Friday, January 6, 2012
Confession time: I don't always like a film the first time I watch it. Such is the case with Rage. Upon first viewing, I felt like the filmmakers didn't know what they wanted it to be. Is it a thriller? Is it pseudo-grind house? The acting in parts was awful and the soundtrack was grating. I was ready to give this a scathing review. But for some reason, I decided to re-watch it, compelled by the ending which I perceived to be, quite frankly, bullshit. Had I actually missed something? Upon said re-watch, it dawned on me. I caught on to the dark humor and the overall point to the madness. Enough of my blabbering, on to the review!!!
Meet Dennis. He's a squirly, meek-ish, mouse of a dude. A struggling writer who can't come to terms with the fact that his wife is the main bread winner. Despite her support of him (both monetarily and career-wise) he felt compelled to pump his man seed into another woman. After promising to go in to town and get her 'something nice', he instead heads in to break things off with his fling. A moment of hilarity ensues as the French-y accented woman tells him he basically had no issues with putting his purple mushroom into her axe wound and he's one no good jackhole for breaking her heart. Upon exiting stage left, he notices a leather clad, dark helmeted, crotch rocket riding dude trailing him as he heads out of the down town area.
And from here on out it's a cat and mouse game. Dennis is trailed by the biker, taunted and even comes into direct contact with his car as the biker scrapes the side of it. Initially blown off as just another douchey roadster, irritated indifference soon turns into full on paranoia. Before he heads completely out of town, he has a lunch date with his buddy. After recounting the whole break-up and talking about his tremendous guilt, he heads back out and is still trailed by the biker. He takes shelter in a nearby parking garage, hoping the biker would pass up and leave him be. Upon dozing off and waking up, he finds the biker nowhere to be seen and decides to head home.
After getting home and making up an excuse to his wife as to why he was gone for so long and why he has a welt on his forehead (from slamming on the breaks and hitting the steering wheel after one close encounter), he heads upstairs to indulge in some whiskey and a nice, hot, warm bubble bath. What guys doesn't do this?
As you can imagine, Mr. Biker shows up at his residence and it's all downhill from here. Thriller turns into home invasion and Mr. Biker exacts one mean, brutal and vicious plot. Just to back up for a minute, Dennis thought the whole time that the boyfriend of the dumped girlfriend was after him and throughout this entire affair he tried to frantically call her to get him to call the dogs off. After a brutal scene in a bedroom with him and his wife, the still helmeted biker sets his sights on an annoying neighbor and his wife. Here's where dark humor and faux-grindhouse comes in: the elderly wife dials the wrong number to 911, chainsaw deaths are dispensed left and right and the entire affair wasn't perpetrated by a pissed off ex. It was....well, you'll just have to see.
As mentioned, what initially bothered me about the film was that I felt like it didn't know what it wanted to be. Moving from thriller to grind house-y, coupled with goofy dialogue and a Lifetime movie of the week soundtrack, I asked myself 'What the hell is this?' But after that re-watch, I thought to myself it must have been all by design. At least I think so. Regardless, this is one to watch. If it made me want to re-watch it, (keeping in mind the scores of crap I watch) that has to to say something.
Cortez the Killer