Tag Archives: Brendan Fletcher

Night Hunter (2019) Review

Time: 99 Minutes
Cast:
Henry Cavill as Lieutenant Aaron Marshall
Ben Kingsley as Michael Cooper
Alexandra Daddario as Rachel
Stanley Tucci as Commissioner Harper
Brendan Fletcher as Simon Stulls
Minka Kelly as Angie
Nathan Fillion as Matthew Quinn
Director: David Raymond

A police lieutenant (Henry Cavill), his entire force, and a vigilante (Ben Kingsley) become caught up in a dangerous scheme involving a recently arrested, troubled man (Brendan Fletcher) who’s linked to years of female abductions.

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I knew about this movie for a little while, even back when it was originally called Nomis (before it was changed to the more generic title of Night Hunter). It looked like a standard thriller, but it was the cast that had me interested, with the likes of Henry Cavill, Ben Kingsley, Brendan Fletcher and more involved. Even though I heard some mixed/negative things about this movie, I wanted to check it out for myself. It indeed is a rather generic and average serial killer thriller, with some decent performances making it relatively watchable.

Night Hunter is aiming to be one of those serial killer thrillers like Se7en and Silence of the Lambs, but instead just end up having the standard clichés and tropes that a lot of other imitators have in their movies. That includes the roles from Cavill’s super serious cop to Kingsley’s vigilante. So much happens early in the movie (mainly the first 15 minutes) and it really feels too much and rushed. Then it suddenly slows down to a crawling pace after the first encounter with the serial killer character. The movie is an hour and 40 minutes and doesn’t necessarily feel too long, but it definitely stretches out some sections of the plot for too long. The most ridiculous side of the movie is the use of futuristic technologies, from high level tracking devices to hackers who quickly type on a keyboard and say “I’m in”. If you read a summary of the plot it doesn’t sound so bad, but in the movie itself they really fail to make it interesting. At some point there’s an attempt to find what makes this killer tick, but it doesn’t last very long. Night Hunter is quite procedural and you don’t really feel anything throughout, despite a couple of okay twists. It oddly enough manages to be a little too complicated and convoluted, and it really didn’t need to be. The third act isn’t even really that satisfying, it just sort of ends and that’s it.

As I said earlier, they’ve got a good cast here, but they don’t deliver their finest work. Henry Cavill is the lead as the police lieutenant, and he is good, probably the strongest of the cast. His character is a pretty familiar cop character, but Cavill manages to elevate the role just a little bit. The rest of the cast is mainly a mixed bag. I’ve not seen much of Alexandra Daddario in other movies for me to say that she’s a great actor, but she’s been better in other movies, it’s hard to buy her in this role. Though to be fair to her, despite her character featuring quite prominently in the plot, she’s given practically nothing to do for the most part. Ben Kingsley has his own plotline, with him and Eliana Jones (as his adopted daughter) as vigilantes hunting down sexual predators, and although that aspect makes the early section of the movie feel overstuffed, it at least provided a somewhat interesting angle for the story instead of just feeling like a standard cop finding serial killer movie. With that said, you’d think with the way they are set up in the first half that they will play a major role in the movie. In a sense they do play a part in the second half but not has much as you’d think, and by the end they mostly just feel like setup for the serial killer to be encountered by the rest of the characters. There are other actors like Stanley Tucci who are also decent enough, but some cast members like Minka Kelly and Nathan Fillion are more background characters, and honestly could’ve been played by anyone. Brendan Fletcher as the serial killer had me interested, his performance in the Uwe Boll directed Rampage trilogy was the saving grace of them, and he was legitimately great in them. Here his performance here is a bit odd to say the least. I know that people who have seen this movie are a little split about how they feel about him. He is very over the top but he does convey the craziness of the character quite well. With that said the character has DID, let’s just say that it’s not a good or respectful portrayal of people with that condition. It certainly wasn’t the best choice for the character or the movie. When Fletcher does get more serious and less goofy with his performance, he’s a lot more effective, so removing the whole mental condition aspect would’ve made the movie and character much better.

