Rampage: Capital Punishment - A Film Review
August 19, 2014
Once known as that guy who makes those terrible videogame adaptions (see 'House of the Dead', 'Alone in the Dark', 'Bloodrayne', etc), German-born director and screenwriter Uwe Boll delivers another solid mass-murder action/thriller. The first Rampage released in 2009 was seen by many to be a significant step forward for Uwe Boll and was the first of his films to receive generally favorable reviews. Just like the first film this feature is ultra-violent, un-pc, and definitely not for everyone. The main character Bill Williamson (Brendan Fletcher) technically fits the role of an anti-hero though unlike other anti-heroes portrayed in films such as 'The Punisher' , Williamson is not overly wronged by any person in-particular. His motivation is to kill as many people as possible, including many who have never met the man or wronged him in the past.
Williamson begins his Rampage in the first film after not taking it anymore with the frustrations from the people in his life. Some of these include his parents who want him to move out, his boss, and various people he meets during the day such as a bad waitress and a barista who refuses to make him another macchiato. Wanting to cleanse the streets of the worthless masses who overpopulate the planet is a key factor he also brings up as his motivation. Wearing a full-body armored suit, a paintball helmet, and wielding dual submachine guns he begins his massacre of the town . Williamson massacred his way through 93 people before covering up his direct link to the killings which then leads directly to this sequel.
Capital Punishment takes place five years after the events of the first film. Bill Williamson's identity has been revealed after his rants release online after 2 years and he has become somewhat of an infamous cult figure. This time around his target is more direct and focused as he assaults a TV station with the goal of getting his prerecorded message broadcast on national television. While the first film had an opened and varied environments this one (with some exception towards the beginning)focuses on the closed indoor environment within the station including the basement for a significant portion of the film.
Once again dozens fall before him as Williamson storms the station and shooting many of the station workers with fully automatic AR-15's before taking some of the remaining survivors hostage. He has his group of hostages taken to the basement where he holes up for when the swat teams arrive. His goal is not money but to send his prerecorded message out to be played on national television. His message deals with a variety of topics in modern society including how the government is a broken system that is run by the wealthy to exploit the poor and how the NRA policies allowed him to obtain the weapons used in his massacres among other things.
The political side of the film can be seen in different ways. One way could be the director using his character's manifesto to express his own views and having that message sent out in an extreme manner. Another interpretation could be that the character of Bill Williamson is simply a delusional psychopath similar to real-life killer Anders Behring Breivik who was responsible for the bombing and shooting deaths of 77 in the 2011 Norway attacks. Some similarities between the two include gunning down dozens of victims going mostly unopposed and also having extreme political views as their rationale. Breivik was an extreme advocate for anti-immigration of Muslims into Norway and was willing to mass-murder to send his message.
The Good and Bad
One of the strengths that the film delivers is the performance by Brendan Fletcher who once again delivers a solid and believable performance as the mass-murderer Bill Williamson. There is also a steady flow of action throughout the film to keep the viewers attention but the slower scenes also sustain enough tension to keep your interest. Some of the cons of this movie are aspects that had been changed from the first one. Williamson's message in this one can easily come off as too preachy while the first film's was a more simple and focused. The lack in variety of environments compared to the first one also slightly hurts this one as it somewhat slows the pace down being in the same room after a certain amount of time. Uwe Boll still uses a shakey-cam style that was used in the first movie which is likely to annoy some. It is common knowledge to not judge a book or movie by it's cover but this one is very misleading as it takes place nowhere near the Capital Building.
Overall this was a solid effort from Uwe Boll that shows that he's improved as a director since his earlier video game adaptions and has found his niche with mass-murder film such as this one, Assault on Wall Street, and the first Rampage. This is the kind of movie that will deeply divide audiences based on some of the sensitive subject matter. If the idea of scores of 'innocents' being mowed down in a fictional setting offends you stay far away. Though the first film from 2009 was slightly better this is still worth a watch and can probably viewed fine without watching the 2009 film first. As of writing this it is available to watch on Netflix streaming.
Final Rating 7/10