Say what you like about fighty German trash auteur Uwe Boll, he likes to cast an unflinching eye on a wide range of important social issues. In Seed, for example, he looks at the darkness of the immortal and unstoppable serial killer, while in Postal he looks at 9/11, Nazi death camps and comedy dwarfs. In Rampage, he looks at shooting sprees and the laxity of the gun laws in modern America, in Darfur he looks at the African genocide phenomenon, and in Blubberella he looks at the concept of a Nazi-killing female superhero with an eating disorder. Whatever it is, Boll looks.
This time around, Boll turns his attention to the banking crisis and the rich-poor divide. Everyman security guard Jim (Dominic Purcell) suddenly sees his life falling apart as the financial collapse that not only wipes out all his investments but leaves him with impossible debts: he loses his terminally ill wife (in the most absurdly melodramatic of circumstances), his job and his house, leaving him with nothing. Except a high powered sniper rifle and a righteous fury within him...
There is obviously room for a caustic commentary on America's financial institutions: how billionaire bankers lost everybody's money but they still get to keep their yachts and expensive mansions while the small investors end up losing their life savings, their pensions, and everything they've worked for. But Assault On Wall Street isn't it. Uwe Boll is not interested in dissecting Wall Street in a coolly analytical manner, he's interested in a childish revenge fantasy of violent wish fulfilment in which all the bankers are brutally murdered at their desks.
And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that as a concept for a film. The trouble is that it takes over an hour before our hero finally starts fighting back, and the inevitable rampage of bloody violence is confined to the last reel of the film. It's a satisfying payoff, it just takes far too long to get there. However, there is a suggestion this could lead to a sequel, which means this functions more as an extended origins story for a vigilante superhero, and Assault On Wall Street 2 can start murdering investment bankers and hedge fund managers pretty much from the opening credits.
Which is no less stupid than this film, but it might be more fun. This is typical Uwe Boll: guest appearances by familiar faces slumming it (Eric Roberts, Keith David, the inevitable Michael Pare), a hardon for senseless violence, and the whole thing really not being very good. Boll isn't actually a particularly terrible film maker (go watch some Al Adamson films and then come back and tell me Uwe Boll is the worst director in the world), but he's no Oliver Stone or Martin Scorsese in the Wall Street movie stakes.