Movie Breakdown: Rampage

April 12, 2018


Pre-Screening Stance:

Brad Peyton (San Andreas) isn’t a great director and Rampage is an odd video game to adapt into a movie, but I’ve found the trailers for this Rock-led actioner to be oddly entertaining.  Maybe this one will be pleasantly surprising.

Post-Screening Ramble:

Rampage is a dumb movie.  So dumb.  Wildly dumb even.  I’ll explain.  The Rock is Davis Okoye, a primatologist who also happens to be ex-Special Forces.  Because why not, you know?  Okoye’s main quirk is that he doesn’t like people, he only likes apes.  Or at least that’s what you’re repeatedly told by every character even though the guy seems to get along with people just fine.  I’m guessing that Okoye originally read as an asshole in the script, but The Rock just went “Nah, I’m The Rock, I’m nice” and the writers compensated by having his buds project a baffling apes-only persona onto him.  Speaking of Okoye’s buds, his main one is an albino gorilla named George.  When together, Okoye and George talk to each other using sign language, though The Rock mainly just waves his hands around (I swear he signs the same thing over and over) while using a whole lot of words that George can’t possibly know.  They’re tight or whatever though, so it’s tough when George gets walloped by a canister that falls out of the sky after a big rat destroys a space station (seriously).  This canister features some sort of virus that mutates its host’s DNA, and it causes George (and separately, an alligator and a wolf) to get all giant, buff and angry.  Also in the mix here is Energyne, the group that created the bad stuff.  It’s led by main brain Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman doing her best impression of a fucking robot) and her brother Brett (Jake Lacy), a moron who always seems to be standing in front of a Rampage arcade cabinet.  I’m unsure why this movie needed human villains when it features giant monsters, but what do I know.  Anyhow, those two dolts want their special shit back so that they can make more and sell it, so they set off a beacon to draw the beasts to Chicago.  This sends the trio of creatures on a … rampage … that additionally pulls in Dr. Kate Caldwell (a bored Naomie Harris), who claims to have a cure that will save George, and Harvey Russell (an inspired Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a government agent who – for some reason – is also a modern day cowboy.  As I mentioned, it’s all dumb.  It’s also fairly fun.  I laughed throughout the whole movie, sometimes at it, sometimes with it, and one day when I’m drunk at 2am and it’s on HBO, I’ll watch it again and chuckle.

If you’re going to see Rampage this weekend, do it with a big flask in your pocket and your sense of humor dialed to dumb.

One Last Thought:

The final battle in this movie involves an enormous building toppling over in downtown Chicago, and it’s so 9/11-esque that it totally threw me for a loop.  Definitely weird to see such familiar imagery framed with giant mutated monsters running about.

One More Last Thought:

The Rock operates three different helicopters in this movie.


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