Directed by Uwe Boll. 97 mins.
Worth my time? No. (Seen with a friend at the Arena Cinema, Hollywood)
Yep, that’s right. I still haven’t seen Iron Man 3 or The Great Gatsby – I’ll get to them soon – but I saw Uwe Boll’s latest thing roughly defined as a “movie.” Not the best use of my time, although it did lead me to discover that the charming Arena Theater on Las Palmas Ave. The folks were nice, the ticket was only ten bucks, and there were no trailers before the film. The experience was worthwhile in spite of Assault on Wall Street, not because of it.
For readers to make sense of my paying to see a Boll film voluntarily and without irony, I need to explain my thoughts on the film’s director/writer/producer, quite possibly the most notorious German since Hitler.
Okay, that’s an overstatement of Godwinian proportions. Maybe Boll’s the most notorious German since Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Correction: Arnold was born in Austria. Come to think of it, so was Hitler. Fine, let’s go with “most notorious German since Himmler.” Moving on.
I admire Boll, not for his directorial talent or creative vision, but for his mastery of production, securing financing, and distribution. In the last five years, the dude’s directed thirteen films, and he has three more projects either filming or in post-production. Not even Soderbergh can touch the speed at which Boll can crank ‘em out. You gotta respect that shit.
Granted, Soderbergh usually delivers a quality movie, so it makes sense that he would take more time with each one. But in a weird way, I still think that Boll’s track record is more impressive. Think for a moment: Boll’s films are abysmal, and I’ve heard more than a few critics and film writers describe him as a latter-day Ed Wood, Jr. His movies, even with their modest budgets, usually bomb at the box office.
But like an 800-model 101 Terminator, Uwe Boll absolutely will not stop, ever. Through some sort of voodoo or Jedi Mind Trick, he keeps getting people to bankroll his projects. Not even the German government’s elimination of a tax rebate loophole (closed in 2005 specifically with Boll in mind) has slowed him down. The man is a cinematic survivor, and his “creative” output has earned a place at the table beside death and taxes.
I swear I’ll get to writing about Assault on Wall Street in just a bit.
Boll’s talent for bringing together casts of well-known actors – also known as “Uwe’s willing executioners” – approaches his fundraising skills. The list of Boll-stars includes plenty of B and C-listers, but this Hall of Shame also features a few heavy hitters:
- Stephen “Johnny Marco” Dorff
- Dave “Kid in the Hall” Foley
- Edward “John Connor” Furlong
- Clint Howard (Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, every goddamn Ron Howard movie)
- Udo “von Trier’s Buddy” Kier
- BEN FUCKIN’ KINGSLEY
- Matthew “S(haggy)LC Punk!” Lillard
- Ray Fuckin’ Liotta
- Kristanna “Terminatrix” Loken
- Meat “His Name Is Robert Paulson” Loaf
- Dolph “Drago” Lundgren
- Michael “Mr. Blonde” Madsen
- Michael “Eddie and the Cruisers” Paré
- Ron “Hellboy” Perlman
- Luke “Dreamy Dylan McKay” Perry
- Jürgen Prochnow (Das Fuckin’ Boot)
- Tara “Bunny Lebowksi” Reid
- Burt Fuckin’ Reynolds
- John “Sallah” Rhys-Davies
- Til “Basterd Hugo Stiglitz” Schweiger
- J.K. “J. Jonah Jameson” Simmons
- Christian “Knock It Off with the Jack Nicholson Voice” Slater
- Leelee Sobieski (That One Movie, You Know, The One with Albert Brooks)
- Jason “Guy Ritchie’s Bodyguard” Statham
- Vern “Mini-Me” Troyer
- Zack “Scut Farkus” Ward
- Billy “Psycho Fiancée in Titanic” Zane
Assault on Wall Street adds Dominic “John Doe” Purcell, Keith “The NAVY Voice” David, and John “The Guy in C.H.U.D. who Wasn’t Daniel Stern” Heard to this list. Unlike most Boll films in which the cast gives the least fucks possible, the players here try somewhat to elevate their material. I suppose they deserve credit, but when the material is this awful, I don’t see the point. It’s like sterilizing the needle before the lethal injection. Heard’s “let’s just try the ‘Greed is good’ thing again” monologue is particularly embarrassing.
The film’s greatest offense is that it’s just a bore. To Boll’s credit, he has made films (Rampage springs to mind) so brutal and depraved that they serve as passable late-night distractions. Shockingly, there’s very little action or tasteless gore in Assault on Wall Street. If you can’t trust Boll to deliver the carnage at the very least, what can you trust?
“I know what you mean, Blair. Trust’s a tough thing to come by these days.”
(Seen and originally written on 2013-05-11)