What do you call a 6’5, 260-pound money making machine? Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
With several films such as the Fast and the Furious series, San Andreas, and most recently, Jumanji, under his belt, there’s little doubt that Johnson’s action films do rather well and are entertaining to adrenaline junkies and thrill seekers. But can a film based on a video game, with giant monsters destroying buildings prove to be as successful? Here’s Derek‘s review of Johnson’s latest the film, Rampage.
Rampage is a sci-fi, action, monster film, loosely based on the Midway Games video game of the same name. Directed by Brad Peyton, the film stars Johnson alongside Naomie Harris, Malin Ackerman, Jake Lacey, Joe Manganiello and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
The film follows Davis Okoye (Johnson), a primatologist, and George, an albino gorilla, who is transformed into a confused, yet raging monstrous creature of enormous size due to a rogue experiment. The pair work together to stop two other giant monsters, similarly morphed by the experiment, from wrecking the city, while Okoye works to retrieve an antidote for George.
The film’s narrative is rather far-fetched yet entertaining for sci-fi enthusiasts and action film fans who are simply looking for a film to sit back and enjoy without having to think too much. Sure, the film’s plot is a little misguided at times and does come across a little odd but somehow it works to provide value for those looking for a mindless flick to pass the time.
Rampage’s character interactions and relationships with one another is what I personally think made the film so much fun to watch. The relationships feel so genuine and natural, that it is easy to relate to the characters. The interaction between Okoye and George was rather heart-warming at times, the pair acting more like brothers than keeper and gorilla. The relationship between the two was key to the film and brilliantly illustrate their respective personalities.
While the relationship between Okoye and George was fantastic, it was the love-hate relationship illustrated between Okoye and FBI Agent, Harvey Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) that I found particularly fascinating.
Agent Russell is an FBI Agent that would have looked more comfortable in a western than a modern-day film. He has old school Texan values, such as family, doing the right thing and respecting the choices and actions of others. Yet, he has a level of arrogance and smugness about him that though rather annoying at times, when mixed with his Western cowboy charm, can make him rather likeable as a character.
While some relationships and personalities were fantastic, others, not so much. The villains in the film, played by Ackerman and Lacey, felt over the top and to be quite frank, poorly written. There could have been so much more to these two siblings, yet as villains, both felt incredibly underwhelming and rather disappointing. Having poor villains for a film such as this really led to the overall feeling of lacking in the film.
There was only so much that character personalities and relationships could do to help carry a film, but without any real substance, I was left feeling as if more could have been done to truly set this film as a blockbuster hit. Nevertheless, the action, CGI effects and of course, Dwayne Johnson, helped make the film fun. If you’re looking for a mindless action film that doesn’t quite make a lot of sense but is entertaining and consists of some great characters with awesome personalities, then Rampage is a film for you. I wouldn’t pay $18 to watch it in the cinemas though. Perhaps wait for the DVD or for it to one day come out on Netflix.