I’m going to be honest. I love The Rock. He seems like a very nice guy and we need more people in the world like him. Also, I loved him in Jumanji and who can forget Moana? Nobody can. Anyway, when I saw the trailer for Dwayne Johnson’s latest film Rampage, I have to say that I wasn’t particularly excited. It looked like another one of those big monster films with no plot at all. Yet I still decided to give it a try because my love for Dwayne knows no bounds. Verdict? It was exactly what I thought it was going to be like, however it was still entertaining.
Taken from RottenTomatoes:
Primatologist Davis Okoye (Johnson), a man who keeps people at a distance, shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent, silverback gorilla who has been in his care since birth. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry mutates this gentle ape into a raging creature of enormous size. To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered animals. As these newly created alpha predators tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.
The film is loosely based on the video game Rampage by Midway Games. The game stems from the year 1986 and was playable in arcades. In the game, players play one of the three gigantic monsters, that used to be human. We have George, the gorilla, Lizzie the lizard and Ralph the werewolf. The goal of the game was to make sure every city the player enters is reduced to rubble, while avoiding the military forces. While the film doesn’t exactly follow this storyline, there are quite a few references to the original game. Truth be told, I think the game is obscure enough for most people to miss those. However, that does not affect any comprehension of the story.
Bigger is not necessarily better
Look, Rampage was never going to be a deep film. The storyline of dude who prefers animals over humans but must save those animals and learn how to interact with humans, is not exactly going to be a profound experience. While at times the plot holes and questionable CGI are enough to make you wonder why the hell you are watching this, it is very entertaining. Somehow there is pure bliss in not having to think for two hours and letting all the monster violence on screen overwhelm you. There are quite a few moments that made me chuckle. That said, the film does not quite have a sense of direction. It is not a serious monster film, despite all the destruction and drama going on. It is also not a funny film as there are attempts at genuine emotion. However, the film would have benefitted from tipping the scale to one side or the other. It’s silly, but it could have been sillier. There is a lot of action, but the action is not believable enough, partly due to CGI that does not live up to the industry’s best standards. However, the film has Dwayne Johnson, who is the undeniable star of the show. That makes up for a lot.
When the film ended, I turned to my friend and said that I didn’t understand that Johnson’s character received a bullet in his stomach but did not even need to stop the bleeding. Five minutes later he was up and running once again. His response? “Of all the things in this film, that is what you can’t believe? But you know, the only thing that can beat The Rock is paper.” Bottom line is, this film is hardly memorable. Yet it is very entertaining, especially if you have low expectations. However, just like a film as Geostorm, this only works on the big screen to make full impact.