Movie Reviews: Rampage




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     Studio: Warner Bros.
     When three different animals become infected with a dangerous pathogen, a primatologist and a geneticist team up to stop them from destroying Chicago.
     Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello
Bottom Line:

Jon Rutledge

Rampage is the love story from Dwayne Johnson’s days of playing Rampage at the arcade. There is nothing wrong with this because who doesn’t love a giant monster movie? The formula being City plus giant monsters = mayhem and spectacular effects.

They did not recreate the story of the video game but they did capture its spirit. The story they use makes more senses in a more modern setting, even if it’s a bit dodgy with the science. You have three animals that have been affected by genetically altering canisters of gas that fell to earth from a secret science lab in space because the research being done is highly unethical. (I know, I know, just run with me) One lands in a zoo and affects George an albino gorilla. One in Colorado and affects a gray wolf, and one in the Florida Everglades and affects a crocodile. The evil corporation trying to gather the data they need from the monsters set off a high-frequency beacon that drives the monsters crazy and draws them to the headquarters.

Of course, The Rock is going to be the star and center of attention but his presences is secondary to the giant monsters. Unlike other films with mega starts, it's not all about the name on the poster. His supporting cast has done a great job. Naomie Harris (Moonlight, Collateral Beauty) is a scientist who was fired by the evil corporation but is trying to help save the animals. Malin Akerman (Watchmen, 27 Dresses) is the evil head of the company who ran the experiment with her brother played by Jake Lacy (The office, Carol). Together they do a good job at being hated enough to make their just deserts enjoyable. There was a surprise performance from Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen, The Losers) as a government agent looking to contain the situation. He always does a good job but this character was not as unsavory as some of his previous roles.

The star of the show is George the CGI gorilla who drives all of the emotional goodwill of the film. It’s his story that is way more compelling than any of the others on the screen. The Rock has to perform some superhuman feats to keep up with his gigantic co-star. Try not looking too closely at the reality of the situation when dealing with a giant monster film besides it’s a fun ride.

Interesting side note, remember that horrible director of video game movies. Uwe Boll he took offense to Warner Bros. doing a video game movie. In a Deadline Hollywood report, Uwe explained in a statement why he is threading legal action. He says the film would “confuse the audience” and it would “shrink” his brand. (I know, I know, just run with me on this.) His trilogy has nothing to do with the video game and it’s hard to imagine his brand getting any smaller. He asserts the film “is one of those typical feelgood, popcorn bullshit movies that the studios use to brainwash America even more!” I understand Uwe is unfamiliar with what entertainment is considering his body of work but speaking as one of the American sheep, I was entertained, pass the popcorn, please.

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