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The Independent Critic

Written and Directed by
Michael Ballaschk
Starring
Aaron Kuban, Duffy Hudson, Mikaela Brown, Dana LaRue, Marlene Martinez, Mark Arnold, Jonathan Arthur, Mary Kay Riley, Wil Bowers, Elliott Ehlers, Joel Wetterstein, Kevin Herrera
Running Time
16 Mins.

 "Rampage Superstar" Review 
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Within 30 seconds of Rampage Superstar's 16-minute run time, it was obvious where the film was going.

Frustrating?

You bet. Despite exuding an aura of cleverness, Rampage Superstar is one of those films that will either strike you as freakin' brilliant or not quite as clever as it thinks it is. Written and directed by Michael Ballaschk, Rampage Superstar (Even the name's pretentious, don't you think?) appears to be following what is a typical day at a public school, when what appears to be a mass shooting throws the school and the town into a media frenzy.

Of course, nothing ends up being what it seems.

I get the feeling that there's a solid film somewhere inside Rampage Superstar, but it seems that Ballaschk is trying so hard to make an important film that the messages feel forced, the acting is over-wrought and the script feels unnatural and histrionic. Rather than playing out like a genuine indictment of contemporary media and/or society, Rampage Superstar appears more to be an indictment of an increasingly apathetic and detached youth.

There's no doubt that there will be those who embrace Rampage Superstar for its boldness and important message, however, if you're among the majority who figure everything out in the film's opening scenes you'll likely join this critic and shrug your shoulders while lamenting the lost opportunity to make a truly powerful film about an incredibly timely topic.

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    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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