[Review] Uwe Boll Strikes Back With ‘Rampage: Capital Punishment’

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A funny thing happened back in 2009: Uwe Boll made a movie a lot of people really liked. Rampage seemed like the antithesis of the German director’s output at the time, with films such as Seed and Postal leaving a bad taste in audiences’ mouths. Then Rampage came along and everyone was like, “Boll made this?”

The style felt contemporary rather than stuck in the ’80s like many of his other films. The acting was damn fine, particularly because of the lead Brendan Fletcher (a silver lining in many a Boll film). Despite its subject matter, it shockingly wasn’t overtly violent. That bingo hall scene, for example, was downright endearing and showed a lot of restraint from a director known for possessing the exact opposite of restraint. The political message of Rampage was audacious though somewhat confusing at times but overall, the film stands as a bold middle finger during these bleak times.

Rampage ends with Fletcher’s character Bill Williamson escaping into solitude with a lot of stolen bank money. His video message to the world dropped two years after his disappearance, leading to cult stardom for the mass murderer with a message. With an ending as wide open as that, a sequel was inevitable.

Five years later, here we are with Rampage: Capital Punishment (originally tiled Rampage 2: You End Now). This time around, Boll takes on the NSA, Obama, and a slew of other figures he sees as damning America straight to hell. Most loudly, he takes on the wealthy and their influence in government. Much like the first film, there’s nothing subtle about the politics in Rampage 2. Bill Williamson is crystal clear in his motivations for killing a lot of people and seeking a way to get his message to the world. For him, there’s no way the revolution can be peaceful. The Occupy Movement? Don’t make Williamson laugh.

The politics may be apparent, but the message can be interpreted differently by viewers. Williamson does after all kill a lot of innocent people throughout both films. In part two, he begins his spree by parking his ass comfortably in a lawn chair in an alley where he plugs people as they walk by. There’s no discrimination, he just shoots whoever happens to pass by. Then he moves on to a TV station, where he takes hostages and demands they air his video manifesto nationwide. While he’s waiting for his message to be broadcast to the U.S., he checks his cellphone to see what his followers are saying. Then he kills more people after humiliating them in front of their co-workers.

While I agree strongly with many of Williamson’s views on politics, consumerism, reality TV, etc., I’m disgusted by his actions. Is that what makes him such an interesting character? He’s self-indulgent and completely lacks a conscious, but I can’t look away. That being said, I wouldn’t consider Williamson an anti-hero as much as I would a delusional asshole. In Rampage 2, his psychopathy is amped up more than in the original. Brendan Fletcher’s performance (like in the first film) is the highlight. Whether he’s boastfully talking directly into the camera or sitting quietly with an AR-15 resting on his lap, the actor is hypnotizing.

I have to mention that Uwe Boll also acts in the film, which leads to some (unintentionally?) funny moments. He plays the head of the TV station – a cowardly man who isn’t worried about the lives of his employees as he is ratings. It’s a strange performance, but what else would you expect from Boll?

The director maintains the same style he embellished in the original, with lots of shakey-cam and zoom-ins. A lot of the action is focused on one room in the TV station where Williamson sits with the hostages. I found this compressed setting to be far less effective than him roaming the streets, like he did in the first. This led to different scenarios, like the bingo hall and the beauty parlor, and different ways for Williamson to react. Like his complacency leaving the elderly to their game of bingo, that moment was so good and added some depth to his character. Sitting in a room with hostages, he just seems like a broken bullhorn. The smaller setting makes the film feel a lot smaller than the first one as well. Thankfully, Fletcher is able to give even the mundane moments some charm.

Obviously, Rampage 2 is coming out during a sensitive time in the U.S., where there’s a mass shooting what seems like every goddamn week and gun laws refuse to change. Don’t worry though, Williamson addresses this too. Despite being armed to the teeth, he believes in stricter gun laws and is repulsed by our chickenshit government’s inability to reform.

Rampage 2 is actually more preachy than its predecessor, with Williamson’s rants touching on basically every shitty thing wrong in our society today. With the broader range in gripes, I would’ve preferred a bigger setting than the first, rather than the cramped TV studio. I’m sure that had a lot to do with budgetary constraints, but who wouldn’t have loved to see Williamson take his fight to Washington? Maybe Boll and Fletcher will take us there in the third film, which is left wide open once again by the ending here. It’s a decent follow-up to a great film, I just wished they had gone bigger.

