Rage – Review

RAGE – Review

A day in the life of an ordinary man when it all goes wrong.

Dennis is a writer.  He has a nice home and a nice wife, who recently bought him a nice new car.  He has nice neighbours and a nice best friend, Richard Topping, who also happens to be a nice therapist.  It’s all very nice until Dennis, unintentionally does something that would most certainly piss me off, let alone a potential psycho waiting for an opportunity to use his nice large knife.  Dennis nicks a parking spot that the psycho motorcyclist happens to be waiting for.  What happens after that is not very nice at all.

Rage examines the nature of man at his most primal and it takes the consequences of being pissed off to a whole new level.  Dennis played effectively yet in some parts reservedly by Rick Crawford, is the man in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The reason he is there at all is to break it off with a fairly forgettable mistress played by Anna Lodej because he loves his wife, Audrey Walker.  He suspects that the biker may be his mistresses old boyfriend who has been in and out of prison, but as Dennis believes, is currently out of prison and quite possibly pissed right off anyway cause ol Dennis has been smashing his girls back doors in while he was locked up.

During a day long game of “Dual,” (Spielberg’s first outing as a proper director, a real worthwhile watch and one of his best in this humble film nerds opinion, a movie referenced within this film itself by a pair of blokes in a car mechanics.) Dennis quickly realises that he may be involved in something he cant escape from.  This is where Witherspoon exercises his behind camera antics (He plays the Biker on screen as well.) utilising dream sequences and flashbacks heightening the tension and bringing what could have been a complete blow out of an independent film into a worthwhile curiously dramatic slice of life at its shittiest.

Witherspoon shows merits in the way that the drama is shot but is ultimately let down to a degree by the clunky nature of the way it was cut and I suspect that this was entirely because of the budget he was working with, therefore its difficult to criticise him too much on that point.  He has a flare for the visual, but the narrative needed to be tweaked to allow it to look and feel more free-flowing, a technique such as that employed by Tony Scott for example in manufacturing a rough but albeit faster edit with multiple images encouraging the senses to feel as out of breath as Dennis is would have helped the movie feel more necessarily dramatic than that which the eventual cut delivered.  At times, particularly in the beginning I felt that it was a little dry and slow.

Fear not though, the movie did gather momentum when the rider appears outside Dennis’ home.  Due to the nature of the naturalistic feel of the violence in earlier scenes, the bikers presence on Dennis’ doorstep worked well when one considers the terror one would feel if the situation were to happen to you.  The menacing sound of the bikers naff horn outside while Dennis is watching Middle Man, another of Witherspoons films, sends shudders down your spine because that scene in particular was one of the best because Dennis is trying his best to conceal the real reason he looks all beat up to his wife as well.  On a side note, Audrey Walker is way hotter than Anna Lodej, so what was Dennis thinking by dipping his wick in the mistress at all for?  Its because of this slight factor that I couldn’t give a shit about what happened to Dennis in the end because his actions prior to the psycho emerging were really selfish and underhanded.  Audrey Walker conveys the message that her character is a really great woman, good looking and willing to cook for him despite grappling with the rigours of starting a new business.  At this point in the film I thought, Dennis your a douche, I just hope your wife doesn’t have to suffer because of you.  She does of course in a scene that is rather uncomfortable to watch because it looks so real.  The punches she takes and the nature of the violence she is forced to endure is visually shocking owing to the way that Audrey Walker totally owns her part in this film.

I wont wax lyrical about the rest of the film because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but needless to say Witherspoon has a field day with the corn syrup especially in the first chainsaw scene.  Bad times for the neighbours.

All in all this was a good, solid indie flick with lots of promise, showcasing plenty of potential from both Audrey Walker and Rick Crawford.  I look forward to seeing them in the future and hope that Witherspoon goes on to make some bigger budget films because I like they way he rolls.

Director: Christopher R. Witherspoon.

Starring: Rick Crawford, Audrey Walker, Richard Topping.

Written by @filmfellajames

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About filmfellajames
Film critic and blogger, part time rap master, loves UNITED!!!

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