Nothing better on a Saturday night than to get together with some friends and watch a mindless popcorn flick starring the Rock. Cue Rampage: a new action-packed monster movie that is nothing but wondrous testosterone-fuelled chaos.
A fusion of the monster movie and the disaster flick Rampage tells the story of the relationship between primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) and an albino ape named George, which is suddenly put under terrible strain when a weaponised pathogen falls into George’s enclosure –along with one in the wolf enclosure and one in the crocodile den- and causes his genes to mutate and turn him into a violent and indestructible monster who then goes on a rampage through Chicago. With the help of a disgraced scientist and an arrogant agent, Davis must find the antidote to save George and the city.
Everything about the story screams B-grade monster movie horror, which I love because they don’t promise what they can’t deliver. Right from the beginning you know exactly what you’re in for –as well as how everything is going to play out- and while some might argue that it’s predictable and doesn’t make for a good movie experience I disagree because there’s no way in which you can be disappointed. People go to see ‘bad’ films because they offer an escape from serious thinking and this film definitely falls in with that crowd. Rather than be a ‘horror’ movie, Rampage treads the boards of the disaster flick, showing off its big guns in the multitude of buildings collapsing, firepower, and its explosions budget. From the first scene the entire film is dominated by action-packed special effects, which are definitely overpowering but so right for the experience.
But of course it’s far from a perfect film. As I mentioned, the story is hells predictable: all you really need is the trailer and the first scene to know everything that’s going to happen. There’s also a lack of any real chemistry or animation in any of the performances: the love story is non-existent, Johnson’s interactions with the CG George are funny but not really convincing, and the villain really didn’t have a shit to give.
But filmic criticisms aside this movie was not made to win an Oscar or gain critical acclaim: it’s an unashamed monster romp that does not take itself seriously and doesn’t ask to be taken seriously. Rampage is the perfect choice if you’re out with friends for a mindless night at the movies.