Deceptively vibrant and almost cheerful, Last Rampage is an intense thriller following a group of criminals after a prison break. And while most of the movies involving this subject tend to focus on the break itself, this is not the case here. We’re over and done within the first fifteen minutes. For the rest of the movie, we will be following the escaped convicts Gary Tison, Randy Greenawalt, and their accomplices. Once the action kicks off, this movie grabs you and doesn’t let go until it’s over. As I mentioned earlier, it starts off pretty jovial and vibrant, almost like an adventure. However, it doesn’t take long before it takes a turn for the worse. The entire vibe reminded me of Alpha Dog, another movie based on true events. And if you’re looking for similar movies also check out Hell or High Water.

Last Rampage is based on a novel of the same name written by James W. Clarke, detailing the true events around Tison’s escape. I will leave the link below if you want to know more about the story. The fact that what we’re seeing actually happened makes the atmosphere really uncomfortable and harrowing. Some scenes were really difficult to watch. And this is coming from a jaded guy who’s seen a lot of fucked up movies. Starring Robert Patrick, who was also the producer, the cast of the Last Rampage is a perfect blend of talented young blood and proven old-school. I’m sure you’ll recognize them from various movies and television shows. Everybody played their roles perfectly, keeping the focus on the horrific events that are about to follow.

It is the year of our lord Satan 1978 and Gary Tison is serving a life sentence in an Arizona State Prison along with his cell buddy Randy Greenawalt. The two of them are hardened criminals who just got transferred to a more open part of the prison. However, they are not planning on staying there for long. Gary’s three sons are on their way to prison to break them out. They plan on flying down to Mexico and living out their days drinking and whoring. What’s about to happen is far from it…

Don’t think that because you haven’t heard about Last Rampage this is some low-budget movie. It looks great and the cinematography reminded me of Guillermo Navarro (Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn). Or maybe it was just a similar setting? Either way, expect appealing visuals with those thick and saturated colors. We follow a couple of different subplots unfolding at the same time. They offer a look at not just the story but more importantly at the characters from different angles. With realistic dialogue and engaging storytelling, this is one hell of a character study. Although, it’s more of a study of group dynamics in high-pressure situations. One thing, however, stuck with me ever since I saw the movie. A quote from sheriff Cooper and I will end the review with this. This is just a part of it and to hear the rest, check out the movie.

There’s one more thing. I’d hazard to say that somebody as young as you hasn’t come across real evil in their life. Like Gary Tison. He’s a charmer. Lot of men are. There’s a ready smile for everyone. A handshake, everybody knows his name. But behind the handshake and the smile is a dead thing. Thing that has no heart. Thing that…

Link to the actual events: Tison’s 1978 prison escape and subsequent events

Director: Dwight H. Little

Writer: James W. Clarke, Álvaro Rodríguez, Jason Rosenblatt

Cast: Robert Patrick, Bruce Davison, Alex MacNicoll, Chris Browning, Casey Thomas Brown, Heather Graham, Molly C. Quinn, John Heard

Fun Facts: The original score for the film was written in part by Richard Patrick of the band Filter. And not because Richard is the younger brother of the movie’s star Robert Patrick.

Rating:

IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5833186/

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