Words Glenn Blomfield
The Rock is back! Maybe I should I refer to him as Dwayne Johnson? Wearing many hats, he is also an Executive Producer on this no-brainer blockbuster styled movie, loosely based on the 80s arcade video game of the same name. Taking the director seat is Brad Peyton, he has had previous working collaborations with Johnson on San Andreas (2015) and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012). They team up together again to Rock the house with Rampage.
Boom, Crash Smash! I think that pretty much covers it. Oh yeah, also rampaging genetic enhanced creatures means ‘party time’, actually, more like ‘destruction time’ in Chicago city. Our host for this entertaining show is Dwayne Johnson, also a genetically enhanced creature of the muscle mutation kind. His character is primatologist Davis Okoye, who has a bonding relationship with an albino gorilla named George, not to be confused with the cuter Curious George, this gorilla can sign language and joke around with his buddy Davis Okoye. However, a genetic experiment gene thingy-a-ma-jiggy comes George’s direction, and reacts in monstrous ways. Mayhem ensues, two other animals are also genetically affected, a, wolf (that of course can fly), and a crocodile, that is mean, destroying, biological smashing machine.
Hey, look, there is crazy fun to had. Sure, it’s naive, ridiculous, even ludicrous, he shouts from the rooftops “it’s excessive story hokum”. But so, what? what do you expect when a film is based on a 1980’s arcade game, that was all about smashing things? The film seems to be aiming more for spectacle with its flashy special effects and action scenes, than any real sense of a story. The characters are cartoons of themselves, the bad guys are actually quite lame, like kids not getting what they want, and toys being taken away from them. But once again, that’s not really what this film has got in mind. It’s a loud and proud film with Genetic Mutated Creatures running amok, and we have Dwayne (The Muscles) Johnson kicking some serious ass to save the day.
The movie feels like its own mutation, it is a mixed bag of films like King Kong, Jurassic Park Lost World, and a Michael Bay movie like Transformers. As the movie progresses it gets messier, the plot seems to take back seat, the characters do arc in their story, even with some heavy-handed melodrama pulling hard at heart strings hoping for audience connection, which just simply means plenty more popcorn. There is no denying the special effects work is pretty amazing, especially with George the Albino Gorilla, you can actually see and feel pathos portrayed in the acting of this CGI character, he works solidly well. Actually, he makes at times Johnson’s acting needing some of the same CGI enhancement.
You get what get with Rampage, not much of a soul to its visual landscape and you pretty much leave the cinema thinking “What’s next I can watch with popcorn?”. As I said “Boom, Crash, Smash”, that pretty much covers it”.