Going in I thought this was going to be a terrible movie and I was surprised. It’s riddled with plot conveniences and silliness but, at its core, Rampage is a fun movie. The creators were smart with this and made the movie that audiences would expect. A Dwayne Johnson action movie with little emotional back drop and lots and lots of spectacle. The trailers led me to believe that it was going to be even cheesier than it was. Happily, I walked away having seen a movie that is silly on purpose and quite a bit of fun.
Johnson plays Davis Okoye and delivers a decent performance here. His character is a macho man as usual but this time he is more intelligent than lots of roles. His other characters haven’t necessarily been stupid by any means but this one is quite intelligent in his own right. Johnson has proven to be good at action and comedy and his comedic side shines bright here. There is a lot of action from the star, especially some extreme feats performed in the climactic battle at the end of the film. Further, his chemistry with Kate Caldwell played by Naomie Harris was quite good and I would enjoy seeing them on screen again in the future.
Even with Superstar Dwayne Johnson on the case, the best character by far is George, the albino Gorilla we’ve all seen in the trailers. His personality is so fun and adorable that you can’t help but love him. When the toxin that makes him large also turns him in to a rage monster, you can’t help but feel sad. The story revolves around this charming primate and I loved him. He brought both great comedy and some heart to a film that is mostly void of any feeling other than blockbuster explosion and visuals.
The fun and spectacle make for some entertaining sequences but the lack of heart and terrible villains make for a less than great film. The two main antagonists are laughably bad both in acting and motivation. The only thing that drives them is money and staying out of prison. They don’t care about the science behind the toxin they created or anyone on earth but we never get a real sense of what makes them so void of feeling. They come off as hollow and lack any development that makes you care about them.
Even Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character, Harvey Russell, was a let down. He was essentially what I’d imagine Negan to be before the apocalypse. I found this to be terribly disappointing. Morgan does such a fantastic job as Negan on The Walking Dead that I expected to see a great character. Instead the actor just couldn’t break the mold of what he is Negan. Even still, Harvey has some great character development and probably the best arc in the film.
Rampage is a passable film that doesn’t need to be seen in theaters. The big screen and surround sound certainly enhance the experience but I wouldn’t recommend spending your hard earned cash unless you just want to go to the movies. The CGI was good in many parts but there were several moments that broke the immersion with how poor they were. One such moment is in the trailers when you see Okoye standing in the front with a massive George in the background. It’s one of those moments that is so fake that it nearly makes me laugh.
The point of this movie was the entertain audiences with big fights and lots of action. It provided both but at the expense of character development and any emotional attachment that made us care. There is a moment at the end that attempts to pull at the heart strings but, due to the lack of development, it was stale. Johnson gave us some great action and comedy that make me willing to watch this one again on Netflix or some other streaming source but I don’t see myself picking this one up on Blu-Ray. If you want to get to the movies this weekend and have already seen Black Panther, A Quite Place and Ready Player one, then Rampage is a good option. Otherwise, wait for rental or a streaming service to watch this mediocre film.
2 out of 5 Couch Cushions and a throw pillow!!! (2.5)