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.
Rampage is a science fiction monster film directed by Brad Peyton. Based on the video game series (loosely) of the same name. After being infected with a genetic mutation chemical we see huge apes, a giant crocodile-like creature and a wolf taller than a modern family home tearing up the streets. Naomie Harris plays a genetic engineer who teams up with Okoye (Johnson) as they aim to stop these creatures before they wipe out an entire city.
Think King Kong and Godzilla on steroids. Throw in some comedy and some incredibly quick pacing and we have Rampage. The pacing freakishly reminded me of The Mummy as the action hits you all at once and everything else doesn’t have a second to develop. Characters, what characters? Chemistry, what chemistry? Just action, action and more action and with this particular feature it works! Not many Live-Action video game movies capture the intensity of their game adaptation counterparts but Rampage perfectly captures the craziness and outlandishness that the game originally brought to the table.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan in a feature film needs to happen on a monthly basis! What a performance he put in as a special agent whose sole purpose is to act as the ‘asshole’. Thankfully playing the badest asshole in the apocalypse in The Walking Dead, Jeffrey Dean Morgan came well prepared. Imagine Negan with a suit and tie and a little more swagger and there we go. Perfect.
For a movie that smashed more set than Donkey Kong it still had slices of humour that paid off rather nicely when called upon. Naturally, we don’t really care too much about character development in a movie like this but as for a films antagonists. We deserved better. Malin Akerman and Jason Liles play the company heads of Energyne the evil corporation looking to harness this genetic altering substance and weaponise it. The pair never feels menacing or even believable at any point in the movie and they almost provided a comedic relief without even realising it. It was an awful casting choice on both parts, completely out of their depth and not convincing whatsoever as the villains of this particular flick.
The stunts in this movie are as far-fetched as any Fast and Furious movie. With director Brad Peyton (Journey 2 The Mysterious Island, San Andreas) at the helm, the movie also had eerie similarities to certain set pieces shown in Dwayne’s previous flick San Andreas. Particularly with many of the helicopter scenes and stunts. But having outlandish stunts is exactly what a video game movie should deliver as it takes the craziness of a video-game world where physics doesn’t exist and gravity and common sense are all but a myth.
Overall Rampage does its job. It provides a little heart, a little humour but mostly just lots of machismo and smashing shit up. For a monster movie, that’s all we can ever ask for!
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Photos © 2018 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC.