I'm shocked...absolutely shocked. Uwe Boll made a really good and extremely memorable film. I mean I love his films on a guilty pleasure level and he is a really cool guy to talk to (just see my interview with him) but he really hasn't made a film that is actually good on it's own merits. Or at least that's what I thought until Rampage. It's like he looked in the mirror, gave himself a pep talk and made a huge 180 degree flip as a director. If Rampage is any indication of where he's heading as a director, I could see him clearing his name of any blemishes.
Rampage follows the story of Bill Williamson. He is your average 20 something high school graduate who refused to go to college and lives at home with his parents. He has a steady job as a mechanic and for all intents and purposes he seems like your average guy albeit a bit of a reserved slacker. That's on the outside. On the inside is a totally ape s**t, delusional sociopath with a total nihilistic attitude towards life and the human race. Throughout the first half an hour of the film you see Bill turn from a methodical madman who wishes someday to act out his fantasies while living a happy, normal life to a full blown rage filled monster. The barista messed up his coffee, his boss didn't give him a raise, his friend is a jerk and he got food spilled on him. It was these things mixed with the ticking time bomb inside his head that caused him to snap.
Around the 33 minute mark and until about 70 minutes into it he pretty much goes around the entire town he lives in and slaughters everyone. Men, women, children, cops anything in front of him he shoots. He makes a few exceptions which I'll mention later but he pretty much annihilates the town. At the 70 minute mark the film switches gears and becomes a "perfect crime" story that leaves you dumbfounded as how brilliantly insane Bill really is. But when the whole 84 minute film was over I was left speechless...it was amazing.
Uwe Boll has never been much for good writing in his films and I think he realizes this in Rampage. Besides the general outline and the characters, the rest was improved. He pretty much let Brendan Fletcher and co go to work and say whatever came to their mind. And to be honest, 90% of it is pretty legitimate and feels like good, well written dialogue. It's only accentuated by the brilliant performance of Fletcher as Bill. Fletcher is a Uwe Boll regular having parts in Alone in the Dark and Bloodrayne 2 but he really shines in this film. He exudes a Nicholson/Slater persona without ever seeming copycat and he really plays crazy well. He chooses his words carefully for the most part and you really are in awe watching him. Even in his moments when he totally cracks (he pulls the cheep cheep scene from the Room)
he is as scary as he is brilliant. Even in the way he gestures it is amazing.
The scenes I mentioned are scenes in which he does not kill anyone or doesn't at first. One is at a bingo parlor full of old people. He looks around, bewildered at the fact that a man in full body Kevlar with SMG's is not causing a reaction out of them. Without saying it he deems them "dead already" and walks off. It shows he isn't just doing this for s**t's and giggles but for a reason.
Rampage is a hard film to watch. It's nihilistic, brutally violent, deranged and downright evil. But it is a great social commentary, a well written and acted film and probably the crowning achievement of Uwe's career. Or at least a great step in the right direction.
MY VERDICT: OWN IT