I believe this is David Raymond’s first movie, and for a directorial debut it’s not bad. With that said, it does seem like at many points he’s trying to imitate some classic thrillers with his direction, much like with the story. The music is trying really hard as well, being overly intense when the movie really wants you to be tense, but it’s so heavy-handed that it’s more distracting than anything. The direction isn’t bad, just pretty standard.

Night Hunter may have a great cast mostly giving okay performances, but it’s not really worth watching it for them. The story is pretty familiar and nothing special, the direction is just okay, and overall it’s a standard thriller that isn’t particularly engaging. If you have an hour and 40 minutes to spare and are genuinely curious about it, then I guess it might be worth checking out. It’s not as bad as what I’ve heard from other people, but it’s really just okay at best.

Rampage: President Down (2016) Review

Time: 112 Minutes
Cast:
Brendan Fletcher as Bill Williamson
Steve Baran as FBI Agent James Molokai
Ryan McDonell as FBI Agent Vincent Jones
Scott Patey as FBI Agent Murray
Crystal Lowe as Crystal
Director: Uwe Boll

Bill Williamson (Brendan Fletcher) is back, alive and well and doing a recon mission around D.C. This time he wants to cause a major population disruption within the USA which result in devastating consequences reverberating throughout the world. His new mission this time to bring down The President of the United States and his Secret Service detail. Bill brings with him all the freak-in havoc and acidity of the previous 2 movies.

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I wasn’t particularly looking forward to Rampage 3 recently, however I knew I had to get it over and done with. While I praised the first movie, the second movie lacked any subtlety and seemed more like a self indulgent political exercise by director Uwe Boll. Uwe Boll’s concerningly blatant and ham fisted political commentary series continues into the 3rd movie, to deliver probably my least favourite movie in the trilogy. Outside of Brendan Fletcher’s performance, I really didn’t like any of this movie.

Despite summaries of the movie stating that Bill Williamson is trying to kill the president of the United States (note that the name of the president is omitted, despite other president names not being omitted in the this or the other movies), the president gets killed off very early in the movie. Among the movie focussing on Bill, it also focusses on some FBI agents who are trying to find who killed the president for some reason, and I don’t know why there is so much focus on them. Questionable moral aspects aside (which I’ll get into soon), this movie just feels lazy and boring despite being such a passion project for Uwe Boll. At least there were a lot more going on in the previous Rampage movies. In the first, Bill goes on a shooting rampage and in the second, he takes some people hostage, both had some form of intensity throughout. In this movie, Bill just waits and hides until the third act, there are some pretentious monologues that he does but that’s it. The messages and themes by Uwe Boll once again are incredibly ham fisted. It is just so obnoxiously pretentious and self indulgent, and even at times contradictive. It’s pretty much like the second movie so if you want to know what I mean, read my review of that movie. The one further thing about the message in this movie that’s worth mentioning is the ending. The way it ends the story is quite dark and this is going into spoilers (if you really care about spoilers, skip to the next paragraph) but ultimately, Bill’s long term goal is achieved, and I have to say that it’s a little troubling that I couldn’t tell at the end if Uwe Boll is showing this to be shocking and a cautionary tale or he’s actually all for it. By the end of the movie, I actually felt a little dirty, and that rarely happens with me in movies. I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

Brendan Fletcher is again the best part of the movie, really conveying the intensity and emotion that Uwe Boll is trying to get the character to have. This time around, Uwe Boll tries to make him sympathetic by giving him a wife and child and having scenes with him, and while Fletcher once again does a good job at selling it, it’s not enough to make us the audience care about him. Bill Williamson, for all his monologues is a pretty 2 dimensionally written character, and any attempt to develop him is rather sloppy and unconvincing. It’s really Fletcher who makes him somewhat work. Once again I really hope that Brendan Fletcher gets his big break, he deserves it. The aforementioned FBI agents are really bad, really obnoxious, annoying and unlikable. So there’s absolutely no one to root for, at least the second movie had some innocent hostages to try to root for even though they would be killed off inevitably.

