‘Rampage’ is a Mindless Monster Mash

GameStop, Inc.


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.

  • Overall Score


Big, loud, and incredibly dumb, Rampage adapts a classic video game for the big screen with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the lead, but the film fails to connect as it’s merely an excuse for a series of smashy smashy moments featuring its giant monsters, who have more personality than all of the human characters.

Anytime Costumes

No Responses

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Disney’s ‘Young Woman and the Sea’ is a Triumph of Will – Review

Disney’s ‘Young Woman and the Sea‘ is a Triumph of Will...

‘Skywalkers’ Takes Love to New Heights on Netflix – Spoiler Free Review

‘Skywalkers: A Love Story‘ Takes Love to New Heights while Scaling...

‘Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Three’ – Leaves us Wanting More! – Spoiler Free Review

‘Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Three‘ is a...

Event News Event Reviews
‘Sweat’ Heats Things Up at the Long Beach Playhouse – Review

‘Sweat‘ delivers a powerful theatrical experience that resonates long after the...

The ‘California Dreams’ Band Reunite on The Sunset Strip For a Night of 90s Nostalgia – Concert Review

Don’t Wake Me Up if I’m Dreaming, The ‘California Dreams‘ Band...

Jay Anthony Franke Talks California Dreams Reunion Concert in LA – Interview

Jay Anthony Franke Talks About The ‘California Dreams‘ Reunion Concert in...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Derek Gumin Talks Planet 13 and UFC 303 Meet and Greets – Interview

Director of Wholesale Accounts at Planet 13, Derek Gumin spoke about...

Oscar De La Hoya Partners with El Rey for ‘Friday Night Fights’ – Interview

The Golden Boy himself chatted with us about Golden Boy Promotions...

Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road 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 Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse – Blood on the Cactus, nearing the end of the 3rd act.

What IS that big dust cloud on the horizon?

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse – Blood on the Cactus, Endgame


Fantoy Comics Presents: A 4th of July Message!

Seriously, America, THIS crap?!?!?

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

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
Michael Hirsh Made Gen X Citizens Via his ‘Animation Nation’ – Interview

Legendary Animator, Michael Hirsh goes from Immigrant to Emperor in his...

Billy Eddy Talks His new Book ‘Our New World of Adult Bullies’ – Interview

Lawyer, Mediator and Personality Expert Bill Eddy Provides a Six-Step Strategy...

Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

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
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...