Directed by Uwe Boll
Rampage is the latest film from the infamous writer/producer/director Uwe Boll, the critically and publicly chided creator of such hilariously bad movies as House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, Bloodrayne, and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. Over recent years he’s occasionally shocked critics with some adequate and mildly enjoyable movies such as Postal, Seed, and Tunnel Rats, and now he returns with his latest vent at the world.
Whether you put it down to luck, or some divine intervention – he’s finally got it right. Rampage is a truly brilliant movie, make no mistake about it, one that finally showcases Boll’s trademark rage, bloodlust and cynical humor with enough talent, style and cinematic verve to back it up.
It is also a movie that’s best not overly dissected prior to viewing as it’s the shock and awe that makes it work so well, so this review won’t delve into too much detail of the slim story. Suffice to say it’s kind of like a documentary style version of Falling Down with oodles of violence.
It has a few problems for sure – its opening 20-minute wind-up occasionally grates by recycling the same sound bites over and over. There’s an explosion near the beginning that sticks out as a sore CGI thumb in such a gritty and realistic film. The sheriff who turns up in the tail end of the movie is a little bit too actor-orientated when compared to the other very natural performances and the opening titles utilise the same damn font as many of Boll’s other movies and just seems amateurish.
But that’s honestly it. To tell the truth – none of those even matter one iota when the film is taken as a whole. This is an intelligent, deftly crafted, brutal, surprising, funny, shocking, saddening, poignant, and very wry movie that boasts superb music and sound design, stellar acting (particularly from the lead, Boll regular Brendan Fletcher) and excellent direction. Boll tries out the ‘no script’ tactic that missed the mark in Tunnel Rats and luckily for him it works like a charm here with superbly nuanced and believable performances. A lot of people had given up on Boll, but a dedicated few have always supported his generally dreadful but perhaps mildly unfairly lambasted back-catalogue whilst holding out hope for a brighter future. Both will be shocked by Rampage, as no one could have imagined he had such a sincerely brilliant and serious movie as this in him.
Essential viewing and one of the best films of the year so far.