The direction by Uwe Boll once again is actually so amateurish. It’s definitely a lot better than the way most of his other movies are directed but it still is incredibly faulty. Especially with some of the use of the cameras, the production design, the editing, everything. Really there aren’t much action scenes until the end, and they are full of slow motion and a rather self indulgent.

Rampage: President Down thankfully is the end of Uwe Boll’s bizarre Rampage trilogy. If you liked the previous Rampage movies, you are likely to get something out of the third movie. Outside of that though, Brendan Fletcher’s performance is really the only redeeming thing. Rampage 3 is self indulgent, boring, lazy and it makes really you feel terrible at the end for watching it. This is the last Rampage movie, and also the last Uwe Boll film and I couldn’t be more relieved.

Rampage: Capital Punishment (2014) Review

Time: 93 Minutes
Cast:
Brendan Fletcher as Bill Williamson
Lochlyn Munro as Chip Parker
Mike Dopud as Marc
Michaela Mann as Marlene
Director: Uwe Boll

Violent anti-hero Bill Williamson (Brendan Fletcher) has a plan to change the world by exacting vengeance on the rich, and ripping Washington apart. He holds a number of people hostage and uses his captives as his political platform to spread his message and awaken humanity. It’s time to destroy the system, and change won’t happen peacefully.

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For some of those who saw Rampage, it was a surprise considering Uwe Boll’s other work, which seemed to be almost all bad. Rampage was a simple, yet effective movie which seemed to get most of its necessary aspects right. It wasn’t great by any means but it was okay for what it set out to do. I also seemed to like the sequel, titled Capital Punishment (the movie I’m currently reviewing) when I first saw it. Thinking back to both movies, it dawned on me that they really weren’t that good, especially the second. No doubt, Uwe Boll is actually trying with the Rampage movies but it’s not really done that well. Some of the elements are praiseworthy, especially Brendan Fletcher’s performance. However overall it ultimately now just feels like a ham fisted speakerphone where Uwe Boll could unload all of his political thoughts, and as a movie it’s really not that good.

Instead of main character Bill Williamson going on a killing spree, Bill now decides to take people hostage. It’s more like a contained thriller in one location than an absolute shoot em up. One of the stand out parts about Capital Punishment is that this movie is incredibly preachy, with tons of monologues by Bill and some of the most blatant political commentary I’ve ever seen in a movie. There is no subtlety whatsoever, it’s a little worryingly the way it’s done. It’s not the actual concept that is wrong, it seems like it could be something controversial but interesting. It’s that the execution is really ham fisted with really no thought put into it, like Uwe Boll recorded all of his drunken rants and ramblings and decided to put it into this movie. While there’s clearly some truth to Bill’s words, the film never takes into account the horrible things he does. We don’t need some guy telling us that what he’s doing is wrong, but there’s something troublesome about how the film perceives him. Having a character like this is very difficult to pull off, you have to show some of his positive aspects, while not trying to glorify his actions. Uwe Boll does not do a good job with that. The ending is also just so convenient and lazy, obviously setting up for another instalment in the series.

Brendan Fletcher as Bill Williamson is once again is the best part of the movie. I really hope he gets a lot of great work, because if there’s anything that the Rampage movies have done, it is that it showed off his talent. All the ham fisted monologues that he has to do, Brendan Fletcher elevates with his performance, which is honestly saying a lot. He is very believable and intense in this role and does very well at it. I can’t remember how the other actors did in their roles but I recall that they didn’t particularly stick out. There’s one person who did feel a little out of place, and that person is Uwe Boll. He does have a small cameo in the movie and he didn’t really fit in with the whole experience. He wasn’t terrible but he was a bit of a distraction, even if it was for a brief moment. It doesn’t help that during one monologue by Fletcher’s character, Boll comments that “he’s right”, shameless to say the least, considering that he wrote the movie. It also just makes the movie unsettling as to how Bill and ‘his’ (totally not Uwe Boll’s) messages are seen, and far from a good way.

