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Film / Assault on Wall Street

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Jim Baxford has lost everything. Now, lead futures are going to go way, way up.

"You wanna know the difference between a banker and a gangster? A gangster always has a getaway plan."
Jim Baxford as he plans his revenge

Assault on Wall Street is a 2013 satirical thriller/drama directed by Uwe Boll. It also goes by the name of Bailout: The Age of Greed.

Jim Baxford (Dominic Purcell) is an average New Yorker whose life savings are wiped out during the 2008 financial crisis by shady investors. With debt mounting, and Jim gradually losing everything he had, he finally reaches his limit and becomes a spree killer, targeting those responsible for the recession.

This film provides examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Jim's first murder, of a corrupt DA who refused to help him, happens by accident when Jim confronts him and the DA inadvertently walks into traffic to get away from him.
  • Amoral Attorney: After the financial firm that managed Jim's investments gives him notice that not only have they lost all his money, but they're demanding another 60,000 from him, he is forced to retain a high-profile financial lawyer to sue them. The lawyer in question is clearly of the dubious sort, demanding 10,000 up front (which Jim has to borrow from his best friend), although he does promise results. However, he has no success: he fails to get Jim out of the 60 grand debt, and even worse discovers that the firm itself is protected from a class action lawsuit. When Jim chews him out, the attorney claims that Jim didn't give him an answer in time about whether Jim would choose to write off his initial investment in exchange for avoiding the 60 grand debt or find enough people to amass a collective.
  • Anti-Hero: Jim, big time.
  • Big Bad: Jeremy Stancroft, a Wall Street portfolio manager who sold toxic stocks and fabricated non-existent loans, is the primary cause of the film's events and a major catalyst of the 2008 financial recession.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Jim may have done justice upon a bunch of prominent bankers who were responsible for the 2008 financial crisis, but he still has more to go after if he is to help the victims of the recession (including himself) recover their earnings and their houses.
  • Comfort Food: Jim is seen having pizza and booze after his wife dies.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Jeremy Stancroft is a Wall Street banker who runs a toxic fund which ruins untold numbers of investors when it collapses. Even when faced with death, he's entirely unrepentant.
  • Crusading Widow: Jim, specifically because his wife committed suicide from financial problems that were caused by corrupt Wall Street hedge fund managers, bankers, brokers and lawyers. He shows Stancroft a photo of his late wife telling them that it's his fault she's dead.
  • Defiant to the End: Doubling as Book Ends, Stancroft gives an angry rousing speech adamantly refusing to let his lavish lifestyle be ruined by a major recession towards his financial advisors, claiming he'd rather see everyone else suffer but himself. At the end, Jim holds him at gunpoint threatening to shoot him if he can't convince him to let him live for a good reason, making Stancroft protest that he still doesn't regret starting up the pyramid scheme that dragged everyone down while holding him up.
  • Disguised Hostage Gambit: Jim is able to get away at the end of his rampage by taking the CEO of the corrupt bank hostage, then placing a gun in between them in a supposed fair game of survival. The banker cheats and gloats about his victory, but finds the gun is empty. Jim was counting on him to grab it early, waiting for SWAT to burst into the room and mistake him for the shooter, and Jim for the hostage so they would escort him off the scene after Stancroft is shot.
  • Driven to Suicide: Rosie commits suicide after she's overcome with grief about the burden she's placed on her husband.
  • Engineered Heroism: Stancroft in his Rousing Speech ranted to Jim about how all the "heroes" of the United States are conglomerate predatory sharks and corrupt executives who abused their powers and finances to ruin the country and its people for their own personal benefits while still maintaining good publicity for having created an entire system of jobs.
  • Enemies List: Jim gathers up a list of wealthy and powerful men in Wall Street, especially chairmen, presidents, vice presidents, senior executives and CEO's spreading them out on a diorama. Each time he kills one of them, he crosses a red X on a picture of that victim he cut out of magazines.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: During his rampage on Wall Street, we see that Jim has taken up a job as a custodian.
  • Foil: Unlike the Wall Street bankers who dump their own financial crises upon others, Jim himself is very reluctant to accept donation money from even his close friends despite becoming a severe victim of the 2008 financial crisis though they all offer to chip in and help him with his financial issues.
  • Frame-Up: Jim uses a trick to at least temporarily make Stancroft look like the killer, and is safely escorted out by the police.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: Jim is an army veteran. The skills he acquired in the military come in handy both in his initial job as an armored truck driver, and later when he becomes a domestic terrorist and assassinates various high-profile targets in the financial sector.
  • Happily Married: Jim and Rosie clearly were deeply in love with each other. This makes it all the more devastating when he's bankrupted by the crash then can't pay for her treatment. Rosie kills herself after realizing the burden she's become for him.
  • Hates Rich People: Jim Baxford is an ex-Army veteran blue collar worker for a security company who becomes a victim of the 2008 financial crash, losing both his life savings and saddling him with a 60,000 dollar debt with his investment company. While initially he tries to hide this from his (seriously ill) wife, she commits suicide when she finds out. Jim becomes a Vigilante Man targeting everyone he holds responsible for the crash, from investment bankers, hedge fund managers, and ADAs who gave the aforementioned a "slap on the wrist" fine, culminating in an attack on a bank where he shoots every stockbroker he sees.
