When everyone's armed and dangerous, one wrong move can get you killed. Enter into the world of seven strangers - each of whom find their lives changed when their fates collide at gunpoint. Helen (Joan Allen) and Warren (Jeff Daniels) Harding are an affluent couple on the brink of divorce. Their separation causes their lives to intersect with eclectic and tormented individuals including a paranoid computer mogul (Gary Sinise), an adulterous lawyer (André Braugher), a disillusioned cop (Robert Forster), a jilted lover (David Schwimmer), a video store manager (Josh Brolin), a street urchin (Anna Paquin) and her schizophrenic brother (Giovanni Ribisi). Through a series of coincidences, this unpredictable story touches the lives of each of those strangers, lovers and acquaintances and examines the anger within us all.
No, it's the cast. A homeowner (Jeff Daniels) shoots an intruder, who turns out to be his business partner. A police officer (Robert Forster) suspects a setup. His wife (Joan Allen), who didn't know they even had a gun in the house, she gets a job with a reclusive computer billionaire (Gary Sinise). The billionaire's former assistant (Josh Brolin) has left the company to work in the movies, and he falls for a street waif (Anna Paquin). Daniels's lawyer (André Braugher), who is gay, also falls for the waif, much to the chagrin of his unstable partner (David Schwimmer) as well as the waif's unstable brother (Giovanni Ribisi). Based on a play by Chicago playwright Keith Reddin (who also wrote the screenplay) and directed by theater director turned first-time movie director James D. Stern, It's the Rage
never transcends its theatrical roots. Instead of a character type, each person in the story represents a different (but equally shallow) facet of rage. It's all just an elaborate setup to preach about gun control and how our society is increasingly a society of rage. What the world needs, the movie is saying, is a little more self- control and understanding. Obviously, what it also needs is a better use of such a talented cast. --Andy Spletzer