Noob Reviews: Rampage
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is Rampage?
Released in 2018. Rampage makes the jump from popular 1986 video game (and subsequent reboots) to the big screen.
When illegal genetic manipulation experiments on the Athena-1 space station go horribly wrong, the scientists accidentally create a mutated laboratory rat that sets out to kill everyone on the station. Unfortunately, it not only destroys the crew but the station itself and sees the various strains of pathogens they created hurtling towards Earth in unique reinforced canisters that land in three separate places across America. Curious by nature, Ralph the wolf, Lizzie the crocodile and George the gorilla, investigate the crash sites, and each is exposed to a fractured canister and a different strain of pathogen. Increasing size, muscle mass, speed and agility. As well as enhancing its hosts with new abilities (such as giving Ralph the ability to fly). It is not long before Energyne (the company behind the illegal experiments) and owner of the pathogens and the U.S. government discover what has happened.
Unfortunately for primatologist and ex-special forces operator Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), it is a race against time to find a cure for his friend George as his continued growth is met with an equal amount of aggression, fuelled by confusion and panic. Things take a turn for the worse when the owners of Energyne Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman) and Brett Wyden (Jake Lacy). Plan to lure the creatures to their main facility in Chicago using a painful radio wave that draws in the beasts and continues to increase their aggression until it is stopped. Paying little or no thought to the civilian lives of their fellow Chicago residents. And relying upon the U.S. military to destroy the creatures before they arrive in the city, so they can harvest the remains and hopefully make some money out of the pathogens before their financial investment into the project is lost.
Luckily an ex Energyne scientist by the name of Dr Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris), who has a shady past with Energyne and a grudge against them for the death of her brother, can make contact with Davis and assist him in saving George and defeating Ralph and Lizzie. Along with their government contact Harvey Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) after his initial attempts to capture and transport George across America are quite literally brought crashing down in flames.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- Official trailer linked from Warner Bros. Pictures’ YouTube channel -
You can also find the listing on Amazon here.
When did it come out?
Rampage was released in April 2018.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
Dwayne Johnson (Davis Okoye)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Harvey Russel)
Joe Manganiello (Burke)
P. J. Byrne (Nelson)
Will Yun Lee (Agent Park)
For a full cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think of Rampage?
When first seeing Rampage I thought it to be a monster movie from the same vein as King Kong or Godzilla, all special effects, stunning scene locations and a monster versus human story. And I was not wrong, for the majority of the film we have Ralph, Lizzie, and George fighting alongside each other to crush all humans in their way as they search for the distressing radio signal plaguing them from Chicago. Don’t get me wrong, there are times where the three fight but you have to wait until the very end of the film, and they are very lacklustre. All the hype and the build-up for the monsters throughout the film never seems to reach fruition and deliver the epic confrontations hinted at.
In addition, the story is poorly laid out, with most (but not all) of the intricacies explained in the simplest of ways possible - but it is saved by the delivery of the actors. Although I would rate the casting quite high, a lot of the delivery and scenes can seem rushed or awkward, and the film seems to fizzle out towards the end which kills the pacing at time. From sprawling military engagements between the U.S. military and the beasts to the odd human on human fight, the action sequences are great. The animations and special effects are fantastic, and the energy throughout the film, for the most part, is kept at a consistent high.
I think overall if you go into Rampage, watch it with an open mind and no preconceived ideas of what it is or should be like and you will not be disappointed. It’s worth a watch and at just under two hours is not a massive time sink. Some of my favourite moments were the eventual fight between George and Lizzie (although it is a very short fight). Davis coming to grips with the situation and trying to navigate the minefield of corrupt businesses and government aggressors. Agent Harvey (just everything about him and his time on screen are entertaining). And Burke and his team when they are sent to capture Ralph - however, again, what built up to be a great scene played out brilliantly but removes Burke from the film very early on in my opinion. And does so just as you start to find out about his character and how he ties into everything.
Overall, give it a watch. You don’t have to have played the games to understand what is going on and it’s a fun film that will kill a few hours. It’s not overly memorable but is quite a decent addition to the monster movie category.
What rating would you give Rampage?
I would give Rampage a rating of 3.2 out of 5 bananas.
When taking a step back and looking at Rampage for what it is, it’s a fun action-adventure that had a lot of heart but poor execution with the end battle been quite a disappointment (but still fun). Although it is entertaining, it could have been so much more and yet still managed to gross four hundred and twenty-eight million dollars - so it must have done something right or hit the right note for a lot of viewers.
Thank you very much for checking out the review, and if you are interested in Rampage and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion, you can check it out here.