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Rampage (2018) - Movie Review

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Rampage (2018) - Movie Review

Movie Review

3 starsRampage is really big. And really dumb. And, yes, really fun. The film works because NEVER EVER does it take itself seriously. How could it?! After all, this is a film whose only requirement is that it have a giant lizard (er, alligator), a giant wolf, and a giant ape pulverizing buildings into powder. And Dwayne Johnson, always furrow-browed enough to sell the springtime nonsense of unethical experiments gone haywire, stars as Davis Okoye, the primatologist and best bud to George, an albino gorilla who gets on the wrong end of some pretty toxic schtuff. It’s no-brainer entertainment to the nth degree.

Movies based on video games have pretty horrible track records. Personally, I have logged many hours in arcades playing the 1986 arcade game that this film is based on. Rampage, when it was just a game, was a lot of heavenly fun for a fat kid like myself. You picked one of the three creatures and smashed shit as best you could. Sure, the soldiers would eventually put an end to you but, goodness, it was a blast. I was a little leery when I heard it was becoming a movie. My faith was somewhat restored when The Rock was cast. I mean, there was a paper thin rationale for how these humans turned into monsters in the video game so, really, ANY explanation could work to satisfy the necessity of having three monsters tear shit up for 90-minutes; having The Rock in it, just meant it could be a bit more of a rocking good time.

Thankfully, the scriptwriting team of Carlton Cuse (LOST), Ryan J. Condal (Hercules), and Ryan Engle (Non-Stop) don’t disappoint by injecting anything “intelligent” and “rational” into the backstory that involves a secret space station secreting a special sauce of mutated gunk that finds its way in the systems of an alligator, a wolf, and a Okoyes’ best friend, George. Suddenly, these animals get wilder, bigger, and develop a bit more attitude. Soon enough, Homeland Secutiry – because why not? – steps in to secure Okoye AND Dr. Kate Caldwell (Moonlight’s Naomie Harris) in the fight against these ravaging creatures.

"a roller-coaster ride of sheer adrenaline as we get just enough of scientific gobbledygook to make this insanity tolerable before the film – with more humor and heart than you might expect – really takes off."


Keep.

Shit.

Stupid.

And, as far as I am concerned, the plan on bringing Rampage to the BIG screen works to entertain far more than it does to produce groans. I mean, for real, you don’t plop down $10 bucks to a movie about three raging monsters with The Rock in the lead and expect Shakespeare. So, for any critic condemning this feature as being ANYTHING but fun, I say get a life. Seriously. This is a roller-coaster ride of sheer adrenaline as we get just enough of scientific gobbledygook to make this insanity tolerable before the film – with more humor and heart than you might expect – really takes off.    

Co-starring Lucky Logan’s Jack Quaid (who once again gets kicked around), Rampage is a bi-polar buddy picture that teases complaint cowardice and rewards righteous banter while making a mockery out of the nonsense-spouting scientists trying to explain – in a coherent manner – why this mutation is occurring. It’s total insanity, sure, but you also won’t care. Just level some buildings already! Thankfully, this fun movie gets the balance right between destruction and dialogue; this is everything that Pacific Rim: Uprising wasn’t.

Indeed, summer has arrived early with this release.

When the audience is having this much fun, I am not sure rationalizing is necessary unless, as is the case here with the EVIL Energyne company and its co-owners (played by Malin Akerman and Jake Lacy), it is to add to the good times. Crumbling Chicago cityscapes and harvesting mutant DNA, what’s not to like here? The CGI is groovy – while we can argue about how the gigantic wolf looks a bit tinny here and there – and the heart, as Dwayne goes to bat solely for George’s innocence, is healthy enough to satisfy. It’s all in good fun, after all.

Rampage is ready to do business with your bucks.

Film Details

Rampage (2018) - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief language, and crude gestures.
Runtime: 107 mins
Director: Brad Peyton
Writer: Ryan Engle (screenplay by), Carlton Cuse
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman
Genre: Action | Sci-fi
Tagline: Big meets bigger.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Even assholes deserve a second chance."
Theatrical Distributor: ASAP Entertainment
Official Site: Release Date: April 13, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: No details available.
Synopsis: When three different animals become infected with a dangerous pathogen, a primatologist and a geneticist team up to stop them from destroying Chicago.

No details available.

Rampage (2018) - Movie Review

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