Movie Review: Rampage (2009)
I’m one of the few people who consider Uwe Boll an important film-maker. It may be sad but it’s true. But let me explain my reasoning. Though Mr. Boll, who finances his own cinematic exploits, has not directed a single note-worthy film (except for being notoriously bad), he shows dedication and balls. It takes a certain kind of person to direct a film, denounce almost all systems of modern belief in it, and then appear on some Fox television show and denounce the cast members — but my man, Boll has done it and this is why he deserves respect. Plus he hates Michael Bay, so it shows that he has a finely tuned taste in all things cinema.
His latest film, Rampage, is surprisingly not a video game adaptation and it follows Boll’s shift from pseudo-blockbuster hits to pseudo-art house originals (which started with his film Stoic — only memorable for a scene in which the protagonist is forced to eat tooth-paste). Now, Rampage, is a sort of existentialist play. Its protagonist, Bill Williamson (Brendan Fletcher), is quite similar to the characters of the Samuel Beckett classic Waiting for Godot, in which he is tired of his tedious everyday routines — which aren’t really evident in the film as he only really spills coffee on himself and has a waitress knock his chicken dinner on the ground before going on a rage-induced killing spree, but hey, an official synopsis never lies.
It really gets interesting during the thirty minute mark in which Bill constructs a full metal armor and arms himself to the teeth with several different explosives and firearms. But this is where the real implausibilities start to flow and these are so important in proving a point that I feel compelled to list them and so I will do so:
- Williamson somehow manages to maintain extreme agility although he is wearing what one may safely assume is an immensely heavy protective suit and several pounds of explosives.
- Almost no police officers try to subdue Williamson as he freely roams across town killing innocent bystanders.
- He fires thousands of rounds but is only shown to reload once.
- Why are there cars on the roads if the radio clearly states that there is an unidentified gunman shooting in that direction? You’d think that the police would set up barriers or something.
- In one scene, he enters a crowded bingo hall in full armor while carrying machine guns and nobody even looks at him. In fact, he instigates the announcer by knocking something off her desk! You’d think that she would notice the two loaded machine guns at his sides.
But Bill isn’t the only one on the mission for change. His friend Evan Drince (Shaun Sipos) is equally as radical. However, Evan simply talks about change on the internet and never acts upon his beliefs. There is an interesting contrast between the two characters as Bill, at first seems like he’s just ranting about seemingly random things, and Evan who shows to have the realer of convictions. But tables quickly turn and Evan is shown to be more and more of a hypocrite which made me feel gullible for feeding into his bullshit at the beginning of the film.
To be honest, both of them seemed batshit insane. I never sympathized with Williamson, because like most people, I didn’t support his actions and he never seems to actually be happy so how am I supposed to believe that Bill just snapped because his life had lost its luster? He just seemed less of a psychopath when he wasn’t lining up and execution-style killing anyone that he laid his eyes on.
But for a Boll film, Rampage has some entertaining cinematography. The entire “shaky camera” effect is utilized efficiently and that my friends, is Uwe’s first step to recognition as a film director who doesn’t suck. Plus the props look less like plastic this time around.
Is Rampage Uwe Boll’s masterpiece? Depends on how you look at it. Moral implications aside, the movie is attention-grabbing and shockingly original, however, the story quickly becomes laughable for its ultra-seriousness nature and almost video-game-esque direction. That being said, Rampage is the type of film which you are scared to admit that you enjoyed for fear of being called deranged.