Usually movie makers strive to stay ahead of the cultural curve. It makes them "visionaries" who are "cutting edge" because they "push the envelope." Two years ago, "Occupy Wall Street" was the hot fad, stoking the usual left-wing outrage at bankers and the finance industry. They were the ones portrayed as greed-heads never held accountable for their crimes. Businessmen just twirl their mustaches and laugh evil laughs.
But that was two years ago. Time for something fresh -- and edgy. A new movie suggests that movement was for sissies. It's time for someone to start a new campaign: Assassinate Wall Street.
Trashy German director Uwe Boll -- best known for adapting video games into movies, like Postal -- has made a movie called Assault on Wall Street, starring Dominic Purcell, who played the innocent Death Row prisoner on the Fox drama Prison Break. This time, he's a mass murderer...but also the hero. It's like a mashup of a criminal John Rambo going after Gordon Gekko.
The plot is as stilted as you can make it. Jim is an ex-military man living a blue-collar life in New York, but his charming and lovely wife has cancer, and the insurance company won't pay for her experimental gene-therapy shots. So Jim puts all his money on the stock market...and then the crash of 2008 arrives. The financiers get bailed out. Jim doesn't. The wife gets depressed and commits suicide.
Apparently, it's time for a lot of people to die in a rampage.
As one film critic put it, "The good guys punch a clock. The bad guys wear ties, painting an extremely one-dimensional portrait of the conflict. ...Jim has no flaws, and his blind faith in a disturbing system of risk is all the screenplay needs to issue him a license to kill."
The speeches made by the financial villains are pure garbage. After Jim has slaughtered hundreds to get to Stancroft, the man running his failed fund, the film stoops to stilted dialogue. First, Jim accuses. "The problem with guys like you is that you're always bragging, so when the rest of the world is suffering, you're making sure that every magazine in the country knows all about your triumphs."
Then Stancroft defines for Jim what capitalism supposedly is. "It's the bankers and the owners and the advisers who get rich. And it's the little people who buy their stock that always lose in the end, people like you. That's capitalism."
One trip to this movie's Facebook page is all you need to know that some people think it's deeply satisfying to watch a real class war. It's a "great and inspirational film. It's a PAYDAY for you and I!" Another wrote: "I loved the movie from the beginning to the end, in real life, the corrupt have more luck."