Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rampage (2009)

Our dear German doctor Uwe Boll has during the last years become one of my favorite directors. Yes, it's true. I both appreciate his wacky no-brainer popcorn-flicks and his steady work of dark, brutal dramas which often are so cynical that it's hard to understand how he got the guts to release movies with such downbeat endings. In Rampage he deals with something all people seem to fear, and that is happening everywhere - not only the US.

The star is Brendan Fletcher, a fine actor whom you seen in many movies, often small parts, during the 15 years. Even in a few Boll-movie too. Here he play Bill, a slacker, a nobody who still lives with his parents. He's 23 and life is shit. But what no one knows is that he's been doing some planning and preparations for some time. Weapons and a kevlar-suit is now ready in his close and tomorrow it's time for Tenderville (or Centerville, the name changes) to meet it's maker. Armed to the teeth he starts shooting everyone he sees, starting with blowing up the police station. Why? Well, we're not sure because he just don't seem to care about anything. But somewhere in that chaotic mind is a plan, a quite disturbing plan...

I really only have one complaint with Rampage, and it's the first part which is a bit drawn out with a lot of cutting back and forth what's happening right, in his head and in the future. It's to much repeating. But if you'll survive that you're gonna see a very impressive and disturbing little movie which actually surprised me. Shot with a lot of handcamera, improvisations and in a autumnal little American small town (but shot in Canada I guess as usual) this is a moody movie, filled with excellent acting and beautiful cinematography. Boll likes to stay with the actors and lets them talk and talk until there's something good, which he uses and intercuts very good with the rest of the takes. It's a special style, which fans of Dogme might recognize, or of course all the US indies using the same technique.

When Bill finally flips the movie regains it's energy that it somehow lost during it's first act (which not is bad, just a bit to drawn out as I mentioned above - and now I also see purpose with that). With different guns and even a knife he starts killing his way through Centerville, which is a dream for us fans of bloody squibs and general mayhem. It's very violent and it's hard to watch execution after execution, but at the same time we're so focused on Bill persona that we tend to distance ourselves from the violence. We're actually curious what he's up too.

Everything with Rampage is very well made, and together with Doctor Boll's other "serious" movies this is another classic of radical, intelligent, arty and über-violent European cinema set in the US (aka Canada). Guys like Boll is needed in the mainstream cinema because with this one, Seed, Tunnel Rats and Stoic he tries to fuck things up. He don't want us to sit there after the movie feeling good, feeling happy. He wants us to fucking understand that life can be shit, and that some of us is hiding way to far down in our cuddly rabbit-holes.


CiNEZiLLA said...

Cool... I may have to give Boll another shot. I have actually only seen one of his films, House of the Dead and got so annoyed by the crappy gameplay segways that he stuck in there, as I felt they bust the feeling of the movie. Although I've been very curious with Alone in the Dark as I played all those games and loved them. But didn't really bother after HoTD. Then there's the constant bollocking of his stuff that makes me stay away too... But I know you dig his stuff and sometimes a pop-corn flick is exactly what you need to clear out the cobwebs...

So the real question is... Where do I start+


vaultkeeper said...

Uwe Boll is also one of my favourite directors right now, i watch and buy all his movies, everything he has made so far has been worth watching, some are even close to masterpieces and im not being ironic. Next up is Darfur, looks like another of his angry and serious movies, will diffently watch that one. Another one released soon is BloodRayne 3: The Third Reich, vampire/nazi bloodbath shot in Croatia.

Ninja Dixon said...

J: Well, House of the Dead is extremly different from the others - and Alone in the Dark is another of those movies people hate. Personally I like it, silly movie, but fun.

Rampage, Stoic, Tunnel Rats are all very serious and cynical movies, far from feeling-good. All of them are usuing improvisation. Seed is excellent, but very dark, horror/slasher.

Movies like FarCry and BloodRayne is just entertainment, but I still find them very charming and just popcornish. Nothing wrong with that.

Uwe Boll bascially makes two kinda movies, both very far away from each other. Try out his serious work like Tunnel Rats or Rampage.

forestofthedead said...

Great review.