Handguns figure in the intertwining lives of nine people. Warren shoots his wife Helen's lover and his defense is that he thought he was shooting an intruder. She leaves him; the lawyer ...
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Three minor delinquints (Danes, Ribisi, and Epps) are recruited by a cop (Farina) working undercover to bust a cop/drug ring. When the officer who recruited them is killed, they go above ... See full summary »
Handguns figure in the intertwining lives of nine people. Warren shoots his wife Helen's lover and his defense is that he thought he was shooting an intruder. She leaves him; the lawyer helps her get a job with a nutty, reclusive computer wizard who waves a pistol about, sometimes at Helen. Tennel, the computer geek's ex-assistant, lands a video-store job and is smitten by Annabel Lee, an aggressive street kid who likes complaining about men to her pistol-packing psychotic brother to set him off. In secret, Annabel starts an affair with the lawyer, who has both a pistol and a gay lover, who becomes jealous. He has a pistol too. A cool (and armed) cop stays on Warren's tail.Written by
One of those movies that just make me say "what the !@#$...?"
Months after watching It's The Rage, I'm still not sure what the director and writer were trying to accomplish. Were they trying to tell me that guns are bad things and that they should all be smelted down into raw steel/plastic/whatever? Well, being that I long for the good old swords-and-bows of yesteryear, I guess I can live with an anti-gun message. However, having almost killed people with just my bare hands, I can tell you with authority that without a person holding it with the nerve and idea to do the killing, a gun cannot do a thing. It is only as effective as the person using it.
Nonetheless, the statement that guns are a bad thing in the hands of the wrong people is still a valid one. However, this film presents that statement in the worst possible fashion: by presenting every gun owner in the film as a lunatic, the film falls into stereotyping. In the minds of Reddin and Stern, a sane, rational gun owner does not exist. Every gun owner to them is a mental illness stereotype, a homosexual stereotype, or both. The few characters that don't conform to this dull pattern are police officers who embody an uneasy sense of corruption. Apparently, the idea of a public figure who owns a gun in order to defend himself from lunatics who disagree with his message has never occurred to these people.
Even the dedication of the film to a friend who was killed in gun play does not help the situation. It makes the entire story come off as the confused whinings of a child. Yes, it's tragic that someone was shot for no good reason. Hell, dozens of people were shot for no good reason in a place called Port Arthur, just a couple of thousand kilometers from where I live. But then again, if just one or two of the people who were killed in Port Arthur had a firearm themselves and knew how to use it properly, the death toll from that incident would have been drastically reduced. This is the one inescapable fact that extremist films such as this would never willingly admit to.
The film doesn't exactly work as a comedy either, thanks in part to the aforementioned stereotyping. I suspect that Gary Sinise's character was meant to be a joke, but since I have heard it a million times already from people who are far too stupid to be making films, it fell flat. Even millionaires with fragmented personalities are aware they have to take care of business. The same goes for the characters played by David Schwimmer and Giovanni Ribisi.
The only actor who salvages their credibility from this mess is the ever-likable Anna Paquin, and it is not surprising that her character offers the biggest hint at a second dimension. Perhaps if It's The Rage had been entirely about her, or developed as a satire narrated from her viewpoint, the negatives of this film might have been easier to swallow. Then again, considering that she winds up behaving in a stereotypical fashion herself, maybe not. You know a film is in trouble when one of the few Oscar winners of recent years who has not irrevocably damaged the credibility of the awards cannot save it.
I'm not a big fan of guns, but I am less of a fan when it comes to stereotyping and one-sidedness. These are two elements that this film has in spades, and it is with a heavy heart that I can't even recommend it as a comedy. Worth looking at to see Anna Paquin in yet another role that is truly beneath her. All The Rage gets a two out of ten for me (which is even more damning than a one, since I often give ones to films that are so bad they're funny).
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