In the summer of 1978, Gary Tison and Randy Greenwalt, escape from Arizona State prison in Florence, Arizona, in broad daylight.
Gary Tison, played menacingly by Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgement Day, The Men Who Stare At Goats), was a convicted murder who had, just recently, been moved to a less-secure part of prison.
One sunny afternoon, in walks Tison’s three sons, played by Alex MacNicoll (Transparent (TV), The 5th Wave), Skyy Moore (Two Step, Sex School) and Casey Thomas Brown (House of Lies, Justified (TV)), and break ol’ daddy out of prison along with Greenwalt, played by Chris Browning (Terminator Salvation, Cowboys & Aliens).
They head for the Mexican border, of course, relying on their uncle to provide a plane to get them across.
A flat tyre forces them into some unnecessary and drastic action to find a new vehicle, something they need to do twice, both times it doesn’t go well.
Tison’s sons follow him and if he says jump, they say how high? All that is except for the eldest Donnie, MacNicoll, who thinks his dads has gone a little nuts and doesn’t like the company he keeps.
Hunting them down is Sheriff Cooper, Bruce Davison (X-Men, Knight Rider (TV)), who doesn’t talk to Tison’s wife, Heather Graham (The Hangover, Boogie Nights), but rather a reporter who’s spoken to her, Molly C. Quinn (Castle (TV), We’re The Millers).
The gang’s eventual downfall is Tison’s lust for revenge for his brother who doesn’t supply the plane and instead runs to the police. Turning up at his house gives the cops the chance they need.
At a roadblock, Donnie is shot, everyone else is captured except for Tison himself. He manages to abscond and lasts for 11 days in the desert before succumbing to thirst…just fifty yards from water.
The downfall with Last Rampage is in a sub-plot involving Graham and Quinn. Quinn is a reporter who gets Graham to tell her side of the story, one of the few reporters to speak to her.
However, we never learn fully what she said and it doesn’t seem to affect the plot in any way shape or form. Quinn plays her part well but she vanishes as quickly as she enters and you’re left wondering what the point of that little distraction was.
Last Rampage is a beautifully shot tale with a performance of some force from Robert Patrick. He mesmerises as Tison; angry, scary, quiet but powerful.
The parched land of Arizona is framed wonderfully by director, Dwight H. Little (Bones (TV), Free Willy 2). He allows Patrick’s performance to stand-out against this arid backdrop.
On writing duties is, Alvaro Rodriguez (Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn (TV)), who writes from a book by James W. Clarke.
Last Rampage is a good film, it seems to stick closely to the actual story, from what I can ascertain, and Patrick’s performance is stunning and makes you want to see a lot more of this fine actor.
It’s hard to believe that a story this brutal is true, but Patrick has you believe it and then some.