Boy, wouldn’t it be hilarious if this was the video game movie that became the critical and commercial success? Even more hilarious is if this ends up being a better “giant ape versus giant reptile” movie than the upcoming GODZILLA VS. KING KONG (2020).
The story looks like it’s about a man who essentially takes care of an albino gorilla since it was an infant and they develop a relationship. But the gorilla comes in contact with a piece of… I guess super secret government gas that turns the gorilla larger and more destructive, eventually colliding with a giant wolf and crocodile.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Dwayne Johnson (JUMANJI 2 , MOANA , SAN ANDREAS , and the upcoming SKYSCRAPER  and FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY ) and Naomie Harris (COLLATERAL BEAUTY , SOUTHPAW , and upcoming films MOWGLI  and Bond 25 ). In support, we have Malin Akerman (THE PROPOSAL , WATCHMEN , and TV show TROPHY WIFE [2013 – 2014]), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (BATMAN V SUPERMAN , DESIERTO ), Joe Manganiello (JUSTICE LEAGUE , SMURFS: LOST VILLAGE , MAGIC MIKE XXL , and upcoming films DRUNK PARENTS  and STANO ), Jack Quaid (LOGAN LUCKY , THE HUNGER GAMES , and the upcoming PLUS ONE ), and Will Yun Lee (SPY , THE WOLVERINE , video game MORTAL KOMBAT X , and upcoming films CANAL STREET , ADI SHANKAR’S GODS AND SECRETS ).
Now for the crew. Directing, we have Brad Peyton, known for INCARNATE (2016) and SAN ANDREAS. Making for a red flag total of four writers, we have: Ryan Engle (THE COMMUTER , NON-STOP , and the upcoming BREAKING IN ), Carlton Cuse (SAN ANDREAS), Ryan J. Condal (HERCULES ), and Adam Sztykiel (WIMPY KID 4  and ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS 4 ). Composing the score is Andrew Lockington, known for THE SPACE BETWEEN US (2017) and SAN ANDREAS. The cinematographer is Jaron Presant, known for stuff I’ve never heard of. Finally, co-editing are Bob Ducsay and Jim May, both known for NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS (2016), G.I. JOE: RISE OF COBRA (2009), and VAN HELSING (2004).
Overall, I doubt this is going to be good, but… I won’t lie, it looks like could be some trashy fun. So long as it doesn’t try to make an emotional connection with the audience and gives us a crap load of destruction, I think I might enjoy this just fine.
This is my honest opinion of: RAMPAGE
The multi-million dollar company known as Energyne is conducting an experiment aboard their space station, Athena-1, which resulted in the enlargement of a hostile rat that destroys the station and its crew. The three batches of the serum that created the creature manage to survive its descent into Earth’s atmosphere and land in different parts of the United States, one near a crocodile, another near a wolf, and one inside a wildlife preserve where Primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) works and keeps an eye on the animals protected there, including the unique albino gorilla, George, whom Davis saved as a young ape. George is the next victim of the serum and begins to grow in size and aggression, eventually getting free and causes chaos.
Jesus, and I was kidding! Um… honestly, this might legitimately be the best video game movie ever made. Granted, I don’t think it’s a good movie, by any means, but I was right, it’s some seriously trashy fun.
For one thing, the movie is mostly non-stop action and nearly every scene is something visually appealing to look at. From soldiers getting massacred in a forest, or a plane getting destroyed from the inside, to the military and a city getting destroyed, it’s a whole lot of deliciously fun carnage. And when the action isn’t getting kicked into high gear, the movie does a surprisingly effective job of developing the characters. Specifically the relationship between Davis and George. I won’t lie, I think their interactions were really fun to watch. What with the appeal of the recent Planet of the Apes franchise, I feel like it could have been too easy to screw up George if he wasn’t done by the team that did them, or the recent KONG: SKULL ISLAND (2017). But, Jason Liles brought a familiar, yet wholly unique character to separate George from the rest of the lot. He has a big personality. He has a great sense of humor, but a great sense of understanding to be responsible for the other gorillas, and even the younger ones. And when he gets infected by the CRISPR formula, he’s legitimately scared of his own strength and aggression. But make no mistake, while the drama feels real enough, the movie makes a surprising amount of room for comedy, and I’m not just talking about jokes. I’m talking about the amazing performance from Malin Akerman as Claire Wyden. Akerman steals the show for me in such a remarkable way because her acting is so over-the-top and hammy that I could help but fall in love with her character. She’s closer to a Bond-villain than anything for how she carries herself as so dastardly. I feel like Akerman had almost too much fun with this role, but you won’t hear me complain. She might have been worth the price of admission alone.
Are there any negatives? Of course. Many of the characters feel like they’re kind of just there. Like, I didn’t feel like Kate (Naomie Harris) had a whole lot of development, despite how great of an actress Harris is. The military guys are forgettable, the bad guys make dumb decisions, Joe Manganiello is pointlessly in the movie, and thanks to the trailer, you know exactly how this movie goes, leaving no room for real surprises.
Overall, the movie is quite fun and might even be worth a second viewing, which I should probably consider since I haven’t technically seen the ending. My movie theater’s fire alarm went off and took a little too long for the movie come back up, so I ultimately left. Maybe I should have stayed to collect on a possible free movie ticket… hmm… damn it. Not like shit like this happens every day. Oh well, whatever, I was happy with what I saw. So if you like trashy fun, then I really recommend this. Big monsters, bigger fun.
My honest rating for RAMPAGE: 4/5
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