Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Film Review: Assault on Wall Street (2013)

Assault on Wall Street (Review)
United States/Canada/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...simple enough to sink your fangs into..."

Hardworking Jim Baxford (Dominic Purcell) is struggling to keep up with his wife's medical bills, and the issues are amplified as the market crashes...

Assault on Wall Street is a very simple yet engaging story. The story follows Jim as he tries to pay his wife's medical bills. As the bills pile up, so do his financial issues: the health insurance has reached its limit, he's in the middle of a $60,000 lawsuit, and his broker has lost his funds. Eventually, an event occurs at home that causes Jim to take the law into his own hands. So, he loads up and assaults Wall Street. Conveniently, Jim has military training and weaponry, so he does what he does best. I didn't like the ending; much like the rest of the third act, it just doesn't seem believable at all -- just a pinch of reality, at least, would've made it more tolerable.

The first two acts of the film, or more like the first 50 minutes, are very good. The story is simple enough to sink your fangs into, and there is a surprising amount of character and emotional depth. It's a very solid buildup. Unfortunately, I didn't think what it built up to was all that great. After the hour mark, it starts to repeat itself with montage scenes of Jim walking and thinking, with a killing scene blended in, then repeated. This slows down the momentum, and makes the climax less effective. Also, the final act becomes contrived and unbelievable. I know, I know: it's a movie. But, the first half of the film is grounded in reality, and it works. The second half of the film suspends that and becomes a cheesy revenge flick. Especially the final line of dialogue, it was really corny.

The acting was okay. Dominic Purcell has strong screen presence, but often comes off as wooden -- a little more energy would've gone a long way. The supporting cast is good, though. The music was hit-and-miss; it seems very out of place at times, but well-suited during others. Otherwise, it's an up-to-standard film on the technical side. Writer and director Uwe Boll does a good job; the first two acts are surprisingly engaging and entertaining, and it's overall a good film, despite losing some ground and momentum during the final act. I know he's had a bad run with his mediocre and terrible video game adaptations, but his original work is at least decent.

Overall, Assault on Wall Street is a good film. The first hour of the film is a very good drama, the final actor is a barely decent action film. Surprisingly, this is a film that loses a lot of stream when it focuses on the action. Also, expect the unbelievable during the final act and ending, and maybe you'll be able to tolerate it better than I did.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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