Monday, February 6, 2017

Film Review - Rampage: President Down (2016)

Rampage: President Down (Review)
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...reiterates the same tired points from the first two films while barely developing a satisfying plot."

Mass murderer Bill Williamson (Brendan Fletcher) heads to D.C. to attack the government and continue his mission...

Rampage: President Down is a disappointing sequel to Rampage: Capital Punishment. This sequel follows Bill Williamson, who has successfully evaded authorities for years. He heads to D.C. and, before, you know it, the President, the Vice President, and the Secretary of Defense are dead. They don't show you anything concerning the titular promise. Instead, you're just told that Bill 'magically' sniped them from over a mile away. The rest of the film hops between two perspectives: Bill as he hides in the woods and prepares for his end and two inept FBI agents who pursue him. Unfortunately, due to its heavy-handed politics—Bill never misses his opportunity to preach—this film feels more like a platform than a movie. That's evident through the thin plot. It leads to an oddly humorous and ironic ending.

President Down is... disappointing. I really enjoyed the first time—I thought it was provocative and daring. The second movie was good, too. This one is... full of itself to a fault. It reiterates the same tired points from the first two films while barely developing a satisfying plot. When we're with Billy, we get some interesting character, some repetitive rants, and some action. The bigger problems come from the FBI-side of the story. It's just so ridiculously unrealistic. Specifically, I thought the dialogue in the FBI scenes was horrendous. Oh, and, just for convenience, the authorities are completely incompetent as well. It's 2017 and you expect me to believe FBI agents in charge of hunting a terrorist aren't going to know what facial recognition software is or how to use a computer? That whole side of the story screams lazy writing.

This is a very blunt political film. Bill will be screaming his radical beliefs into your ears throughout most of the film. If you have strong political beliefs, this film might not be for you—especially if you disagree with Bill. Personally, it didn't bother me. Before you call me a 'cuck snowflake,' it's not because I agree with everything this film tries to convey. No, it's because I can just differentiate fiction from reality and I don't let movies get under my skin. Take it as a warning, though: this film is very political.

The acting fares better than the plot—well, some of it, at least. Brendan Fletcher is clearly very passionate in these films. I think he's a great actor. Ryan McDonell and Steve Baran, who play the clueless FBI agents, are often hit-or-miss. McDonell performs a bit better, but I felt like he was miscast for this role. The rest of the film is technically fine. I wasn't really bothered by the cinematography or music. The film was written by Brendan Fletcher and Uwe Boll; Uwe Boll also directs. In terms of writing, the film feels repetitive. It has an interesting concept, but it never capitalizes on that. Boll is definitely better at directing original work than he is at adapting video games. In this film, he feels tired and uninspired. The rants are filled with power, but the direction doesn't have that same force.

Overall, Rampage: President Down is a disappointing end to this series—and, apparently, Boll's polarizing career. If you've watched the first two, there really isn't a reason to watch this one unless you really want to know how it ends. Even then, the ending is predictable so it's not like you're missing much.

Score: 4/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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