Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Dwayne Johnson – Davis Okoye
Naomie Harris – Dr. Kate Caldwell
Malin Åkerman – Claire Wyden
Jeffrey Dean Morgan – Harvey Russell
Jake Lacy – Brett Wyden
Joe Manganiello – Burke
Jason Liles – the motion capture of George
Rampage is a unique offering. One of those rare gems that is nothing new but much needed in these times where Hollywood seems to have gone to hell. This movie provides 105 minutes of total escapism, brought to you by a fucking MASSIVE albino silverback gorilla who smashes his way around cities causing total carnage whilst trying to halt other animals who have also been ‘blown up’ by the same rogue genetic experiment. Rampage is very watchable from first to final scene due to its incredibly simple plot and non-stop action. It is sheer ridiculousness with a twist of adventure, proven by the dangerously entertaining scenarios Davis and Kate get drawn in to throughout. It’s all here for the more monster sci-fi loving viewer, with bubbling science laboratories and corporate enemies, an unstoppable gargantuan wolf, and aftermath of an experiment gone wrong endured by cities torn in half. Rampage will certainly quench your thirst if this genre of movie is your cup of tea.
Johnson leads the movie in his standard meat-headed way; generally by holding his massive arms up whilst trying to hold people off by speaking in hushed tones with “hold up, I’m concentrating” facial expressions. That’s right – you get absolutely nothing different here to what you’ve had before from the actor. Wrestler. Producer. President of the USA-to-be and whatever else he’s been able to pull out of the bag. The man sure is a multi-tasker, but equally he seems to be typecast continuously and brings nothing more to a movie than himself. So here we are again with ‘that big muscly wrestler guy’, running around cities of North America in an XXL size t-shirt (which would be a duvet on anyone else but tight on him), being the tough guy once more. Johnson’s character isn’t original at all but he nails it nonetheless with his steadfast performance of the hero who will save us all. After all, this is what he does best.
Rampage doesn’t lose itself in a deep plot or drawn-out scenes which is one of its winning attributes. It develops at a slick pace and contains plenty of wisecrack dialogue between various characters along the way too. One particular character The Walking Dead fans will recognise before he’s even opened his mouth is Harvey, played by the baseball bat-wielding Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The actor is quite different in Rampage. I would like to say very different but in all honesty the bloke is just Negan – in a suit. Like Jason Statham or Liam Neeson, Morgan holds the same persona he does in previous productions (The Walking Dead, basically). It was almost impossible to watch the actor grinning and rock back on his heels then tilt forward as he delivered a cheeky line without thinking he had a baseball bat somewhere nearby. Still, he’s a powerful addition to the cast and delivers the dynamite alongside Harris and Johnson.
Rampage is a tacky delight. It’s packed full of adventure as its story unfolds around total carnage caused by grumpy blown-up animals. In addition to this viewers have a huge hero whose size seems appropriate as he too stomps through cities, trying to bring it to an end (but causing a bit less carnage). Big versus extremely big here with some excellent special effects used to bring George and his gray wolf enemy to life with great clarity.
But what went wrong?..
Rampage might explode with action as a breathtaking race against time kicks off, but it has its faults. It is highly predictable in places and this lowers the excitement, especially when a lead character drops a sarcastic line or makes an obvious statement. Or when what you anticipate will happen – happens, with no surprise element.
Viewers who like being swamped in mystery-adventure won’t have any complaints. Give it a go.