Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Film Review: Rampage: Capital Punishment (2014)

Rampage: Capital Punishment (Review)
United States/2014
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...Boll uses this film as a platform more to preach than to entertain."

Mass murderer Bill Williamson (Brendan Fletcher) reemerges years after his last atrocity and hijacks a TV station.

Rampage: Capital Punishment continues the story of Bill Williamson, who successfully escaped punishment from his last vicious crime and has become an internet celebrity to some. The first act of the film is a little repetitious, and it rehashes much of the original. Anyway, Bill eventually enters a TV station and holds the staff hostage. He uses the city's number one news anchor to deliver his message. His message: rich people are the cause of all problems, and kill rich people. The ending is okay -- it was kind of expected, though, even knowing it would lack logic.

Rampage: Capital Punishment is a decent film. It has some good tension and suspense, some decent action, and it moves at a fast pace. The action consists of some stylized shootings and some explosions; not a traditional action movie, not at all. Although some of the dialogue occasionally felt odd and out of place, most of the dialogue is delivered with conviction. This, in turn, makes the film feel like an action movie at all times, even when there is no literal action on screen. This is also why the film moved at such a fast and attractive pace.

However, this very same dialogue is flawed in another sense. You see, this is a film with strong political themes. The antihero, Billy, has a strong vendetta against politicians and rich people. And his message clearly shows it. I felt like that was problem, though, because the film ultimately felt like it preached. Regardless of any validity these statements had, they ultimately felt too preachy -- I felt like I was being hit over the head over and over with the same message told in a slightly different sentence. It always boils down to the rich do this, the rich do that, and I'm a loser with a child's education because I don't see it. A little subtlety would've have been appreciated. Otherwise, the plot also suffers from a few glaring plot contrivances and many peculiar holes in logic.

Fortunately, Brendan Fletcher delivers a very strong performance as the lead; he oozes with the antihero charisma. Unfortunately, much of the supporting cast, including Uwe Boll, are mediocre. It's unfortunate, it could have otherwise been a very effective film. The film looks and sounds decent. The swaying camerawork is a little annoying, though, especially considering this isn't a found-footage film. It's also a little over-edited. Writer and director Uwe Boll delivers an engaging, interesting, and even contemplative thriller -- a film, like a few of his recent, that is much better than his video game adaptation beginnings. However, in this case, much like Assault on Wall Street, Boll uses this film as a platform more to preach than to entertain.

Overall, Rampage: Capital Punishment is a good film. It's a film with strong statements and some strong tension. The story takes one too many shortcuts, such as the plot contrivances, but it ultimately works in continuing Bill's crusade. It also works in continuing Boll's crusade against the rich. I'm not someone who openly discusses politics or religion, especially when it comes to film, so I am immensely disappointed in the severe lack of subtlety. If you liked the original Rampage or share the same sentiments about the rich as Boll, this film is for you. If you can care less about the preaching, you might also enjoy this film.

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

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