  • I Am the Noun: After Myra threatens to call security on Jim, he responds that he is security.
  • I Have a Family: Jim takes a stock broker hostage at gunpoint. The broker pleads he has a wife, and Jim picks up the photo of him and his wife for a better look (Jim having lost his own wife to Wall Street's greed). Jim spares him, as he only needed to grab the other bankers' attention and start firing at them.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Jim bumps into his former financial advisor whose bank defrauded Jim. The latter makes a token attempt at small talk, comparing Jim's situation to his wife complaining to him that they couldn't go to Barbados that year, not knowing that Jim's wife committed suicide because of their financial worries.
  • Let Off by the Detective: Jim's cop friends clearly realize or at least strongly suspect he was involved with the murders at the end, but still let him go (presumably from sympathy due to his losses).
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Jim kills an Assistant District Attorney who refused to help his case by shoving him in front of a taxi after he gets out of a bar, causing it to end up looking like an alcohol-induced accident.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Stancroft, the film's Big Bad. He's the portfolio manager who weakly manipulates his financial advisers into thinking that dumping the crashed certificates upon their shareholders is an effective means of saving their company. After all that is said and done, the company's reputation goes in the toilet and Stancroft has to deal with an angry U.S. Army-trained man shooting down his board of brokers, sellers and executives.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: After shooting a few Wall Street bankers, Jim goes back to having lunch with his friends (NYPD cops) at the same diner they frequent for chili, burgers and sandwiches. He plays with his buddies' emotions by sarcastically admitting to being the Wall Street murderer (whom they're looking for) but then lets them believe he's just joking. After the lunch, he goes back to killing even more bankers than when he started and ramps up to hurling grenades at the bankers.
  • Morally Bankrupt Banker: Pretty much all of Jim's targets are portrayed as little more than white collar criminals. Particular mention goes to Jeremy Stancroft, a portfolio manager at a bank who openly defrauded his clients during the financial crash, and when confronted by Jim, unapologetically rants at him how cheating one's way to the top is necessary in his line of work.
  • Nice Guy: Sean, Jim's friend, loans him $10,000 to afford the lawyer to fight off the bad investment calling for Jim to pay $60,000 without asking to be re-compensated.
  • Nouveau Riche: Shortly after losing his wife and house, Jim catches the eye of the Assistant District Attorney (Ian Marwood) and his secretary who had a scuffle with him back in the bank all at a restaurant celebrating and partying with food and wine wearing expensive jewelry and clothing. Jim recalls that the secretary kept telling him that "Mr. Marwood is extremely busy!"
  • Police Are Useless: Jim's co-workers, who are NYPD policemen, lack the power to help the victims of the 2008 financial crisis who were cheated out of their money from the real criminals - the corrupt bankers. Wall Street controls the banks, and the banks pay and control the NYPD. Freddy laments that even if the bankers were arrested for corruption, they would only be put under house arrest at worst and still be entertained by prostitutes in their luxurious mansions.
  • Ponzi: Jim deduces that Wall Street is itself a Ponzi scheme that preys upon innocent people wanting to invest their money to increase it by selling them toxic assets. Jeremy Stancroft, a banker at Wall Street, goes on to agree with him that Wall Street is all and all a Ponzi scam.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After their dealing ruin his life, Jim shoots a bunch of Wall Street brokers, culminating in massacring an office.
  • Sarcastic Confession: After Jim begins assassinating bankers and stock brokers for their role in the financial crash, he meets up with his old police and security guard pals in their diner hang-out. When he brings up the recent killings, he sarcastically admits that he's the one behind it, but they take it as a joke. Still, it raises obvious doubts if one pays attention to their unnerved facial expressions.
  • Shown Their Work: Uwe Boll interviewed a lot of victims affected by the 2008 financial crisis as inspiration.
  • The Social Darwinist: Crooked banker Jeremy Stancroft gives Jim a rant to this effect, dumbing down all of capitalism to "the strong survive, and the weak die off". Jim takes out a picture of his dead wife, asking him "like her?" Stancroft quickly changes his tac after an Oh, Crap! expression.
  • Threat Backfire: As Jim tries to get to the ADA, Marwood, Marwood's secretary stops him ordering him to leave and says if he doesn't, she'll call security. Jim, who is a security guard himself, responds "I am security you fucking bitch!"
  • Vigilante Man: Jim goes on a one-man crusade to assassinate people responsible for the 2008 financial crash.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The whole reason Jim eventually goes on a killing spree in the NYC financial district is because his life savings were wiped out by crooked financial advisors, causing him to lose his job, his home, and even his wife Rosie after she kills herself.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: While it is clear that there were at least a small number of women who played a role in the 2008 financial crisis, all of Jim's on-screen kills are rich corporate men. He even spares Stanford's two female assistants (though this could be to conserve ammo). However, at least one female stockbroker is caught in the explosion of a grenade Jim set off.