This review is spoiler-free.
Giant monsters are on the ‘rampage’ and only one man can stop them, of course, it has to be Dwayne Johnson.
It still amazes us that Johnson is such a massive box-office draw, even when the films are terrible, they still make money. So it’s a good job they employed him for Rampage, otherwise, this film may financially bomb. The studio is clearly hoping that The Rock is enough to bring in the money because as a film, Rampage is really quite terrible.
Loosely, and we mean, loosely, based on the video game classic of the same name, the movie follows primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) on a mission to save his friend George, a gorilla, who has fallen foul of a top secret experiment. George becomes unnaturally aggressive and increases in size, as does Ralph (a wolf) and Lizzie (a crocodile) before breaking out and causing mayhem on the local population. With the strong-willed Dr Caldwell (Naomie Harris) at his side, he must stop the beasts before its too late.
They have already given away the fact that George, is not ‘bad’ for long and actually teams up with Okoye to take down the other two creatures. So that’s not really a spoiler, and while it was predictable, they maybe should have kept that out of the trailers so it would have least made more of an impact when it happened. The Okoye and George connection is handled relatively well at the start, but with Johnson playing the same character he always plays, the line delivery and humour was way off the mark. If you love The Rock, you will probably love this film. It’s so ‘Rock’ it hurts. His appeal is not for everyone.
As for Naomie Harris, when Johnson wasn’t trying to take over her screen time, she was pretty engaging. Her character, while basic, was at least fleshed out a lot more than Okoye. She had that little something extra that you could invest in. The rest of the supporting cast were fine, if not a little predictable. The usual generic characters in these types of films were all on display. Thankfully there was Jeffrey Dean Morgan to help at least attempt to bring some class to the film. He had fun with the role, was engaging to watch but he still struggled thanks to the really poor writing. He just about made this film watchable.
So what about the action? Well, don’t think this is one massive action romp. While the action sequences are impressive and had their fun moments, they are few and far between. The story fails to draw you in and you may find yourself struggling to keep yourself invested. The film relies on CGI too much for its big setpieces, and the green screen at times is extremely jarring.
So, a badly written script, lots underdeveloped characters and some ropey looking CGI. This film is going to tank right? As mentioned above, probably not. It ticks the boxes for a big screen action adventure and has the added pulling power of Johnson. The film will probably be a success and don’t be shocked to hear talks of sequel or a cross-over universe in the near future.
Simply put, this film is terrible but will probably make enough money to pass as a success. Johnson is Johnson and delivers his usual ‘same character’ performance. Some nice moments in the big action sequences are not enough to paper over the extensive cracks found in Rampage.