Rampage (2018)


Director: Brad Peyton

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Naomi Harris, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Review Author: Shaun

Monster movies; just the sheer mention of a film like this puts a smile on my face, however sitting through this film – it quickly fell off. Rampage, a film (with absolutely no built-in story) about giant monsters destroying cities only this time they’ve thrown in the 21st centuries main action star: Dwayne Johnson. As much as I find him electrifying, even the highest paid actor in the world can’t scoop up the organs this film has spewed out.

The focal creature George, an albino gorilla is by no means the most memorable ape that graced a cinema screen, but what will be remembered is how funny the ape can be. I found myself chuckling at George’s fondness of crude humor and his scenes with Dwayne Johnson’s character had some charm, I just wish the film could have spent more time on their friendship before rushing to the eventual carnage. Even though you’re paying for the carnage, it’s still nice to throw in a hint of strained friendship here and eternal conflict there. Speaking of which, the actual monster fighting monster scenes are done well for a cheesy action film. despite the ridiculousness of it all.

The buck stops there though. Once you get to the core of this film, it feels as though a meeting was held to decide what happens in the film, and nobody objected to anything. There are characters at the beginning of the film that are never heard from again once George gets infected with a pathogen. I’m not even sure that these characters had any other purpose other than to add fuel to the fire, the fire, in this case, being Dwayne Johnson’s ego.

The human villains in Rampage were so laughably bad, they feel like rejected Henchpeople in the Austin Powers films. Malin Åkerman and Jake Lacy’s performance as the brother and sister antagonists were so overacted, I wouldn’t be surprised if they had an evil laugh, and it’s made worse by the fact that we spend quite a lot of time with these characters plotting their evil schemes. Their motivation for money is so uninteresting and lazy.

Trying to apply any form of sensible logic to this film is a complete waste of time because Rampage is essentially what would happen if one of those cheap, beyond awful Sharknado films got a large budget. In fact, I would argue if Rampage was shown on the Syfy channel it may have gotten more positive reviews as one of the better films shown on that channel. But no, because it stars Dwayne Johnson you’ve got to put it on the big screen to rake in the box office.

The plan that The Rock and the female companion, Naomie Harris, must stop the monsters is the epitome of convenience. Every idea the two have it is immediately shown to be the right idea despite having minimal knowledge of what to do. For instance, hacking the big bad company’s server from the thermostat is ridiculous but the film wants us to go along with it. Even if you have a film that is not taking itself seriously and knows it’s not taking itself seriously, you still need to throw in some sort of realistic elements so that the characters reasoning and actions don’t become too foreign and ridiculous. Unfortunately, this is exactly how it feels in Rampage and it spoils any fun the audience has watching it.

The film tries to be mindless fun but overall the problem with it though it that it’s too mindless. There is no justification for anything that is happening, and Rampage is clearly set on distracting you from this by using the star power of Dwayne Johnson. The characters are laughable, whilst the beginning and end have taste, the in-between is completely bland and the only time I had a very positive reaction is whenever the gorilla George made rude gestures. I don’t really say this often, but I would recommend giving this a miss.

Rating: 1 / 5 Cans of Dutch Gold

Author: Reel Time Flicks

Passionate about film and writing since 2015.

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