One improvement over the previous film is that it does have a smoother direction without too much shaky camera. It does use a ton of slow mo, especially when Bill is shooting people, there are times when someone gets hit and it goes into slow mo, seemingly even more gratatious than the first movie. The production design and the general look of the movie is not much better than the first movie, it does have a very amateurish vibe from it. The music is basic as well.

Whereas the first Rampage at least seemed to be balanced, Capital Punishment increases the monologues written personally by Uwe Boll and becomes a preachfest and it becomes really annoying and self indulgent. There’s pretty much no reason to watch Capital Punishment outside of Brendan Fletcher, who really does deserve better than Uwe Boll. I’m not looking forward to reviewing the third and final Rampage movie but I’ll be glad that it’ll be over.

Rampage (2009) Review

Time: 85 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Violence and offensive language
Cast
Brendan Fletcher as Bill Williamson
Michael Paré as Sheriff Melvoy
Shaun Sipos as Evan Drince
Lynda Boyd as Bill’s Mom
Robert Clarke as Evan’s Father
Director: Uwe Boll

A man, Bill Williamson (Brendan Fletcher) with a thirst for revenge builds a full body armour from Kevlar and goes on a killing spree.

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Uwe Boll was often infamously known as one of the worst filmmakers ever to work and get attention, pretty much like Ed Wood or Tommy Wiseau, if none of their films were actually entertainingly bad at all. Despite this, many have said that his Rampage movies were actually really good. I did have some doubts going in but coming out I’ve found that Rampage is a surprisingly decent movie. It does have a few flaws here and there and it really isn’t that great of a movie but it is overall a decent movie that might actually be worth checking out, for those curious enough to give it a shot.

Rampage is a little slow with its buildup, in these moments it shows what drives the protagonist Bill (Brendan Fletcher) to essentially go on a killing rampage. It does get a little too preachy, political and in your face about what Uwe Boll is trying to say, there is little subtlety but it can be overlooked. In these moments, there are also parts taken from later on in the movie that were put in there that really didn’t serve much purpose (maybe just to remind us that he’s going to eventually go on a shooting rampage). Although I felt that they did that a little too much, it seemed to work fine enough. It’s once he dons the Kevlar armour that the movie really picks up. The film is not that complex and a lot of it is following Bill on his rampage but for what Rampage is going for, it succeeds pretty well at it.

If you’ve watched plenty of other Uwe Boll movies, you’ll immediately detect the sudden improvement in acting, it’s like they’re suddenly acting like human beings. I heard that it’s because the actors were allowed to improvise but whatever the case, the acting is okay. Brendan Fletcher was really good and he does well in showing his eventual descent into madness. He was somehow also able to convey his emotion even behind a suit of Kevlar armour. He is quite intimidating and a real powerhouse when he’s on screen. He’s really one of the highlights of the whole film. The supporting cast was also pretty good but it’s mostly Brendan Fletcher’s show, it’s really him who’s the standout.

Uwe Boll’s direction wasn’t anything special but in comparison to the direction in most of his other movies, it’s much better. The cinematography is a little shaky, I could understand the reason for this decision but at the same time, it got a little hard to see what was going on at times. A good thing is that the violence in this movie is well handled, unlike some of Uwe Boll’s movies like Bloodrayne, he doesn’t have an excessive amount of blood. Even though there is a lot of blood, it is played as realistically as much as possible. Rampage does really feel like a low budget movie but it’s effective enough.

Rampage is a surprisingly good movie from Uwe Boll and it’s almost worth checking out. Although the cinematography is shaky at times and there really isn’t much to the movie aside from Brendan Fletcher going on a shooting rampage, the film is decent overall and for an Uwe Boll film that is extremely rare. It’s not a must see movie but if you’re curious enough, I’d say check Rampage out whenever you can.