Film Review: Rampage (2018)

‘The biggest takeaway of any film like this, though, is the visuals; and this film exceeds the desires of the masses’

Rampage, 2018

Directed by: Brad Peyton

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jake Lacy, Jeffry Dean Morgan, Joe Manganiello

 

Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson, Skyscraper) is a primatologist at the San Diego Wildlife Sanctuary but soon finds himself battling to save the earth from three physically enhanced animals. Energyne, a gene manipulation company, ran by Claire (Malin Akerman) and Brett (Jake Lacy), begin experimenting on a rat but it soon ends up in the possession of other animals after the space station that their team were working on explodes and fires off canisters across the country, ending up with a wolf, a gorilla (George, who lives and is friendly with Davis) and a crocodile consuming it.

This is yet another video game adaptation that has failed to really turn any heads with its quality, instead choosing to have Dwayne Johnson fighting large animals while destroying half of Chicago. It’s a little disappointing on the whole, especially so later on with how the final act plays out, and it soon ends up a generic action film with no real story going in. The performances from everyone is pretty fine; Dwayne Johnson has always done well in action films because he has the physical presence to make his actions look legitimate (even if it is quite laughable to believe someone of his size works in a wildlife sanctuary).

Rampage, 2

The biggest takeaway of any film like this, though, is the visuals; and this film exceeds the desires of the masses. From the sheer size of the creatures to the carnage of the city to the camera angles used to present them and the soundtrack behind the chaos, it all works quite nicely together. Even the designs of the mutated animals, such as how the wolf can fly, are quite unique, and it’s evident to see some of the biggest names used. Visual effects were primarily done by Weta Digital, who have done apes before (in King Kong and the three films in the Planet of the Apes trilogy) and they even used Terry Notary as a motion capture coach, taking a break from the gorgeous looking Avengers: Infinity War. Having big names and top talent, who have the necessary experience in the field, helping create the film certainly helps and I was very pleased with the result.

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would, but even then that was because I went in with such low expectations (giving the history of computer-game adaptations) and I feel most of those expectations were justified, or slightly bettered. The script obviously wasn’t designed to be challenging or thought-provoking, instead just wanting the chaos that comes with giant, anger-filled creatures wrecking Chicago, which was a little disappointing at parts (as previously noted, the final scenes of a few characters in the final act are terrible), but it’s still a pretty entertaining popcorn movie with a fairly decent cast.

 

Personal: * * *     Acting: * * *     Writing: * *     Presentation: * * * *

Overall Rating: * * *

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