Rampage

The latest video game based movie is Rampage, starring The Rock.  Over the years, we have had very few video game movies that are worth anything.  The video game this movie is based on is one of the simplest games you are going to play so there aren’t a ton of expectations for a brilliant film.

However, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is always entertaining and is worth watching in just about anything he does.  This film came from the director Brad Peyton who brought us San Andreas and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.  This film falls right into that company so you should know what to expect.

Primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) works at the San Diego Zoo and has a special relationship with an albino ape named George.  When George is accidentally exposed to a dangerous gas, he begins growing and starts becoming much more aggressive.  Turns out there are two other animals that had been exposed to the same gas and have been turned into giant beast.

Davis does everything he could to keep George calm, but when a group of government agents arrive, led by cowboy-like Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), they take control of George.  Unfortunately, two evil villains at the company whose experiments led to these accidental transformations are looking to draw these monsters to Chicago so they can make money out of the situation.

The three monsters arrive in Chicago and start crushing the city.  And Davis and Naomie Harris arrive to try to stop George.

Okay, so Rampage is a stupid movie.  There are so many moments that are so ridiculous that you can’t believe it.  Some of the characters are poorly written and have terrible dialogue.  Another problem is how these characters suddenly come up with ways around impossible situations- from out of nowhere.  The old Batman (1966) series would have Batman and Robin solving riddles and making illogical guesses that always turned out to be true (like Glu Glutton’s Glue Factory).  There are a lot of “Batman Leaps” in Rampage.

And yet, there is just something entertaining about The Rock and monsters destroying Chicago.

Yes, the two villains are simply horrid.  They are some of the worst villains to grace the screen in a long time.  Still, villain Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman) gets one of the funniest (albeit unintentionally) exits of the film.  I actually laughed out loud when she met her fate.  These villains are total failures and they threaten to turn this movie from a silly B-movie monster flick into a terrible movie.

Thankfully, The Rock is here and he is one of the most charismatic actors we have ever seen.  He can make the worst film watchable.  He does it here as well.  However, the Rock does feel like a video game character himself since he seemingly could not die.  He went through a lot of stuff here, but it never appears to stop him.

The monster fights were actually pretty good.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan felt like he was playing a movie version of Negan (from Walking Dead), and yet I liked him.  He is one of those charismatic individuals whom may come close to The Rock.  He is just enjoyable to watch, and he is fun to root for here.

Sure, there are plenty of moments where you can’t help but roll your eyes at the ridiculousness of it, but you can be entertained by Rampage.  You have to approach it in the right manner.  This was never going to be an award winner.  It is a big, dumb action movie, with giant monsters.  If that is enough, then there may be enough here for you to have a good time.

3 stars

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