Rampage is exactly what you’d expect and I guarantee you’ll probably enjoy it more than I did because I’m a miserable old bastard but I do wish The Rock would be more selective of his roles and actually do a truly great action movie. Maybe Skyscraper will be it…
Plot: Primatologist Davis Okoye (Johnson), a man who keeps people at a distance, shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent, silverback gorilla who has been in his care since birth. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry mutates this gentle ape into a raging creature of enormous size. To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered animals. As these newly created alpha predators tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.
Review: Isn’t it amazing the shite we pay money to watch in theatres these days? I knew going in that Rampage would be big dumb fun and that it was but for some reason I was expecting to enjoy it more than I did. I wasn’t anticipating anything special by any means but even if it’s a silly monster flick I still want the script to be less cringe-worthy. The Rock himself says it best in this very movie when he says “well, this sucks!” which summed it up perfectly.
Performance-wise Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is pretty much the same as he is in every other movie and does his usual shtick of making wisecracks about how big his muscles are and so on, but he has real screen presence and his sheer star power makes any movie of his tolerable. I respect the Hell out of him for how hard he works but I only really like a handful of his movies and I wish they would live up to his marketing/hype machine. I suppose I’m not really the target audience and this is aimed at a younger crowd and admittedly the people I watched it with seemed to enjoy it and even clapped at the end… for some reason.
Rampage does exactly what you’d expect and the highlight was Jeffrey Dean Morgan who is as cool as always and he wasn’t the Negan style character we’d thought he would be. I really liked what they did with him which gave some nice surprises to the story. It was great to see Joe Manganiello and Matt Gerald playing a pair of military badasses even if they didn’t exactly have huge roles.
The visual effects were also very impressive with the creatures looking well rendered and there’s plenty of destruction in Chicago for the finale; it seemed like an odd movie to have 9/11 style references in though and you’ll know the scene I’m talking about when you see it.
I thought Malin Ackerman and Jake Lacy were very cartoonish villains and Lacy was especially terrible but the scene involving George and Ackerman was the absolute highlight of the movie.
There are some impressive set-pieces and I thought the plane crash sequence was one of the most exciting scenes. Keep your eyes open for the Rampage arcade machine in the background during a few scenes which was a nice nod. I used to have the original game on my Commodore 64 (that’s how old I am) and the movie had a few familiar references which fans will surely enjoy.
It’s difficult to review a movie like this; I mean we’re not going in expecting philosophical musings on the human condition. It’s about monsters fighting and destroying buildings and for that reason alone Rampage succeeds.
Overall, Rampage wasn’t quite as much fun as I’d hoped and was mostly let down by a dire script but The Rock’s charisma and impressive action set-pieces will bring in audiences.