Rampage: Capital Punishment DVD and VOD on August 19.

Official Score

  • Brian Fenton

    The fact that a Boll film has a 3/5 stars, well skulls regardless, is a true testament. The first Rampage is actually a good movie, and the fact that Boll has made a sequel that is as decent as the first, I am very impressed

    • AkumajoBelmont

      His movie Tunnel Rats was great too. A really low-key war flick that I enjoyed. In general, I don’t find his movies that bad. I even liked Bloodrayne.

  • JessicaWMiles

    as Kevin
    replied I cannot believe that people able to earn $4404 in a few weeks on the
    computer . try here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

    • gishikin

      Kill yourself Jessica

  • HarryWarden

    I surprisingly enjoyed the first film though the confined setting of this sequel sounds a little dull, to be honest. It’s like the opposite of The Purge series, which started with a confined setting and then expanded with its sequel.

  • ThunderDragoon

    I guess he can make something good when he puts his mind to it.

  • Werewolf

    Rule.

  • Matheus Grunt

    I have been a fan of the actor who portrays Bill Williamson in this film since I saw him in Freddy V. Jason in 2003. When I watched the Rampage movie, I had never heard of it until a few months ago. I can only say that while I disagree with anyone just killing random people, I don’t disagree with everything overall & why he did what he did. Taking the fight to Washington sounds great but in reality is suicide. Of course, this is a movie. DC is a place full of vermin. America is full of treacherous people we call representatives & folks in Congress/Senate, SCOTUS, the POTUS, cops, Sheriff’s, all of em’ almost. The laziness of the American patriots to revolt against this tyrannical govt is astounding to me some days. The apathy & laziness of ignorant sheep in this country also amazes me but sickens me mostly. A fresh revolt is needed in America & we won’t restore anything peacefully. OWS is a joke & so is every other “peaceful” method deployed, including the Tea Party marches. That’s what the 2A is for, to fight back. Gun control itself is unlawful & so, the govt needs to stay out of our business or eventually, it will destroy itself when we start tearing them apart. That’s exactly what’s going to end up happening.

  • Y K

    I just watched the movie [free on Put locker] and I found it interesting and entertaining, and as I’m accustomed to A LOT of violence I wasn’t “offended” by it, but saw it for the application it required to/for the character.

    Why don’t we send “Bill” to Ferguson, Missouri to clean up that rat hole ?

  • HO

    This is one of threat to USA the killer doesn’t be the good guy, in fact he is like monkey in reality too. So sorry folks this movie is just the crap and created by the German guy taking advantage of media for the revenge of the destruction of his dictator THE HITLER. In fact the name of film should be the ”CRAZY MONKEY”

  • HO

    its Violation of poetic licence because film ends with giving gun to child the crazy monkey can do that no one can other wise do that.

  • HO

    HOW DOES GERMAN SHIT CAN TELL TO BE REVIVED BY GIVING BULLSHIT SPEECH AND CONFRONT THE PRESIDENT AND CHURCHES OF USA. HE MIGHT BE THE CRAZY ANIMAL WHO HAS TO BE TRAINED EVEN TO EAT THE FOOD.

  • HO

    IN REALITY I CAN FIGHT BARE HAND WITH THESE KIND A ARMED MAN.

    • Glenn Eric Johnson

      sure you can

  • Chiam Goldstein

    Around blacks, never relax.

  • antiscreed

    Lolol you are astonishingly full of shit. Your politics jives? You’re like the so-called moderate Muslims that won’t kill anyone themselves but secretly cheers on the radicals to kill for them. Pussy

  • Immortal

    I’d have to say that Matheus Grunt probably had the best understanding of what the real point of the movie was, one of the main points of the movie was NOT to get distracted by all the misdirecting insanity that takes place….that’s what the main character was saying the whole time, focus on that and the movie all of a sudden makes a lot more sense, don’t become distracted like the cattle he’s hercing in the film.People, learn to think.

  • Immortal

    I meant “herding”,damn tablet!