After listening to a recent episode of Radiodrome (cool Internet Radioshow about movies and television stuff), where they managed to interview the infamous Uwe Boll, I had to risk a look at this movie. Another reason was that a colleague of mine worked on some of the VFX for it. Rampage is widely recognized as his best film so far. And to be honest, all other movies I’ve seen done by him are not really that great. So can it hold up or is it a crapfest like most of his other films?
The story is fairly simple. A young man stages a ‘Rampage’ to get money to freely live his life ever after. He’s a smart guy that plannes his undertaking very well. He takes himself time to prepare it all. He creates distractions to free up his back, while he is underway to unfold that plan. He goes out and kills a lot of people in the small town he lives in. The police cannot really intervene and seems completely unable to handle the situation. The young man, thanks to his planning, can pretty much do what he wants. No one is going to stop him.
By no means this movie can be compared to other films done by Uwe Boll. And also by no means does it want to celebrate people who do these crazy things for real. Most of his other films tend to have a really strange and weird kind of humour. Not this one. Boll early on in the movie makes clear that we are dealing with a serious subject matter. The young man, played by Brendan Fletcher, is getting sick of hearing his parents tell him, he has to get his feet off the ground and really do something. In his face you can see that he heard that speech a thousand times. But he’s not a lazy ass. He actually works as a mechanic. And at work we can see how hard he’s working. Probably for shitty wages too. With his friend he’s going to a fast food place to eat. Surely enough the waitress fucks it all up without even thinking about apologizing.
We can clearly see that this movie tries to criticize our todays society. Customer service and things like that, must be a true hell, in the United States. All kinds of people who take everything for granted, not recognizing how much work is often necessary to do something. People that treat each other like shit while others just endure it in pure apathy. It spreads like a virus. All these scenes in the movie feel very natural. Part of it could be the fact that a lot of the dialogue was improvised and made up from the actors. This sometimes feels a little weird but also gives the whole feeling of the film some kind of credibility.
I’m sure there are lots of voices that come up saying the movie is like a blueprint for shootings. And yes, I can see where that’s coming from. On the other hand I must say that it’s a movie that tries to go to the core of things. It tries to investigate the backgrounds. The scenes where we have to watch people getting shot aren’t easy to watch of course. And that’s exactly what it has to be. You cannot make a movie like that without having some hard scenes in it. And it works! Even if we get to see the ‘why’, I still kept asking myself why… or better ‘how’ he’s able to do all that. And by that I mean mentally. The movie cannot really answer this but tries to look for answers instead of ignoring it all.
Uwe Boll wrote, produced and directed this movie. It makes you think that maybe all the other movies were not so much his own thing. Maybe studios always interfered with the original vision and destroyed the movies that way. Maybe it’s not all Uwe Boll’s fault? To be fair I’m sure he will not become a Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorsese. But hey… who knows what he would be able to pull off with a 200mio budget and free hand to bring his own vision to the screen?
So yes, it really can hold up! It is a good and believable movie with good actors, that definitely leaves an impression. If there is one true criticism that I have to point out then it’s the shaky-cam. It’s way overused in this movie. There are certain scenes where a clean, clear and stabilized shot would have been nicer to watch.
If you want to be surprised about what a Uwe Boll can do… check this one out. It is a very captivating and well executed movie. Will I become a fan of his movies? No. But I’ll keep an eye on his work now. That’s for sure. At least when it comes to his contemporary serious stories.