Rampage review “Bigger isn’t necessarily better”


Rampage movie posterRampage is Hollywood’s recent attempt to make the video game genre work and be the next big thing. Anyone who has watched Doom or Super Mario Bros. would tell you that video game adaptations do not translate very well to the big screen. So it’s safe to say adapting a video game franchise is a big risk. An even bigger risk is making a movie based on a 1986 arcade game of the same name.

That involves enormous versions of animals destroying buildings while the army tries to stop them, it’s a premise we’ve seen before in movies like Godzilla and King Kong but can this video game adaptation hold a candle to those classics?

Rampage follows Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) and his gorilla friend George who has come in contact with a rouge genetic experiment that causes the Gorilla to grow dramatically in size into a colossal monster. George isn’t the only one, however, and two predators have also been altered, and it’s up to Okoye and Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) to find an antidote before theses beasts destroy everything in their path.

The CGI on this film is brilliant and George the gorilla is rendered beautifully. It is amazing to think that hair used to be a major problem for CGI but now those problems seem to be a thing of the past. George is a character you love and the movie suffers when his personality gets lost in the second half of the film because he’s so loveable and humorous you want him to never leave the screen.

Dwayne Johnson in Rampage

© Warner Bros. Entertainment

Luckily we are left with an equally charismatic Dwayne Johnson who brings that classic action hero charm we know he’s good for, but when these two interact together it’s comedy gold and a shame the movie didn’t capitalise on this enough. The first half of this film does have some very good moments particularly a forest scene involving a wolf: it is genuinely quite scary.

Unfortunately, Rampage’s second half does suffer through mainly because of its two human antagonists, siblings Claire (Malin Akerman) and Brett Wyden (Jake Lacy) who seem underdeveloped with no characteristics other then they are the bad guys, and it did feel Lacy was hamming up his acting just enough to be irritating.

They did not help to move the plot forward and really just seemed like a forced human element, with a scheme that makes no sense at all. All of this results in a second half that slows down. It’s a shame as the introductions of the cast are really strong. It almost feels like it forgets it’s a monster movie at times. However, it does get that much-needed action packed boost towards the movie’s climax

As video game movies and monster movies go, Rampage is not a bad one but it does have a real mess of tone and pacing and shows us nothing new. The movie had so much potential, but couldn’t work out what type of film it was trying to be. However, if you like the charm and humour that the Rock brings and big monsters causing destruction then you will definitely find what you’re looking for here.

⭐ ⭐

 

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