Sunday, March 15, 2009

Film Review: THE RAGE (1997, Sidney J. Furie)

Stars: 3 of 5.
Running Time: 93 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Roy Scheider, Lorenzo Lamas, Gary Busey, David Carradine, Kristen Cloke, Brandon Smith, director Sidney J. Furie (THE IPCRESS FILE, IRON EAGLE).
Tag-lines: " On The Run...And Running Out Of Time!"
Best one-liners: Maybe "Go baiick to FBI school!"


MYTH: Lorenzo Lamas is leading man material.

FACT: Lamas makes Keanu Reeves look like Sir John Gielgud. Lamas plays a FBI hostage negotiator here. This is the guy who couldn't even pretend to do 'the worm' in BODY ROCK- so how in the hell can he pull off 'tough-as-nails G-man?' Well, he can't. The 90's gold and maroon ties he's wearing here are busier than Grand Central Station and more horrific than any of the crime scenes.

MYTH: Busey and Roy Scheider get a lot of screentime.

FACT: It focuses on Lamas and a woman who they keep referring to as "Dick Tracy in high heels," but who I shall refer to as "boring collagen woman."

MYTH: This film tackles tough subjects like Waco.

FACT: It's like a 20/20 Waco special combined with COBRA. They even try to infer that Waco was Scheider's fault. Lamas is hard-hitting: "There's obstruction of justice, all right, pal...and it's YOU!"

MYTH: Scheider beats the stuffing out of Lorenzo.

FACT: I wish. He gets one good punch in, and then is hog-tied by Lamas. WHYYY?!

MYTH: The wild Busey is tamed by Lorenzo.

FACT: Busey couldn't care less. He's doin' his own thing.

He's covered in lipstick in one scene, camo in another.

He flings a severed head. He calls his cult 'The Death Stars' and refers to his victims as 'squirrels.' He mumbles about redemption and genital mutilation. At one point, Busey captures collagen woman, gets his ginormous teeth in her face in an epic closeup, and whispers "What maikes you think you know so much, when you're so ignorant!"

How is Lorenzo able to chase the van on foot for so long? I think the blonde wig-wearing woman is trying to channel Parker Posey. And will the bearded dude shoosh for a second so I can clearly hear every last Busey gem?

As you can see, this sort of situation arises a lot in this movie. More excuses for the pounding 90's action soundtrack, low-angle shots of Busey's ginormous teeth, and Lorenzo wimpily giving chase.

MYTH: This movie has a great finale.

FACT: It ends with like four or five pages of text epilogue about surviving characters we couldn't give a shit about. Come on!





Three stars for Busey, Scheider, and the bizarro cameo from David Carradine.

Could have been five stars if the ending was Busey and Scheider alternating boot stamps on Lorenzo's face, but I guess we can't win 'em all.

-Sean Gill


Chicken's good... said...

I just watched this based purely on your review!

Although a good portion of it was tedious to sit through, it was also equally entertaining... if only because of how inept it is.

The editing and intrusive, unfitting generic-fantasy-epic score were pretty hilarious. (see the flashback sequence near the beginning with baffling use of fade-transitions during an action scene) Not to mention the part near the end where callogen lady's borrowed '76 Monte Carlo turns into a mid-90's Ford van(!)

I'll also add that Lamas and bumper-lips, despite being the two leads, were the worst actors in the entire movie. Even Busey's wife outdid the female lead. I mean, neither one could act, but the latter clearly didn't give a shit... and given how the movie turned out, it's just as well.

Of course, Gary Busey was infallible as always, but I did feel kind of bad for Roy Scheider.

Sean Gill said...

Chicken's Good,

Ah yes, the indignities that Roy Scheider must suffer... at least Busey got in some good ad-libs. Glad you enjoyed and thanks for stoppin' by!