. Meanwhile, Sham ends up disabled after an accident.

Even though Zack, Sham and bad boy/drug lord Joe lead largely different lives, they get entangled in a web of deceit and chaos. Also, the introducti­on of Aleeya (Scha Al Yahya) stirs the pot of envy, especially for Zack.

Joe who escaped from a neardeath accident (in the first movie) plans to exact revenge on Zack. And Joe, now with his side-kick Ery (played superbly by Sam Shaheizy), also aims to be the biggest drugtraffi­cker in the city.

According to Syamsul, when he wrote the new movie’s script, he wanted to highlight Joe and Zack’s roles as the main rivals in the movie.

“I made it a point to come up a simpler story-line to ensure that viewers understand and enjoy EKLD2 even though they may not have watched the first movie. I also wanted to achieve a balance between action and emotion by adding more dialogue,” said Syamsul, who admires US filmmaker Michael Bay’s action movies.

Given the movie’s RM2.5mil budget, Syamsul didn’t take things for granted, especially when it came to production costs.

“I had to be practical as an action movie needs an extra budget. In the end, it exceeded the initial budget by RM300,000,” he added, before revealing that over RM200,000 was spent on the four cars used. Two of them ended up in explosive scenes! “Overall, I’m happy and satisfied with the result of this movie. But seriously I’m still new and have a lot to learn to improve my craft.”

Syamsul said that filming was done in February last year in and around Kuala Lumpur, Port Klang, Selangor and Putrajaya.

On the film set, Syamsul had his fair share of bruises and dangerous turns.

He almost seriously injured himself when the car he was driving crashed (during filming) and the steel bar which supported the (in-car) camera landed just inches away from his face.

He added that for the first time in Malaysia, EKLD2 had a high speed chase scene at the riverbank of Jelatek river in Kuala Lumpur. This scene sees Zack and Aleeya pursued by baddies and boasts some really cool drift action around the city.

Aaron, who plays sexy and cool bad boy Joe, took on the huge responsibi­lity in his stride.

“Syamsul wanted me to play antagonist Joe but at the same time he also wanted the character to show some emotion to give more impact to the movie,” said Aaron, 34, who put his knowledge of Chinese dialects to good use.

“I speak Hokkien and a little bit of Cantonese. We got help from the crew with the language – it was fun,” remarked Aaron, adding that the actors had to do their own choreograp­hy for their fighting scenes.

■ Evolusi KL Drift 2 is co-produced by Skop Production and Grand Brilliance, and will be screened in 75 cinemas nationwide starting today.

 ??  ?? Road warriors: Zack (Syamsul Yusof) and Aleeya (Scha
Al Yahya) in the adrenalin-pumping Evolusi KL Drift 2.
Road warriors: Zack (Syamsul Yusof) and Aleeya (Scha Al Yahya) in the adrenalin-pumping Evolusi KL Drift 2.
 ??  ?? Transforme­rs: Action scenes like this are aplenty in the movie. Syamsul admits to being a big fan of Michael Bay’s action movies.
Transforme­rs: Action scenes like this are aplenty in the movie. Syamsul admits to being a big fan of Michael Bay’s action movies.
 ??  ?? Baddies: Ery (Sam Shaheizy, left) and Joe (Aaron Aziz) steal the show with their nefarious ways.
Baddies: Ery (Sam Shaheizy, left) and Joe (Aaron Aziz) steal the show with their nefarious ways.

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