Rampage: President Down full movie review - Not bad for the end of a trilogy, but a bit disappointing.
Before I get into the meat of it all, I'd like you to know that I am biased on the subject, as I very much enjoyed the last two films in the series, and I probably would not be as lenient if it was not the end of Rampage.
Fans of Rampage will be happy to know that numerous elements found within the first two films have made their way to the third. Bill extensively plans his attack, and the film successfully builds a lot of tension and releases it in a bloody climax.However, unlike the others in the series, budget issues are glaringly obvious. The majority of the film seems to be shot within the same limited scenes, which, unlike the second film, does not have the interaction between Bill and his captives to keep it interesting. A great deal of action takes place off of the screen, only being referred to in text messages or by news reports, which do their job of a low budget method of building tension. Unfortunately, the hour or so the film takes to build said tension is not proportional to what it all leads up to, and left me feeling disappointed.
Interestingly, a significant chunk of the movie is used to build Bill up as a human being with emotions and compassion. This is achieved through his interactions with his wife and infant son, Billy. I was honestly surprised at how tasteful it all was. It wasn't done to justify or downplay Bill's actions, and it really did give his death more impact, as a human being was killed rather than a total monster. These scenes are some of the best in the movie, being well written and acted. Speaking of which, boy, does the acting get goofy and BOY, are some of the characters unnecessary. I could go on about it for more time than I have, so I'm going to restrict my criticism to a single element. Remember Chip, the news reporter from the second film? He had a personality, character development, and was very much a major part of the movie. The reporters in this, however, seem flat and uninterested and only exist to fill us in on scenes that Boll did not have the budget to shoot, and also to be executed by the hobo from the second film.
I can't help but believe that Uwe Boll wanted to make a much larger film, but didn't accommodate for a smaller budget, hence why President Down has major plot points being shown in small clips under ten seconds long, if they're even shown at all. The most glaring example of this is the use of neutron and nuclear weapons, which is what gets people to rally to Bill's cause and wreak havoc in the ending of the movie. The bombings and the massacres are both shown through news reports, and then barely mentioned again. I suppose I can forgive the latter, as it's the ending of the film, but that doesn't make it any less a disappointing ending.
Despite all its shortcomings, the third installment of the Rampage series does have its good points. Brendan Fletcher's acting is some A grade stuff, and many of the positive points of the previous films, despite now being shackled by budgeting, are still alive and kicking. I also quite enjoyed the explanation of Bill's transformation between the first and second films, turning from a bank robbing mass murderer to a political terrorist. The movie manages to do a good job of creating a world without showing you it, using news reports and Bill's messages to and from outside of his hideout to show the happenings of the world and how he has affected them. That being said, it's still disappointing that these events did not get fleshed out scenes of their own.
Overall, I found Rampage: President Down to be a fun watch, despite its numerous flaws. I would not suggest rushing out to buy it, but I'd personally be happy to purchase it with the rest of the trilogy.