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It’s not every day that I encounter an Uwe Boll movie that is intentionally entertaining. While the man has crafted some truly memorable motion pictures over the years, only a few can be classified as good. Every once in a while the prolific filmmaker pulls a cinematic rabbit out of his hat that somehow manages to genuinely impress his audience. Boll’s 2013 effort “Assault on Wall Street” is such a film. Believe it or not, it could be the best movie the guy has ever crafted.
Although the movie tends to wear its agenda blatantly on its sleeve, this doesn’t take away from the message Boll and company are trying to sell. Wall Street is an evil world, and good people get screwed by uncaring vultures in sharp suits on a daily basis. However, the director and his team do an admirable job of wrapping all of this commentary around a story that is surprisingly thoughtful and unexpectedly heartbreaking. It might sound like a Lifetime movie on paper, but it plays out much differently on-screen.
Dominic Purcell stars as Jim, a man who is struggling to make ends meet while his wife struggles to regain her health. The couple is shocked to learn that Rosie’s treatments are going to cost a lot of money, particularly since they’re getting the shaft by Jim’s insurance policy. The couple decides to pay for everything using their credit cards while Jim takes a look at his investments. Unfortunately for the security guard, it would seem all of his money is gone thanks to the underhanded crooks who make their money on Wall Street. As the problems start to build up, it’s clear that Jim is close to reaching his breaking point.
Uwe Boll works wonders with his “Assault on Wall Street” script. Much to my pleasant surprise, the film is touching and emotional without being horribly manipulative. Sure, the many troubles that Jim faces over the course of the picture are monumental, but none of them are so far-fetched as to be completely unbelievable. Former “Prison Break” star Dominic Purcell is the film’s anchor; it’s his performance that makes all of this work, particularly when the character decides to get revenge on the folks who have wronged him. Without his impressive turn, “Assault on Wall Street” would’ve been a hell of a lot weaker.
Of course, ignoring some of the obvious plot holes will also make Uwe Boll’s action/drama a bit easier to swallow. The ending only works if you’re willing to overlook some of the inconsistencies. Thankfully, the director has a capable group of actors to help smooth over any rough patches moviegoers may encounter during their viewing. Keith David, Michael Pare, John Heard, and Erin Karpluk all turn in admirable performances. However, it’s Edward Furlong that stands out from the supporting actors. His performance could easily be billed as a comeback, and it’s good to see him doing something serious for a change.
Is “Assault on Wall Street” perfect? Not quite. However, director Uwe Boll has delivered a daringly emotional revenge flick that tackles issues many Americans are facing in this day and age. The message is a little heavy at times, and it often feels as though Boll and company are more interested in hitting you over the head with their agenda as opposed to telling a well-rounded story. However, all of these elements somehow come together in the end, thanks to Boll’s steady pacing and a handful of strong performances from his cast. “Assault on Wall Street” might be the much-maligned filmmaker’s best film thus far. What’s more, it makes a fantastic companion piece to his underrated 2009 thriller “Rampage.”
Uwe Boll (director) / Uwe Boll (screenplay)
CAST: Dominic Purcell … Jim
Erin Karpluk … Rosie
John Heard … Jeremy Stancroft
Keith David … Freddy
Michael Paré … Frank
Lochlyn Munro … Robert