Wednesday 16 May 2012

Rampage (2009)

In case you were still unaware of the fact, Uwe Boll has spent the past few years defying the odds (and expectations of everyone) to start making watchable, and even good, movies. Rampage is his best yet, a very warped and unflinching look at someone who looks over the edge of an abyss and then dives right in.

Brendan Fletcher plays Bill Williamson, a young man not really going anywhere in life despite support from his loving parents, a steady job and at least one good friend. He finds himself angered by things that anger us all (such as being overcharged for a poorly made coffee, for example) but instead of going home and grumbling to himself he finds another solution. Bill makes himself a special suit, arms himself with plenty of weapons and ammo and goes on the titular rampage, killing everyone that gets in his way.

As strange as it may seem, Rampage is actually a very smart look at certain problems in midern day society as well as being a fine, slightly twisty, thriller. Differing from the likes of Falling Down and God Bless America, this film doesn't show someone really having pressure upon pressure piled upon them until breaking point. It shows someone wanting more from life and not caring about anyone around him. While the other movies mentioned show men pushed to their breaking point this movie revolves around a real sociopath. 

Brendan Fletcher is great in the lead role, surprisingly easy to like despite his actions. Matt Frewer and Lynda Boyd are both great as caring parents, oblivious to what their son is planning. Shaun Sipos is just fine in the best friend role and there are very brief appearances from Michael Pare and Katharine Isabelle (blink and you'll miss her).

The script is sparse but effective and the direction is very good. Yes, I said the direction is very good. From the premise of Rampage you'd possibly imagine a very lightweight movie that overstays its welcome after an hour, at most, but the movie manages to be a canny mix of disturbing violence, pitch black humour and real tension and thrills. Which was a lot more than I was expecting.



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