‘Rampage’ is a Mindless Monster Mash

VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse!

Rampage

Anyone who used to play old arcade games in the ‘80s and ‘90s was familiar with Rampage. The concept behind the game was simple: you chose between three monsters – George, a giant ape; Lizzie, a giant lizard; or Ralph, a giant wolf – and smashed the living hell out of buildings, eating people screaming for help out of the windows. That was it. The fact that there’s no story to speak of made the concept of adapting Rampage for the big screen a suspect choice, as it’s simply a climactic set piece and nothing else. Those obstacles can’t stand in the way of the world’s biggest movie star, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who reteams with his San Andreas director Brad Peyton to bring the monster mayhem of Rampage to the cinema. Unsurprisingly, basing a movie upon a video game with no story to speak of leads to a movie with severe story and character issues, a collection of uneven, borderline incoherent scenes leading up to a climax of smashy smashy chaos. Rampage is the movie for those who thought Pacific Rim: Uprising was too intellectual.

Rampage opens in space. Yes, outer space. There a scientist is working on a top secret and illegal project of genetic editing for Engyne, a company run by the villainous siblings Brett (Jake Lacy) and Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman). The experiment has gone awry and as the space station crashes to Earth the fruits of those illegal experiments land in three corners of the United States. One of canisters lands in a wildlife preserve in San Diego where primatologist Davis Okoye (Johnson) trains and studies apes, focusing mainly on George (Jason Liles in a motion capture performance), an albino gorilla that has become his best friend. While George grows exponentially from this mysterious substance, so does a wolf and an alligator in far off places. Once these creatures begin to grow, a variety of people come out of the woodwork scrambling to address the growing situation – Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris), a former researcher for Engyne, Agent Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a brash cowboy who is called into “change the sheets” when “science shits the bed”, and Burke (Joe Manganiello), a mercenary hired by the Wydens.

What is the great masterful plan of the Wyden siblings? To have the three enormous creatures race to a beacon they’ve set up in Chicago and then just kind of wing it from there. How are they going to use this research for profit? Eh, they’re still working on the details. The Wydens are some of the worst villains to grace the screen this year, with hammy, over-the-top performances and a script that is completely disinterested in providing them any kind of motivation for their actions. They are characters that only exist so they can brutally dispatched by their monstrous creations in the final act. If you consider that a spoiler, I’m sorry to give away such a detail before you had the chance to see your first movie ever.

Meanwhile, The Rock’s Davis Okoye is basically up for whatever task is presented before him. He’s a former Special Forces soldier who left that life behind to tend to the animals, think Dr. Doolittle with a grenade launcher. He can fly a helicopter when the plot necessitates it. Dwayne Johnson is a force of charisma and yet the screenplay (credited to four different writers including San AndreasCarlton Cuse) has little interest in challenging the character, nor do they capitalize on his charismatic presence. A large portion of Dwayne Johnson’s role here necessitates him yelling “George!” before running off to the next location. Rampage struggles in finding the proper way to use Johnson because it has a hard time settling in on a tone, sometimes dabbling in high camp and other times taking itself deadly serious.

Rampage definitely feels like chunks of the film landed on the cutting room floor in order to just get to the action and dispense with the characters that just don’t connect. There are quite a few characters that are introduced and just disappear after a scene or two. The film doesn’t take time to breathe, which would be great if the action and chaos were actually fun and not just out of an obligation to deliver the audience with a computer generated monster mash. It’s truly a shame because the film really wastes a strong motion capture performance by Jason Liles as George with WETA continuing the stellar work they did on the recent Planet of the Apes films. George is the film’s standout character and sadly the character is only truly present at the start and finish of the film, spending much of the running time in a drug-induced rage in order to facilitate plenty of smashing.

