Tuesday, July 14, 2009


“The Uwe” Boll first appeared on my map when I saw the brilliant trailer for House of the Dead (a Video-Game adaptation) on a Underworld press release DVD.
Not movie of the year brilliant, but brilliant fun.
Or so I thought, boy was I wrong.

Though HotD is not without merits, about all the scenes in the trailer and non of the rest, the execution simply stinks and including original game footage has to count as one stupid idea!
I’m not sure what hurts more, the painstakingly bad almost story the movie serves up or the odd moments when it actually works and gives us a genuine Survival-Horror feeling The Uwe consequently and continuously fails to expand on; a phenomena that can be observed in practically all his movies, as if there was a side of him that actually would have talent in filmmaking if he did let it run free or maybe it’s the other way around and those short moments of quality filmmaking only turn up when he has to restrain himself.
Nonetheless the Uwe has build up a constant output of constant quality, or rather lack of, backed by consistently brilliant trailers (who ever is doing those clearly knows his job) over the years and it has become a kind of ritual to at least rent the newest of his Bollwerks to see how bad it got this time.

Much in this vein I encountered Tunnel Rats, a movie about a less exploited topic of the war in Vietnam, expecting the worst. I’m sure this makes a good part of the reason why I was pleasantly surprised by the movie, but fact is that it also has a certain quality, an odd charm to it. No mistaking, Tunnel Rats is a raw, brutal movie that builds only very loosely on story. Like the war Boll gives not much about why these people are here and as bloody and painful as dying is depicted in that movie as impersonal it is.

If this movie has a message to give then it can only be: War doesn’t care!

Tunnel Rats is no Rescue Dawn, there’s no lingering on the beauty of Vietnam’s landscape (mostly because Boll simply can’t effort that with his budget) and there’s no glint of heroism to his characters, the movie is close to the Australian The odd angry shot but closer still to
Anthony M. Dawson’s war movies.
It feels aimless and mainstream viewers will miss a conclusion to it, but that exactly is what makes Tunnel Rats at times feel honest, it’s a snapshot of war, and war doesn’t make a lot of sense.

The extreme violence shown in the movie, reminded me of something Herzog said regarding a deleted scene from Rescue Dawn:
“I don’t like to show violence against humans”

That’s a strange thing to say for a director of a War movie, no?
Because can this one of all genres justify not to show violence?

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