Ok guys now I don’t know about you but I absolutely loved the Rampage game way back in the day! So part of me was a little intrigued to see how this movie would pan out. Would it be the movie to break the video game curse or just another let down in the quest to break that curse?
Well this movie is utterly ridiculous and so camp in parts it can be cringe-worthy. Yet it seems they are aware of this and its just the sort of mindless dumb fun it has been sold to us. Even with Dwayne Johnson at the helm, who tries his hardest to carry the entire movie through using only his charm, runs out of steam midway through. To be fair, there is only so much he is able to do before you realise that the movie is just absolutely absurd and no amount of star power could save this.
After being told about the woeful “genetic editing” formula, no surprises here as it is unleashed on earth and we have 3 wild animals who, wait for it, transform into giant mutated versions of themselves and then, yes they do get to go on a ‘Rampage’ (Sorry). The script for Rampage is just plain stupid but they have tried to mask that with some utterly cringy dialogue, especially when they talk about all the science behind turning your everyday animals into giant rampaging monsters.
So we have Dwayne Johnson anchoring the film with his usual mix of humour, heart and machismo, but the character he plays, Primatologist Davis, is conveniently so over qualified. Its absurd he is a former special forces solider turned anti poaching operative who can handle guns, helicopter, sign language, apes and sleeper holds to name just a few. You name it, he can do it! We also have George the ape who really is the main star of the movie, with some sweet and funny scenes with the Rock before his accidental transformation. Briefly we are told that the DNA change is a mixture of all types of animals which is why the Wolf, and Croc seem so badly mutated, but with George it just seems like he hasn’t had his steroids and is on a massive Roid Rage throughout with no real mutations.
Ok so on a technical level the amount of CGI that went into this movie is atrocious from the get go. We see an Astronaut lift out metal containers with the DNA in them. These where CGI and you could tell the actress here was just lifting something else as her fingers did not look like they were holding a canister. The creature designs where OK, the weakest of the 3 I thought was the wolf as it just didn’t seem to capture the realism or detail that the other 2 monsters carried.
So when I went to see the movie all I knew was it’s based off a video game and the Rock is in it. So you can imagine my surprise when we are treated to another Hollywood heavyweight in Jeffery Dean Morgan playing Agent Negan, sorry I mean Agent Russell. It’s definitely the same character though as he just delivers all his lines with the same cockiness as his character in the walking dead. We also have Deathstroke, ahh again sorry, Joe Manganiello who pops in as the badass merc – Burke, yes that’s right, Burke the Merc! However it’s a short lived role and never really has the impact as I thought it would. Now we can’t forget the comic relief in P.J. Byrne and Jack Quaid who are set at the start to be Dwayne’s hilarious counterparts before seemingly disappearing entirely from the film.
None of these characters are as poorly served as our not intimidating in any shape or form bad guys. Their scheme doesn’t even register as a half assed attempt to make money as it makes no sense, especially when they try to explain how they will get away with it and make a profit. Yet the FBI and OGA (Other Government Agency) know they are behind it already. We have greedy immoral CEO Claire Wyden played by Malin Akerman and she delivers some horrible dialogue and scowls so much, I’m surprised her face isn’t twisted. We also have Jake Lacy playing the weasel and outright annoying brother, Brett who for whatever reason is always eating and his performance is completely forgettable unless it was in a pantomime.
DIAGNOSIS – ICU/FLATLINED
Rampage offers nothing new as a giant monster flick and it certainly does not break the Video Game to Movie Curse. It does offer up just enough entertainment to stop you from completely hating it and potentially leaving the cinema, which a few people did do as I watched on. This will never be mistaken for a good movie although it could have been much much worse if it was not for the cast. So if you are going to see this keep your expectations low to non-existent and you just might enjoy it!