Directed by Brad Peyton.
Starring Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, P.J. Byrne, Marley Shelton, Breanne Hill, Jack Quaid, Matt Gerald, Jason Liles, Demetrius Grosse, and Will Yun Lee.
When three different animals become infected with a dangerous pathogen, a primatologist and a geneticist team up to stop them from destroying Chicago.
Rampage is the type of film that you should go into expecting nothing but fun. The plot is ludicrous, the action is over the top and nonsensical and it’s packed full of clichés but somehow it’s entertaining in its stupidity. Dwayne Johnson starts as primatologist Davis Okoye who has to stop three animals that are infected with a pathogen that makes them gigantic and hugely aggressive. One of these creatures is his ape friend George who he helped save from poachers. Helped by scientist Kate Caldwell (Harris), and a cocky southern agent (Morgan) they go up against baddie Claire Wyden (Akerman) who wants to harness the deadly pathogen.
Dwayne Johnson has forged a successful career as the likeable action hero and here he is no different. Whilst his comedic chops aren’t put to good use, he’s at the top of his game with action set piece after set piece. When I go to watch one of his films I don’t expect Oscar worthy acting or story, but he’s a watchable movie star who gives it his all in any film that he does. In Rampage his character maybe one dimensional but his charisma shines through. My only criticism is that he I’d hoped he wouldn’t play the role so straight. The humour is left to Jeffrey Dean Morgan who seems to be enjoying chewing the scenery as a cowboy G-Man and he delivers many of the best one liners. Unfortunately Naomie Harris’ scientist gets little to do throughout and makes little impact on the film as a whole. It’s a shame as she’s a great actress but her character has only a smidge of character development throughout the film.
But character development isn’t the reason that Rampage will be successful; it’s all about seeing a wolf with wings, a giant ape and a weird crocodile thing beat each other up 90 minutes. The motion capture for ape George is impressive and the design of the creatures in general makes for big screen spectacle at its finest. Despite the fact that the last third of the film involves these creatures smashing up a skyscraper and each other, it doesn’t get boring and there are some decent emotional stakes to get invested in. The plot has so many holes it resembles Swiss cheese but if you can ignore this and just enjoy the mayhem and carnage on screen then Rampage is a decent popcorn movie.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★