"Major Charles Rane comes back from the war and is given a number of gifts from his hometown because he is a war hero. Some greedy thugs decide that they want to steal a number of silver dollars from him. In the process they also manage to kill his wife and son and destroy his hand. The Major wants revenge so he enlists the help of his war buddy Johnny to meet the thugs in a final showdown"
This is one of most intense films ever. Everything is so dark and gritty in this film that you really get a feeling that you are about to go on a dark journey within the first 10 minutes. The film only gets darker, more intense, and even more insane as it all builds up to its amazing climax. This is an amazing revenge flick.
The other thing worth mentioning is that this film is written by Paul Schrader. This is the great man who wrote Taxi Driver. This film feels like a companion piece to Taxi Driver. They both share a complex character who might be insane and they are both very dark inner journeys into these characters lives. They also both end with an extreme explosion of violence. Rolling Thunder may not be as great as Taxi Driver but it sure is great.
Charles Rane goes down as one of the most memorable characters in film. He seems to be a distant brother of Travis Bickle. He is an antihero to the extreme and literally insane. No one in the film and no one in the audience knows what Charles Rane will do next. You can't help but cheer for him but you can't help but hate him to a certain point because he is so fucked up in the head. How fucked up? Well, he loses his hand in a garbage disposal just because he learned to love pain after Vietnam. A complex character if there ever was one.
There is nothing else to say. The film is great. The film is balls to the wall. The film is one that will never leave you. The film is one that will leave you with a big smile on your face at the end. I can see why Tarantino says that this is one of his top ten favorite film.
It's also a HUGE shame that it has yet to come out on dvd. It's even a bigger shame because Tarantino named his video releasing company "Rolling Thunder Pictures" and yet never released Rolling Thunder. Hopefully the film will pop out on dvd one day with a commentary track by Schrader and one by Tarantino.