Those who saw Dwayne Johnson and Brad Peyton’s last collaboration, San Andreas, know what to expect from Rampage. Expect a movie that is big, loud, and dumb. One thing is missing in this combination – fun. Never does Rampage actually become dumb fun. It’s just dumb. Earlier this year, the curse of the video game movie was lifted with Tomb Raider. Rampage takes us back to square one with a movie that is simply a collection of scenes from better movies. It’s a movie that has no personality of its own. The film does deliver a chaotic finale full of mayhem caused by giant monsters tearing apart Chicago. What it doesn’t deliver is a reason to care about what happens.

YogaOutlet.com

No Responses

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
The Ranger
‘The Ranger’ Delivers on its Promise of a Punk Rock Slasher Flick

Chelsea (Chloe Levine) is a punk. Clad in leather and with...

It’s the Thanksgiving From Hell in the Teaser for Ike Barinholtz’s Contentious Comedy ‘The Oath’

We’ve all been there. Thanksgiving surrounded by immediate family and then...

Ahockalypse
Zombies Run Amok on the Ice in ‘Ahockalypse’

There aren’t many sports as violent as hockey. It’s a game...

Event News Event Reviews
Transformers: The Movie Theatrical Debut
32 Years Ago Today, Was The Transformers: The Movie Theatrical Debut

On this day, 32 years ago, the world was graced with The...

Blizzard SDCC 2018
Blizzard SDCC 2018 – Blizzard Entertainment Brings Massive Lineup to SDCC

Blizzard in SDCC 2018 – Blizzard Entertainment brings Overwatch, StarCraft, and...

Nuclear Blast SDCC 2018
Nuclear Blast SDCC 2018 – Nuclear Blast Teams Up with JSR and Stern Pinball

Nuclear Blast SDCC 2018 – Nuclear Blast Teams Up with JSR...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Exclusive Track Premiere from Madden NFL 19!

(July 26, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA) – Lakeshore Records today...

Star Ocean Anamnesis
8.0/10
The Most Intuitively Fun Gameplay of Any Mobile RPG – Star Ocean Anamnesis Review

Star Ocean Anamnesis is hands down the most fun and intuitive gameplay...

Ghostbusters World
Strap On Your Jumpsuits and Proton Packs – Ghostbusters World First Look

Ghostbusters World First Look at SDCC2018 – When someone asks you if...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Five Questions for Gary Morgenstein About ‘A Mound Over Hell’

Gary Morgenstein is a journalist, public relations expert and author with...

Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel
Dark Horse Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel Revealed

Dark Horse reveals new original Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic...

black torch
Black Torch – New Supernatural, Action Manga from Viz Media

VIZ Media releases a new, supernatural story with the release of...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Chuck Billy of Testament Talks About His Signature Vaporizer

Chuck Billy of Testament talks about, “The Chief” his signature vaporizer,...

anime pls
Anime Pls by Bioworld – Exclusive Interview

Bioworld Merchandising is a pop culture product expert. The company is considered...

heaven's feel
Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] THE MOVIE I. presage flower Blu-ray Release

TLDR Aniplex of America announced that box office hit, Fate/stay night ...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
WOW Announces New TV Taping Schedule

Women of Wrestling (WOW) will be hosting two nights of TV...

Catching up with Collegiate Take Down King Joe Gonzales at OCG

What can be said about Joe Gonzales? Well, everything really. Gonzales...

NJPW G1 Special from San Francisco Results

New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) the King of Sports returns to...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics #3

The defense against the dark arts temps start rolling in...

Fantoy Comics by Michael Colbert

Another slice of daily Hogwarts life as told with Funko Pops...

Fantoy Comics by Michael Colbert

A new comic strip focusing on the regular old days at...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming. Related

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack
Blake Neely Behind-the-Scenes Recording of Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack

Check out this exclusive Behind-The-Scenes video with Blake Neely as he...

Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

MTV Unveils Performers for ‘TRL Live’ on October 3rd at 3 p.m. E.T.

NEW YORK, NY (September 26, 2017) – MTV today announced that...

%d bloggers like this: