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Whenever I want to talk about this movie, I want to yell, “RAAAAGE!” much like those Surge commercials back in the day. Possibly while skydiving, devouring a bag of Dorito’s and slamming a 24 oz. of Mountain Dew and you know something? That’s not a far off description from the movie. This movie is seriously EXTREEEEEME! Everything gets shot, shatters and explodes or gets a roundhouse kick to the dome… mostly in slow motion.
This plot actually shares something similar with 28 Days Later, believe it or not. This evil corporation (is there ever a good one?), Westech, is experimenting with a rage type virus on monkeys and then on illegal immigrants to create the perfect batch of super soldiers. So, shove off Steve Rogers, you shmuck! You see, this shady cop working with Westech by rounding up illegal immigrants for them to run their experiments. But, one of these round ups goes sour and one of these illegal immigrants who’s been supplying Westech with illegal immigrants (I know, just stay with me) decides to start a firefight and flees the scene. He happens to hijack family man and second grade teacher, Alex Gainer, played by the arse kicking brit, Gary Daniels.
Kelly kidnaps Gainer and says since he’s a limey, he’ll work fine for the experiments and claiming, “He don’t speak no good English.” Since Gainer just happens to be in peak physical condition, they all go along with it. No need to run any other tests to see if he has any health conditions or diseases. They just inject him with some unknown liquid to make him go crazy, so there is no need to train him on survival skills or how to use weapons. But shoot, wouldn’t luck have it, Alex also happens to be a martial arts expert, flips his poop switch after the injection and escapes… but not before beating the pulp out of everyone or filling them full of bullet holes! And what would any good action scenes be if they didn’t have nameless thugs being thrown dozens of feet from an explosion in slow-motion? Did you miss that part? Don’t worry. It happens like a thousand more times.
Alex is an unstoppable killing machine! Until Kelly tazers his nards. That’ll put anything down. However, it doesn’t last long as he manages to flee these villains on foot in dark after they threw him in the trunk of a car. They didn’t even get in the car to chase him. I believe the excuse they had was, “It’s too dark to see.” Hmm, well good thing you didn’t come prepared by bringing flashlights. Then you would have to do some work.
Next comes a long and destructive car chase scene, using a tractor trailer, reminding one of Terminator 2. Alex manages to hijack a semi in order to plow through a barricade. Let the carnage begin! This seriously goes on for at least fifteen minutes. Every police car and another tractor trailer that tries to stop Alex get smashed, exploded, and flipped through the air. He causes so much destruction, that a car literally flies about thirty feet in the air, doing flips, landing and exploding. Only the beefiest of men could do something like that. This scene concludes when Kelly, being the caring soul he is, commandeers a school bus and tries to take down Alex head-on, but Alex, being the nimble, ninja skilled, school teacher he is, surfs on top of the truck and leaps from it as it crashes into the bus and explodes. Don’t worry, he made it out of that situation without a scratch. Kelly on the other hand…
After this comes the film’s greatest fight scene, or maybe one of the best fight scenes in a movie ever. Alex stumbles into a random home like a hopped up hobo and begins rummaging through the refrigerator, ramming day old chicken, milk and tomato juice into his face. While all of this is going on, mind you, the owner of the house is upstairs with his dominatrix. Both of them leather bound… all while Flight of the Valkyries plays on the radio. Not since Apocalypse Now has that song sent chills down man’s spine and instilled images of chaos and violence into our minds. But to answer your burning question, yes the dominatrix does get punched in the face.
By now, you’re starting to sense a pattern: Action beat, exposition, action beat, exposition and so on. There is a journalist and his cameraman (or lady in this case) who aren’t really given much to do except question the antagonists in this flick, as the duo sets out to prove that Alex is innocent. Which I do have to question at this point: When does it stop being self defense after you gunned down countless thugs, beat up a dozen or more cops, crashed more vehicles than The Dukes of Hazzard and caused more property damage than Godzilla? Eh, he’s just a good guy trying to prove he’s innocent!
The film adds another villain, kind of a crooked federal agent, who is trying to bring Alex back to the lab. In the process of trying to accomplish said mission, he punches Alex’s wife in the face. Everyone gets beat up in this movie. I’m surprised nobody took a swing at his daughter. I would have loved to see her do a slow motion roundhouse kick to some dudes stomach. That would have been baller, son. Also, one of the best stunts in the movie takes place on a skyscraper with Gary Daniels dangling from it and falling as he is trying to escape someone from a helicopter shooting at him. But, luckily he lands on his feet without a twisted ankle or scratch and runs off to the next action scene.
To conclude this review that has possibly gone on too long, for a movie that seems like it should have been simple to write about, I found myself having a lot to say. Sure, the script serves as a purpose to get actor Gary Daniels from action beat to the next and he doesn’t deliver any action movie one liners, but holy crap… the action is awesomely over the top! I found myself completely entertained this entire flick and (as much as I hate to use this expression, so I will change it just a bit) I found myself at the edge of my uncomfortable futon.
The film does suffer from questionable editing from time to time (you’ll know it once you see it) and the even though the film had a climatic end movie shoot out, it felt like the final showdown between hero and villain was weak. Trust me; it doesn’t go down at all how you think it would. Also, most of Alex’s dialogue is, “BLEEEH! YAGGHHH! ARGH! UMPH!” You get the idea. But if you love cheesy films that have better action than most movies now, and I know you do, watch this. Heck, even if you don’t you should still watch this.
Check out this trailer from “Rage”