Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down? Simple, spoiler free reviews.
Rampage is a science fiction monster movie starring Dwayne Johnson which was loosely based on the video game series of the same name by Midway Games. It also features Naomie Harris, Malin Åkerman, Jake Lacy and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
The story follows primatologist Davis Okoye (Johnson), a man who keeps people at a distance but shares an unshakable bond with George, a rare and extraordinarily intelligent albino silverback gorilla, who has been in his care since he was rescued from poachers. However a rogue genetic experiment mutates this gentle ape into a raging creature of enormous size who destroys everything within his path. Okoye teams with discredited geneticist Kate Caldwell (Harris) to secure an antidote to not only save the fearsome creature who was once his friend, but also the world.
Okay so let’s be honest. We all know exactly what you’re going to get from a Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson film. He’s going to be playing pretty much the same character as always – a muscled bad ass who kicks ass, does the right thing and saves people. That’s Dwayne Johnson 101. Dwayne Johnson 102 is that its awesome every time. The movie might be terrible, but it will be/he will be a lot of fun.
That’s pretty much the case with Rampage, it’s a bad film but I can’t say I hated it as I did have fun watching it. It has to be said that if he wasn’t in the film and it had literally any other lead actor, I would have hated it.
Rampage is packed full of action clichés such as military generals thinking that bombs will solve everything, even after they fail multiple times. “I know, I know. The bomb failed but how about a…bigger bomb?” Alright General, take 5 mate. Johnson of course, is his own walking cliché but that obviously gets a pass because its Dwayne Johnson.
The film also falls into the trap of attempting to give you too much back story for certain characters. Yet at the same time, it gives you literally no information about others. Either way it doesn’t really matter as you’re watching a film about big monsters fighting things, but still.
Malin Åkerman and Jake Lacy play the two human antagonists and they were without a doubt my least favourite thing about the movie. The pair of them are so cartoony, over the top and just deliver such laughable performances. I know that the premise of the film is from a video game and that it’s a little mad but, you know, tone it down a little. The movie could have really done with having a more believable villain for Johnson to punch in the face at some point down the line.
My favourite character was Harvey Ramsey, a government agent who works for OGA, who is for some reason a cowboy esque character who spouts random one liners. He is played in an equally hammy performance by Jeffrey Dean Morgan but I enjoyed him far more as he brought the right amount of cheese to the role.
I’ve got to say that the CGI for George was brilliant and Jason Liles has clearly done an excellent job during the motion capture. I would have quite happily paid money to see The Rock play with this gorilla in a zoo for 90 minutes, never mind the rest. Their interactions are hilarious.
It is incredibly apparent however that all of the time, money and effort went into George’s CGI as everything else looks terrible. There is nothing worse than watching a big disaster destruction movie and all you can think about is how rubbish it looks.
Overall, Rampage is a weaker Dwayne Johnson vehicle than we’re used to but while it is admittedly terrible in many ways, I still had fun with it and would probably watch it again at some point down the line.