Don’t you hate it when you’re minding your own business, and a genetically altered mega-alligator jumps out of the river and starts scaling your high-rise? It happens to all of us eventually. Well, it happens to everyone in Rampage.
The video game based movie has all the classic elements of its genre: good animals gone bad, nefarious corporate titans sacrificing the common good for the bottom line, and a hero who believes humanity isn’t reserved for humans. In this case, that hero is played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Lost In Space
The movie opens in space, where a science experiment goes a little too well, and the cute tiny animal becomes a tad bigger and destroys the entire space station. But several pods carrying the toxic material survive re-entry during the fall to Earth (clearly the laws of physics were given the day off), and are found by various species, including George, an intelligent, albino gorilla in the care of Davis Okoye, a primatologist played by The Rock.
Bigger Is Better
George, along with a wolf and the aforementioned alligator, grow to supersized versions of themselves, and can’t be stopped by guns, grenades, or helicopters. Eventually they all converge on Chicago for an epic chase scene that sees an alligator burrow through a building and a wolf take flight.
Honestly, it’s a refreshing change of pace to see the Sears Tower destroyed instead of the Empire State or Chrysler buildings. But that’s about as original as this movie gets. The Rock is essentially playing opposite a guy in a motion-capture suit, and signing with a clever and crude gorilla.
Rampage is an action movie that checks all the boxes. And as video game based movies go, it’s better than Super Mario Bros., but falls short of the recent Tomb Raider reboot. The film is self-aware throughout, which plays to Johnson’s strengths. In fact, his presence takes a perfectly average action movie and raises it to something fun and moderately enjoyable.
What’s The Point?
The question we were left with is: what is the message of the movie? Unchecked corporate greed is bad? Don’t mess with nature? Humanity is all around us? The movie raises the questions but doesn’t give us any answers. Maybe we’re supposed to figure that on our own. Or maybe the point is just to make a butt load of cash by putting The Rock in situations in which he excels.
If you have a big screen TV and decent sound bar, you can easily wait to see this movie at home in a few weeks, but seeing it in theaters isn’t the worst way to use ten bucks.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
Unleash your inner-beast with The Rampage. Light and fruity with spiced rum, it will pack the kick of an angry mega gator while having you raise your eyebrow a la The Rock.