Red Rage throws everything at the wall, and in some cases, parts stick, but far too often, it slides down said wall as slowly as possible, and never bothers trying to clean up its own mess. A film that tries too much and just not well enough to remain memorable.
A murderous vigilante couple tears through the city, serving vengeance to dealers of a new designer drug called Red Devil in this nightmarish dystopia where everyone seems high on something.
Red Rage takes everything from anything it can find (there is a fun game here in trying to find the pretty obvious references throughout) from Natural Born Killers, to any of the dollars trilogy (including the Ennio Morricone scores), to styling like a UK Robert Rodrigeuz, even to Guy Ritchie script themes. Writer-director Savvas D. Michael is nonchalant with how liberal he is in taking moments and tone from other superior films to make a film that never feels like its own thing. It has taken so much from so many films it never finds its own identity.
This is a shame as there are times where Red Rage could really be something, but it is too stuck in trying to be Tarantino with its use of music that the story never goes anywhere, painfully nowhere. To sacrifice the style and look of the film. We plod for so long the film thinks it is world-building, but it does nothing for the audience.
The story is the one that took the severe hit; we follow three threads throughout, with Oscar (Jack Turner) and Ella (Fernanda Diniz) taking the Natural Born Killers roles as they go on a spree murdering spree but have one last job to do before they retire (yep). Then we follow addict Riley (Jamie Crew) as he ventures desperately into the underbelly, trying to score the last remnants of the mysterious drug. Lastly, we follow Hugo (Ian Reddington), a drug dealer who entertains people with nonsensical chats about nothing. We know these threads will collide at some point, but we get to the point here that we just don’t care by the time the final act arrives.
Characters come and go throughout, with one character having stolen everything from Brandon Flowers music video costumes. Everyone talks, and as soon as they are finished, you are both thankful that they have completed and even more grateful that you have immediately forgotten what was said. Dialogue is terrible, and with that plodding script, it frustrates the life out of you.
But you can easily buy into the silliness of the picture; at times, it looks great with vivid colours that allow it to stand out from other British crime films. Sadly the issue of it trying to be a mesh of Tarantino, Rodrigeuz, and Ritchie causes it to lose itself just when it reels you back in each time. There is something here to enjoy for sure; it just shouldn’t be this hard to find it. Too much of the bad outweighs the good here as it does become a film that is very much style over substance.
Red Rage tries to be surreal with its presentation, but then no, thank you if this is modern surrealism. If you want a surreal film, go watch some Jodorowsky instead. He can meld a message with his imagery. I am sure there is something here for someone to enjoy, but the film’s mishmash nature halts me from finding it.
Red Rage will be available on DVD & Digital Download from 12th April.
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