A Week Of Uwe Boll #1: Rampage.

I know I'm about to miss the deadline (and on the first day!), but it's here. I've been working on finishing the first draft of my own movie script today. But now that that's done, I can focus on other things. Like this (though I still ended up getting distracted elsewhere after writing those first couple sentences... but I digress). So here are my thoughts on Uwe Boll's masterpiece, Rampage. And when I say masterpiece, I mean it literally, because this is probably his best movie.

Let me explain to you my situation going into this movie. The very first movie of Mr. Boll's that I'd seen was House of the Dead, which remains to this day the only Boll movie I've seen in theater. And this was prior to all the infamous Boll hatred started, considering this was really the film that brought him into the American spotlight. To be fair, this had also been one of the only movies of his I'd watched all the way through. I tried watching Alone in the Dark, but fell asleep over halfway in. I've since at least felt like I've seen the whole thing while watching the Nostalgia Critic's take on the movie (which is hilarious). But I know Boll's films by reputation... and by trailer... which is more than enough. I even knew of his boxing match against film critics and all the details therein. Needless to say, I wasn't a major fan of Mr. Boll by the time I got around to Rampage. In fact, despite positive reviews, I still went in expecting to not like it in some degree. And you know what?

While there were some issues here and there, it was overall a pretty damn good movie. Rampage is about a guy named Bill Williamson (Brendan Fletcher) who still lives at home with his parents (Matt Frewer and Lynda Boyd). He also puts up with his anarchist friend, Evan (Shaun Sipos), who so looks like he could be Brad Pitt's little brother (I swear, a couple times, he looked just like Brad Pitt in his younger years, say in Twelve Monkeys). And Bill's having a bad day. His parents want to kick him out of the house, his boss yells at him, his waitress spills food all over him, etc. While this doesn't create his reaction, it adds to what he does later. And what does he do? He dons a kevlar-based full body armor and goes on a killing spree (as well as robs a bank).

The movie is a slow burn at first, building his relationships and taking him through his bad day. You can tell he has a pretty good relationship with his parents, so there isn't the "let's blame the parents" angle. Even when they were talking about kicking him out, he was able to keep a level head and talk with them kindly and rationally. It was completely unexpected. And this whole section of the movie goes on for at least 20 minutes or so. It's a bit too long, honestly, and there's a whole bunch of unnecessary flashes into the future when he eventually goes on his rampage.

Similarly, once he starts on his rampage, there are flashes back to the beginning of the movie when he's not on his rampage. It was just very strange, and it's my biggest complaint about the movie. Then again, Uwe Boll has always had very strange editing choices (House of the Dead video game footage, anyone?). The rampage itself is fine, except for the very beginning of it. Going along with the strange choices, Boll decides to have almost the entire first few minutes of the rampage happen while we see nothing by Bill's eyes. It's kind of annoying.

I think what I loved most about the movie was the direction it turned. Travis' review kinda spoiled it for me, as I probably would have picked up on it slower had I not read it first, so I'm not gonna go into too much detail here. Let's just say it becomes a kind of genre I really enjoy. And it shows you how well thought out this whole thing was and how smart the character of Bill really is.

On the acting front, you really only have a few characters to deal with: Bill, his parents, and Evan. Evan is good for the character he is. And, again, there's one moment when you're watching one of his online videos that he looks so much like Brad Pitt it's scary. You'll recognize the parents immediately, or at least the father. Matt Frewer is a veteran "That Guy" who, if you're like me, you'll most likely recognize from Honey, I Shrunk The Kids every time you see him in something. Not sure why I recognize the mom. Probably from Final Destination 2.

And then, of course, Brendan Fletcher, who I always recognize from Freddy vs. Jason. I want to give this guy his own paragraph. He does amazing as Bill. Seriously. He plays the character in a way that is so unexpected. He's not yelling at his friends or his parents. He doesn't come off as the loser loner, nor does he come off as some kind of Roid-Rage freak (he's pumping iron quite a bit in the first 20 or so minutes). He gets along fine with his parents. He puts up quietly with his outspoken friend... at first, anyway. Even when he's on his rampage, he's not screaming and yelling at people. In fact, he's pretty calm through most of it, keeping cool and collected. He knows exactly what he's doing, and he's not exactly doing it for thrills. He's doing it to make a point.

In fact, there are a few instances in the movie where he does leave survivors. He decides not to kill certain people (another spoiler from Travis' review that cut the tension a bit for me, so I won't say who). It's not a rampage of chaos. Everything he does has purpose. It's actually order disguised as chaos, which is where the real brilliance of the film lies.

That's right, I said it. There's brilliance in a Uwe Boll film. From the way the story resolved to the message it delivered, this was actually a well thought-out film. A brutal and bat-shit crazy film, but a well though-out one nevertheless. The only thing that almost killed it for me was the ending. The last few seconds of the film with the text about ruined the mood. It would have been better to end it right before that text came on screen. Fortunately, it wasn't enough for me to dislike the film. Unfortunately, I'm now left with only those films I shall probably dislike (which I'm going to review in descending order, giving myself ample time to sink into the degradation of his worse films). But as for now, I need to rate this one.

A Keanu 'Whoa'


  1. Yeah I totally agree with you. I do kinda feel bad now about the spoilers but it's an Uwe Boll film and I didn't think people were going to like it. Well that and I didn't give away EVERYTHING. Just gave an overview of the plot. Still though...

    A great review and can't wait to see what you got next.

  2. yups really nice article .. and i too agree with you Nick


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