Review: Assault On Wall Street (2013)

assault on wall street

Bankers, scum of the Earth they be, no?

Written By: Uwe Boll
Directed By: Uwe Boll

I will not lie, I expected Assault On Wall Street to be pure schlock. I’ve never hidden the fact that I love Uwe Boll as a director for his ability to make grade A quality schlock. The cinema world needs people like Herr Boll, people willing to make films so atrocious that they are oodles and oodles of fun. Keeping all of that in mind I naturally went into this Herr Boll film expecting more of the same from the pugilistic German director. What I got instead was an honest distillation of Herr Boll’s worldview and a fascinating film to watch and think about.

Listen, no one is going to accuse Assault On Wall Street of being the best the cinema world has to offer. All I’m saying is that Assault On Wall Street isn’t crap. It’s not even so bad it’s good, it’s a genuinely good film. It’s not without its warts and I firmly believe one has to be a fan of Herr Boll to understand his approach with this film. But, underneath some rough exterior Assault On Wall Street is a well made film that doesn’t deserve to be tossed into the schlock bin.

Most surprisingly it’s the little things that make Assault On Wall Street work as much as it does. Herr Boll actually spends time developing his lead character. We’re allowed to spend enough time with Jim Baxford that we recognize and feel for his plight. He’s a well-formed character, he has desire and an inner drive that the film allows us to be privy to. Take for instance a moment late in the film where we see Jim curl up in his hotel bed. He stays to one side of the bed, he does this because he’s still living for two even though he’s now only one. That’s a surprisingly adept and heartfelt moment from Herr Boll that feels distinctly genuine.

There’s no subtlety to Assault On Wall Street. Most will view this as a negative, but I feel it is a positive within the film because of how closely it mirrors the personality of its director. Uwe Boll is the same man who challenges critics to boxing matches and has no shame whatsoever in the films he makes. It’s only natural that he would have no shame whatsoever in harboring such hatred towards the rich and the powerful. Herr Boll fully believes that Jim is justified in everything he does and that he is the hero of the film. I don’t agree with Jim being the hero (even if I do agree with Herr Boll’s overall take on the American financial system), but I don’t have to agree with him being the hero. Instead I need to take in what Herr Boll is offering up and be fascinated by his fetishes being brought to life in a very personal manner.

I’ll probably be all alone in my borderline love for Assault On Wall Street. I’m okay with that, I’ve always been pretty alone on the Uwe Boll fan train. I enjoyed Assault On Wall Street, it is a well made, and deeply personal, film from a much maligned director. Uwe Boll wields his worldviews like a sledgehammer and that will turn most away. I found the way Herr Boll implemented and framed his worldviews to be more than enough for a good time at the movies.

Rating:

***

Cheers,
Bill

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