Did actor Shaheizy Sam know Polis Evo would be a hit right from the start?

The action-comedy, produced by Astro Shaw and directed by Ghaz Abu Bakar, made RM17.96mil at the box office, surpassing The Journey’s RM17.28mil to become the top-grossing local film of all-time.

“When we started shooting, we felt this was something different,” says Shaheizy in a phone interview.

“The set was huge, and the explosions, the guns firing; we were playing with real explosives.”

Shaheizy adds while its production quality was an indication that Polis Evo would be a good film, he had no inkling of its record-breaking success. “It doesn’t mean a good film would get a high collection,” he says.

The appeal of Polis Evo may have something to do with the relationship between its two lead characters, who are often at each other’s throat due to their conflicting personalities.

Shaheizy plays big-city cop Khai who is transferred to Terengganu to investigate a drug syndicate alongside small-town cop Sani (Zizan Razak).

But Shaheizy and Zizan don’t take credit for the film’s success. “If you said it was because of Sam and I that did good, there were scenes that we weren’t in it that people said they loved as well. That means it’s not because of us, it’s the whole team,” Zizan reasons.

Zizan showed off his dramatic acting skills during a heated scene on Polis Evo; a rare occassion for the popular comedian.

“If it was just me, and I didn’t have help from Ghaz and Sam, I wouldn’t have been able to pull it off. I sat down with Sam for a long time to discuss that scene,” he shares.

The film’s marketing and promotional efforts, which started as early as five months before Polis Evo opened, played a significant role too.

“We did a comprehensive launch of the film which included putting out a soundtrack, trailer, game app and road tour,” explains Astro Shaw head and executive producer Najwa Abu Bakar.

She adds that the team also made it a point to efficiently respond to the audience via social media.

Najwa says the film has met with such overwhelming response that she heard a cinema-goer has watched it 11 times!

Shaheizy shares the achievement means a lot to the local film industry, which has been experiencing a slump since 2013.

“People have been making films but they’ve been flops. Filmmakers thought we don’t have supporters anymore. We still have supporters but it’s about how we go about making a film,” he says.

So with all this success, is a sequel in the works?

Najwa replies: “I can’t confirm it yet. When you talk about a sequel, the expectations become bigger and ultimately, the sequel has to have a very good story.”

Polis Evo is currently showing at cinemas nationwide.