Rampage (2018) Review
Updated: Nov 21, 2022
Movie Name: Rampage
Director: Brad Peyton
Producers: Brad Peyton, Beau Flynn, John Rickard, and Hiram Garcia
Release Date: April 13th, 2018
Movie Budget: $120–140 million
Box Office Revenue: $425.8 million
Last night after a family dinner, my wife and I wanted to rent a movie on XBOX Video. Unfortunately, there was not much to choose from, so we agreed on another Dwayne Johnson movie, Rampage. Let us see if it is any good.
Let us start with the fact that this is a movie, loosely based on a video game of the same name. This was a popular game back in the 1980's and it was also released on various video game consoles, such as XBOX 360, NES, Master System just to name a few. As you would have guessed the story was not a very elaborate one as it was an old school video game.
You essentially select one of 3 characters, Gorilla, LIzard and a Wolf. Then your goal is to destroy cities before Policeman, Army Soldiers and other people try to kill you. Sample Gameplay can be seen below.
Rampage - Arcade Sample Gameplay
Back to the movie at hand. Dwayne Johnson plays a Primatologist named Davis Okoye. He takes care of a special Gorilla named George. George knows sign language and he is a very mild mannered Gorilla with a sense of humour.
Then there is a a segment where we are brought to a space station where experiments were made on rats. There was something that went wrong and one of the rats was exposed to a pathogen. While one of the astronauts tries to escape, her escape pod also gets destroyed and the vials of pathogens are scattered and fall in a forest. There are 3 animals that come in contact with the pathogen. There is George, a lizard named Lizzie and a wolf named Ralph.
What this pathogen does is takes the animals DNA and then transforms it so that it goes back to its most primitive instincts and becomes very aggressive.
That is pretty much the premise. The rest of the movie is trying to stop the monsters from destroying Chicago.
Let us first go into the negatives of this movie.
The main villains in this movie are Claire Wyden, the CEO of Energyne (played by Malin Åkerman) and Brett Wyden, Claire's dimwit brother (played by Jake Lacy). They never came off as legitimate villains. Jake is always bumbling and just wants to have lots of money. Claire is the brains of the operations and I believe that they wanted to make her seem like the powerful female that has control over everything. However, for me that came out flat. I never really cared for these 2 characters and I never felt like they were ever a big threat. They could have developed this a lot better.
The "love interest" of Davis Okoye, is not memorable. She is the doctor that used to work for Energyne. Then she was fired. So the only reason she is there is because she knows there is an antidote. Other than that, the interactions with Johnson are minimal and you do not feel the chemistry growing between the characters.
As you may have noticed, in the story explanation, I did not mention any other characters other than The Rock and the Gorilla. This is because when the dust is settled and we are 10 years down the road. All that you will remember is that it was a Dwayne Johnson movie. Most of the characters are forgettable.
For a big budget movie, the CGI was sometimes wonky. There were shots of The Rock and other characters from the front when falling from a plane and it just looked off. It looked like they went on Snapchat and added a filter to their face. It looked really weird.
Alright now that we got that out of the way. Now for the positives.
This is a typical summer type action movie. Plot is at a minimal and you get to see many big CGI stunts and explosions. So if you are looking for that type of movie, where you do not need to think much, this one is for you.
I also really liked the interaction between George the Gorilla and Davis. Unfortunately, these are few and far in between. There are reasons for that of course, but due to the fact that most of the character development was weak, I was hoping to see more of these two.
Having said that, we must remember that this is a movie loosely based on a video game. When we look at it from that point of view, it is not too bad considering the others in this list. I still say the best ones is the original Mortal Kombat but Rampage is close on top of the list.
I know some people will say, "What did you expect? Action movies are often devoid of any emotion and it is just action". That may be true to some extent, but there are many action movies where you remember the characters cause they resonated with audiences. John Maclean in the Die Hard Movie Franchise or Arnold in The Terminator just to name a few.
Unfortunately, there is too little for me to like here. I do not think that I will watch it again unless someone else rents it or it is the in flight movie. This is not a memorable movie by any means but it does fit in well with the Dwayne Johnson action movies.
Rating: 2.5 Rampage Gorillas out of 5
What do you think? Am I way off base or do you share the same opinion as me. Let me know below.