Wednesday, 27 June 2012



Just the other day I was watching Hologram Man - a mildly engaging but monumentally silly SF/action fantasy from the Pepin/Merhi stable - and now my rentals queue has yielded this dizzyingly destructive action movie in which a flimsy conspiracy plot is utterly annihilated in a string of car chases, fights, shootouts, fights, exploding cars, shootouts, fights and larking about on helicopter skids. In all truth it's just as well the action footage is more than up to par because it's rather diminished by lead actor Gary Daniels - he's absolutely fine with the chases and fights (although the fights aren't anywhere near the best you've ever seen) but every time he opens his mouth you half expect his first line to be "Oooh, Betty". It's not his fault.

The (extraordinarily) basic idea behind Rage is that a sinister defence contractor is experimenting on illegal Mexicans in order to develop a serum that turns people into supersoldiers who will kill to order without remorse or conscience: by chance, unassuming teacher Gary Daniels get involved when he's carjacked by a fugitive from the corrupt cops and FBI agents. Once captured and given the serum, Daniels promptly goes on the rage rampage in a string of bonkers car chases and insanely overblown and implausible stunt sequences.

Daniels can't act, and the plot is pure DTV pulp, but it doesn't matter: the second unit work is the film's selling point and Spiro Razatos and his team do deliver. As the film dates from 1995 these sequences are done with real cars and trucks and helicopters - no greenscreen or CGI here. It's a shame the martial arts bits are fair to middling at best and the gun battles are also pretty ordinary as they overstretch the basic action movie trope of the villains' total inability to hit the side of a barn no matter how many clips of ammo they fire off at close range, and they lack the panache and class of the wild shootouts of, say, John Woo's best work.

Still, it's perfectly acceptable rental fodder for a Friday night if you want a lot of bullets, exploding cars, people dangling off skyscrapers or thrown through windows, screeching tyres and a dash of cynicism about the TV media following the chase but not stopping to think if they're being lied to. Empty, silly, raging bull****, but undeniably entertaining in its insistence on smashing things up and kicking legions of anonymous minions in the head.



No comments: