Movie Review by Stacey Doud
I was not expecting much when I rented Rampage on iTunes last night. This action/adventure/sci-fi movie, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, was loosely based on the vintage Rampage video games that were released in the mid-1980’s, and have had several incarnations since then.
I must admit that I love a good “ride” in a movie: That is, well-done CGI (computer-made) effects; stuff that could never happen in real life, but looks amazing on-screen; and some kind of plot (no matter how thin) that keeps me jumping in my seat are all I need to give a flick a try. Rampage was a pretty darn good ride…and the plot was as thin as see-through, deli-cut turkey, but I still recommend it for a fun evening.
The basic story: Davis Okoye (Johnson), a retired Special Forces soldier, is a Primatologist in San Diego, and takes special interest in George, the “last albino gorilla on Earth.” George and Davis share a special bond, and communicate with each other using a dialect of American Sign Language (ASL). The “bad guys” are the heads of a giant conglomerate that wants to find a way to use animals as weapons, and have developed a formula to cause the critters that ingest it to be really big, really bad and really mean. Unfortunately, George happens to come across the formula and becomes one big, bad monkey. A wolf and an alligator finish the trio and wreak havoc on Chicago.
At times, Rampage was sweet: The relationship between Davis and George was hilarious at a few points. I just had to wonder, in the middle of chuckling, why Davis would teach George how to say that (use your imagination and you’re probably correct) in mixed company. And I’ll admit that when George’s fate was in peril, I got a little teary-eyed.
I was grateful that the powers-that-be didn’t throw in a useless love story for Johnson, but as far as character development goes, Davis was one of the few that was provided any kind of backstory. Karma caught up with the brother and sister “bad guys” in the end, but there wasn’t much of a history provided about them except that they were bad, bad people…the kind of people that unleash giant killer rats, wolves, alligators and gorillas on Chicago.
All-in-all, if you like monster movies, like Godzilla or Kong: Skull Island, then you’ll probably be satisfied with Rampage. It’s a great ride…and I have NEVER seen an alligator do THAT! [I don’t want to spoil it for you!]
For Parents: The movie is rated PG-13 for violence and language, but there is very little blood or gore. There are a couple of cuss words and one f-bomb in the movie, along with several “implied” profanities.
Rampage is now available for rent or purchase on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital (iTunes and other platforms) formats.
★★★ ½ (3.5 out of 5 stars)