Plot: Ryan (Tom Getty) is just riding the bus like always, but an encounter with a beautiful woman will change his life forever. She starts a conversation with him, letting him know she’s seen him before and has taken an interest in him. While he is a little surprised, he rolls with her small talk and soon, the two strike up some good chemistry and some minor sparks appear. But this is her last bus ride, as her internship has ended and she won’t be back on this route. So she gives him her number and though he is a little suspicious that it might be fake, he’s still hopeful. Once he gets home, he gives her a call, but no one picks up. After a couple more unsuccessful attempts, he writes it off as a hopeless case. While she didn’t answer the phone, the call went through and it was the trigger to a powerful explosion in a crowded building. Now dozens are dead, the city is in panic, and Ryan has no idea that he made the call that triggered the explosives that have caused all this chaos. When his door is kicked down and he is taken into custody for the terrorist attack, he is in the dark about what has happened. Can he somehow clear his name and help track down the real terrorists?
Entertainment Value: Also known as America Has Fallen, Rising Fear is a low budget indie that has aspirations of popcorn action greatness. As frequent readers know, I love b movies and Rising Fear is just that, though it wants badly to be an action blockbuster. The movie refuses to give up on that ambition, staging numerous action set pieces and going for broke to pull off these flashy sequences. The story follows a man who has been framed for a terrorist attack as he tries to reveal the truth, but of course things turn out to be way more complicated than we first think. While the movie isn’t able to overcome the lack of resources, you have to admire this kind of ambition. A low budget action movie is a tall order and this movie never compromises, it wants to be a popcorn blockbuster and it never stops trying to make that happen. Of course, the lack of funds is obvious and this hampers the action scenes, as they simply don’t have the polish or presence to be effective. The CGI here is outlandish, with explosions straight out of a video game and the original terrorist attack alone is riddled with laughable effects. But the movie still keeps going and despite these awful visual effects, manages to entertain. Perhaps not in the way it intended, but I ended up having fun and that includes some laughs about the CGI disasters. The cast is dead serious with soap opera style performances, so lots of overly dramatic and stilted moments. This is kind of like the Birdemic of action movies, so if you appreciate atrocious CGI and ambitious indie spirit, give it a chance.
No nakedness. No blood. Well, some blood. But the bloodshed is minimal and done with CGI, so yeah, no points. But as I said, the CGI in this one is over the top and adds that unintentional humor factor. The explosions legit look like those live action, but pixelated arcade games like NARC, it is fucking hilarious. If this were a Sy-Fy movie, it would be one thing, but this movie strives to be a serious action movie, so it is just off the rails how atrocious the visual effects are. A scene where a helicopter shoots up cars on a freeway looks like a bad video game as well, just classic stuff. Normally, CGI is a downfall, but in this case, the bad CGI, combined with the serious tone, is one of the film’s selling points. I found the cast to be not as bad as I expected, but given the serious tone, it leads to some ham fisted moments. Overly serious one liners, political intrigue lingo, and soap opera style scenes are frequent. I didn’t pick up a lot of big money lines, but the overplayed lines are still often fun to watch. I have to award some craziness for the sheer volume of ridiculous CGI in this one, as it flows like a fine wine and never fails to make you wonder how these scenes were approved. Outside of the wild special effects however, this one is a standard political fueled action movie.
Overall Insanity: 3/10