For a while, I thought this movie was some sort of scathing satire. Of what, I wasn't sure, but there are some absolutely hysterical and stupid things that go on in this movie. Apparently, the intention of this farce is to be some sort of moral commentary on guns in our society. Unfortunately for IT'S THE RAGE, in order for a morality tale to be at all successful, it has to be watchable AND believable. This movie, supposedly anti-firearm, is at its most hilarious when the firearms are being waved about.
The "ensemble" cast has many fine, fine actors, all of whom probably thought that by making this movie, the world would be a better place and they could pick up a paycheck at the same time. Oh well.
Ribisi is hilarious as the meth-junkie with paranoid schizophrenia. His scene in the shooting range is one of the most amusing things I've ever seen. His little kleptomaniac whore of a sister was also really funny, but I recommend seeing Reese Witherspoon in FREEWAY. Also, the scene in the bar where everyone goes for their gun at once was absolutely hilarious! If only they all shot each other, the credits would have rolled, we would have satisfylingly hit rewind. Alas.
Jeff Daniels is funny as the psychopathic white-bred suburban slimeball. Many of his lines were really sharp, and since we didn't care about his dead business partner, why should we? Gary Sinise is a great actor who is once again unfortunately cast, this time as the mentally imbalanced and paranoid recluse billionaire. Gary Schwimmer, ala FRIENDS, plays a gay guy with all the brilliance that cliche can deliver. THIS character suffers from manic depression. There is also a former assistant of the paranoid billionaire who works in a video store and suffers from romantic delusions. We just KNOW he's not fit for survival in THIS ugly, ugly world.
To all of these loopy, unintentionally comic parts we have Joan Allen as the "straightman." She goes through the film having bad day after bad day. As if people weren't awful BEFORE they invented guns. One of the prerequisites of inventing guns in the first place is awfulness, thus the supposed MORAL of this tale is missing the point.
This movie has many problems: superficial characters, goofy script, "missed points", blathering pretentiousness, inane coincidences, unintentional self-parody, etcetera.
What are we to morally conclude from IT'S THE RAGE? Not that society would be better off without guns. Certainly not that guns CAUSE rage in society. Rather, we can draw the lesson from this movie a point that is actually pretty obvious and uncontroversial: psychopaths, manic depressives, paranoid schizophrenics, kleptomaniac whoring minors, and insane billionaires ought not to have guns....well duh. IT'S THE RAGE wants to be anti-gun, yet its case for solving the symptoms fails. It does --sorta-- make the case that we really need to deal with the disease.