[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B003JT0S74][/pullquote] Uwe Boll is an interesting character in the film world. He is a reasonably prolific director, whose films have always been of a less-than-high quality. Commercially they do fine, which allows him to continue to make films like In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Alone in the Dark and Postal. In 2009 he released Rampage, which is clearly aimed at fans of games like Grand Theft Auto, whose leisure-time is spent carelessly massacring people just because they are in your way. The results of this were… unusual.
Bill Williamson (Brendan Fletcher) is unemployed, living in his parents basement and spends his time working out and listening to videos on the internet from his friend Evan (Shaun Sipos) about the state of the world we live in. Under pressure from his parents to move out and get his life in order, he goes on a rampage around town, blowing up police stations, killing innocent people in their hundreds and just generally causing chaos.
It’s very difficult when you review films not to go in with some kind of preconceived idea on what a film is going to be like. Uwe Boll’s films have never been of a high quality and there was no reason to think that this would be any better. But it isn’t what you’d expect. The action is shot through a shaky camera, which gives the impression of semi-documentary. This is novel from a director used to using still shots, although it is a little to violently moved, which may cause some to experience motion sickness.
Brendan Fletcher is an interesting enough screen presence, who is able to hold your attention reasonably well, although there is not a lot of character development, which is a hindrance for the events of the second act. It seems that a lot of the dialogue was ad-libbed, which again adds to the concept that the audience is watching actual footage of Williamson’s life. This pays dividends during the actual rampage portion of the film. It’s uncomfortable viewing because it is not glorified with a soundtrack or spectacular action shots. It’s raw, gritty and thoroughly disconcerting.
My main problem with the film is I don’t really understand the point of showing it. There is nothing to be learnt from it, other than the idea that some humans aren’t very nice. But in reality, the action should probably have been shown from Evan’s point of view, because that would’ve allowed the final scenes to play out in a more tension-filled way.
Compared with his previous works, Rampage is an interestingly shot, unusually conceived film from Uwe Boll. It remains a pointless excursion into the mind of a character who seems a little too normal to create the carnage that he does, and it will be forgotten in time, consigned to the vault of films that never made it to the cinema.