Bullet Points: The Rage
Here at Bulletproof Action we celebrate actors who are willing to put their bodies and careers on the line to make fun action movies and one such man who has done that over the course of his career is Lorenzo Lamas. The man has made a substantial amount of movies in his day and although he isn’t as well known as other stars he isn’t someone that should be overlooked or forgotten. So with that being said, join us in celebration of Lorenzo on his birthday by checking out one of my favorite movies of his, The Rage!
The Gist: FBI Special Agent Nick Travis (Lorenzo Lamas) is trying to catch a serial killer mutilating the bodies of women across the nation. Things are made more difficult for him when he is assigned a new partner/boss Special Agent Kelly McCord, a rookie field agent who specializes in profiling. It turns out the killer in question is actually a group of deranged ex-military vets from Vietnam, and now they’ve set their sights on McCord and Travis.
The Cast: Lorenzo Lamas is supposed to be some sort of negotiator for the FBI even though we never actually see him do any negotiating during the film. I don’t think the writers knew any different. The opening scene is an absolute blast of craziness. There is a high-speed car chase which blows directly through a park full of kids and at some point ends up on an equestrian course complete with hurdles and shit. It is awesome. The entire time the police are shooting hundreds of bullets at the escaping van. Finally, after expending what seems like an infinite amount of ammo at the guy, the van ramps a set of bleachers and explodes, of course. Lamas exits his vehicle and shouts “We needed a suspect!” This being contradictory to the strategy of littering the perp with bullets in order to stop him. As I said, Lorenzo is a negotiator, not a tactical whiz. By the way, the action scenes are probably the only time that Lamas isn’t lighting up a cigarette. He literally lights one and takes two puffs before extinguishing them in every scene. Hopefully for his sake, they didn’t have to shoot each scene too much as his lungs were probably blackened by the end of the shoot. Kristen Cloke isn’t horrible in her role as his partner… or is it his boss? She’s somehow both, but she seems to go back and forth between tough love interest and useless female partner. They also never actually do any real police work though. They just kind of wander around until they get attacked by Dacy and his gang.
Lamas complete with awesome 1990’s tie and hair that is never out of place.
The Villain: Gary Busey almost literally chews up every second of film that he is in. His mouth is much scarier than the rapist/murderer that he portrays. His group of followers magically triples in size for the finale gun battle with law enforcement officials. I wish Busey had been given more time during the movie because he genuinely seemed insane. Roy Scheider plays Lamas’ boss John Taggart, who has it out for him. I would put him in the villain category since he pretty much shits the bed the whole movie in terms of his job performance. I thought they might actually go with the whole Taggart is secretly helping Dacy since he was so inept. But no, he was just terribly incompetent.
Bad quality but you can still make out the camo pants/blazer and tie combo… a shoe-in for any job interview.
The Action: The action was pretty solid for the B-level direct to video movie that it was. There were chases in almost every available transportation method except for maybe unicycle and hovercraft. The producers must have bargained with a local junkyard to get this many cars and vans to blow up. At one point there is a semi-truck chase which lasts about 4 minutes too long. It ultimately ends with the truck neatly crushing half of Lamas’ car and leaving the other completely intact. Close one. The gun battles happen about every 10 minutes or so, just enough time for Lamas to get in a quick pack of cigs in between. By the end of the movie, the FBI has somehow adopted the use of Uzi sub-machine guns and I’m pretty sure Lamas is firing an AK with a drum magazine. Did they just pick them off a dead perp or is the government now issuing weapons stolen from 80’s terrorist groups. Either way, there is plenty of shooting and missing….and missing…and missing. Does anyone ever get shot in this movie? There is also a Lamas fist fight with his boss Roy Scheider who gets to show off his martial arts kicks.
At one point there is a frightening close-up of Busey’s mouth.
Take it Home:
- Cameo: We are given a 2 minute cameo from David Carradine which comes out of nowhere.
- If you want something done right..: I counted five times in the movie that Busey and his men escaped the FBI.
- Great Busey quote: “The more words you use, the closer you are to death.”
- Chase scene: This may be the first and hopefully last golf cart chase scene in history.
- Captain Lamas: Lamas definitely tells Kristen Cloke that he “wants her to live long and prosper.” What???
- Busey 4-ever: I don’t want to give too much away but I’ll just say that a flaming Gary Busey swinging a boat anchor would be a pretty great internet meme/tattoo.
- Epilogue: The director must have thought that we’d actually care about the characters as he gave us like four or five pages of text epilogue. It’s about as exciting as reading the ingredients on a toothpaste box.
For all of the people who have been dying to see a Roy Scheider/Lorenzo Lamas fist fight, this one’s for you.