Posted on Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 by Peter Sciretta
Even a broken clock is right two times a day. And it was bound to happen eventually…. Uwe Boll has made a good movie. Not a great movie, but a decent film. Not just good in comparison to the rest of his filmography, but a good movie in its own right. Rampage isn’t based on the 1986 Midway arcade video game, although you might assume so since Boll is involved in a lot of video game adaptations.
Instead, Rampage is the movie that Postal should have been. It is Falling Down without the morals. Rampage is angry, sadistic, fun, yet disturbing.
Brendan Fletcher plays Bill, a young man who plans possibly the biggest killing spree in history, gunning down innocent people in a small town. Unlike Falling Down, the film doesn’t feature a bad guy and the good guy trying to stop him. Instead, we see the mass murder spree from the point of view of Bill, who you will sometimes find yourself relating to, especially in the early minutes of the film before the killings. And that is why this film works — it puts you in a very uncomfortable position. When Bill walked into a bingo hall with hundreds of old men and women, my mouth was never open wider in anticipation of what horrible things may come to follow.
At my screening, there was a group of moviegoers who would cheer and laugh every time more people were destroyed using semi-automatic weapons, in the same way you cheer on Rambo has he kills off the bad guys. But these aren’t the bad guys, these are innocent people (for the most part), in the wrong place at the wrong time. At times I wanted to cheer on an awesome kill, while most moments I felt disgusted at the reaction from others in our screening room (and I’m not super politically correct or anything). This is a movie that makes you think and decide on a moral stance, because it never offers one itself. It is Grand Theft Auto with real people, and real-looking violence and gore.
The film has flaws, including but not limited to some of the improv acting. Boll shot the film using handheld cameras, doc-style putting the viewer in the middle of the action, sometimes in close-up. And from what I understand, the action beats were planned out, but most of the dialogue was improved by the actors based on a treatment, to give the film a more natural feel (which sometimes works and other times doesn’t even come close).
/Film Rating: 7 out of 10
I’ve included the trailer below for those interested: