A man with a thirst for revenge builds a full body armor from Kevlar and goes on a killing spree.
Earlier today, in the first part of ‘Boll Day‘ I reviewed Seed, which up until 2007 was in my opinion the best work done by the infamous Uwe Boll. Here we are then with what I would class as the best film he has made, period.
One of my favourite movies is the 1993 Michael Douglas starring vehicle Falling Down. That’s about a man who gets frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society, and then begins to psychotically and violently lash out. Rampage actually reminded me about that movie, albeit being a much darker version.
The main problem with trying to persuade you to see a movie like Rampage is the premise. It is very realistic, and unfortunately there have been instances where events like this have happened in real life. I’m not here to go over them, or do a Piers Morgan (who is a prick, and being British I don’t want him back over here, despite the petition from the good people in the US trying to have him deported!) and talk about gun laws. I just want to talk about a good action movie, which has a clever twist, and not get into the real life situations. Hope that’s cool with you
There is no clever plot to speak of with Rampage. We meet Bill Williamson (Brendan Fletcher, who does a fantastic job here), a 23-year-old man, who lives with his parents, works a low-paid job as a mechanic and feels bombarded with the problems of the world. Bill has a friend named Evan Drince (Shaun Sipos) who shares his hatred. The first half of the movie is spent watching these two interact, have a few issues in a diner, and just venting their thoughts to each other. This is mixed in with seeing Bill at home talking with his parents, about the usual mundane, everyday life stuff. Every now and again we get little glimpses/flashforwards of Bill burning something, or making something, and it gives off a clever insight into what is to come.
The second half of the movie really picks up the pace, and this is where we see Bill in a Kevlar vest going around town massacring people. His motives only really become clear near the end, and even then there is room for you to fill in the blanks yourself. Is he really an idealist who believes massacring a load of innocent people will help solve the worlds problems. Or is he a very clever, calculating sociopath who sees this as a means to an end (by which you will have to see what his ‘end’ is). Not many Boll films make me think, and that’s why I rate Rampage as his best work.
Of course, being about a guy who goes on a shooting spree, there are lots of deaths. People get shot, a few get blown up and there is the odd stabbing. Yet despite all this, it isn’t as brutal and gory to look at as something like Seed, or any of the more Hollywood torture/horror movies like SAW & Hostel. It’s really about the subject matter, and some may find it insensitive, or bad taste, and that’s fine, steer clear. But if you can look past that and are willing to see it as a violent thriller, you might actually like it (well, rate or appreciate since like doesn’t really feel appropriate).
Rampage does have some negatives. There is some ropey dialogue, and I feel as though we don’t get much of a build up of Bill before he goes on his spree. More specifically, how he got hold of all the guns and ammo he had. Yet these were just minor quibbles. The worst thing is that it is shot with the annoying shaky cam. Which I have mentioned before in reviews, and sometimes it serves a purpose. I just didn’t enjoy seeing it utilised in Rampage. When two people are sat at a table chatting, I want to be able to see them, and not get nauseous whilst the camera moves all around the place, sometimes getting half a head in shot. Frustrating, and my main criticism of the film. Yet when we are witnessing the rampage later on, we get to see it from Bill’s point of view, and it is very reminiscent of games such as Call of Duty and it does work well.
Amazingly Rampage holds a 6.3/10 average rating on IMDb, which for a Boll film is incredible! They are normally around 1 or 2, so signs of improvement for sure. I agree with this average, and I feel a 6 rating here is pretty good going. It’s a short movie, there is no real padded out scenes. Bill does so many clever things in setting up and planning his rampage, so kudos to Boll with the script here. Proof he can work well when he writes his own stuff and doesn’t just adapt video games. It may not be a film to sit down and enjoy as such, but if you like a good action thriller and can put up with some shooting, the ending may well make it worth your time.