Reviews: daft fun in Rampage

Published On April 13, 2018 | By Garth Cremona | Film TV & Theatre, Reviews

Directed by Brad Peyton,
Starring Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Dwayne Johnson and a Giant Gorilla go head to head against a giant Alligator and a giant Wolf – what’s not to love?! When an illegal experiment being carried out in the space station goes terribly wrong the remains of the experiment comes crashing back down to earth, and hits three different spots in America. When three animals are infected the company responsible for the research scrambles to contain the animals and coneal their underhanded experiments, while keeping their stock price up. Understandably the he Government also want to stop the animals.

I was born in the mid 1970s, and you wouldn’t think it to look at me, you’d probably think mid 1950s, and I’d probably forgive you. Anyway Dad would bring home, in the early 80s nearly every computer system that he could and the games ranged from the basic Space Invaders, or the closest knock-off version (100% machine code, arcade action!), to the better graphics of the Commodore 64. One of the games that I enjoyed a lot, just because it was mindless destruction and you could take your aggression out on screen that you wanted to take out on your four elder brothers was the coin-op arcade hit Rampage. Just punching and destruction and a little smile on my chubby face.

When I heard that Rampage was heading to the big screen I thought it was going to be a train crash. No that wasn’t a slight at the original game, but I thought it was going to be a terrible translation to the screen, there’s no real story there to turn into a film. Then I heard that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was involved and when it comes to movies then, like it or not, he makes things better. He plays a primate specialist at the San Diego animal sanctuary who used to be part of an anti poaching force. He rescued George, the albino Gorilla, and now they are best buddies. There is a very cool relationship between both The Rock and the CGI Gorilla.

When the experiment falls out of space and the animals are infected, George starts to grow, but also the infection makes the animals hyper aggressive. Naomie Harris plays a former employee of the evil corporation who developed the formula to create these monsters and now wants to correct her sins. Her character is feisty and rem,iniscent of her Moneypenny in Bond. Jeffery Dean Morgan brings the ham, playing a cowboy government agent but it works. As yu might expect in this kind of flick, he’s not the only ones bringing in the hammy acting to the film, but again it all works in the context of these giant monsters attacking a city. If I’m honest here I couldn’t care less that the whole thing is just insane and nonsense.

When I say insane and nonsense I mean that in the best way possible. You have to leave reason at the door of the cinema and just sit down and expect to be entertained for the running time of the film. That’s all that happened today. It’s blissful Monster Mayhem for these old bones, I went in expecting fun and wasn’t disappointed. It edged on the side of caution when it came to being overly emotional in the relationship between The Rock and George and the action scenes make you feel you’re watching just a classic no brainer summer action film, and sometimes that’s all you want, a couple of hours daft fun and spectacle to divert you from the world.

Rampage doesn’t ask too much of the viewer, you buy your ticket, you sit down, and allow yourself to fall into the hands of the storytelling. You don’t have to over think the complexities of the genetics or the relationships, you just sit there, shut off reason, and enjoy the show. Like a lot of the movies that The Rock stars in you allow his personality to overcome any short comings but you’ve also got giant monsters tearing apart a city, what more does one need for a summer blockbuster.

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About The Author

Garth Cremona
Garth Cremona is an Irish writer, as well as reviewer of films, comics and books

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