Published on April 13th, 2018 | by Kevin Given0
Movie review: Rampage
What an intense ride! Director Brad Peyton has crafted an action-packed adrenalin rush that’s sure to satisfy any action fan. It’s King Kong meets Godzilla meets Wolfen! The CGI is well done, and the performances are top notch. The characters are a bit more developed here than in most movies based on video games. I will admit up front that I have never played the game, so I don’t know if anyone who has played it is going to like it, but if you don’t know the game and are looking for a good popcorn movie, you’ve found it!
The always likeable DeWayne “The Rock” Johnson plays primatologist Davis Okoye who raised a rare Albino ape named George, the back story between Davis and George is somewhat interesting but not really touched on as much as it probably should be. Naomi Harris is Kate Caldwell, a disgraced genetic engineer that winds up joining Davis. She was let go by the lab that produced the drug that transforms George and the other animals into mutated giants. The chemistry between the two leads is good but never gets romantic, in fact the characters back stories are all good but take a back seat to the action, so if it’s serious drama you want, you’ll have to look elsewhere for that. It’s like the relationship between James Bond and Moneypenny, as soon as you think it’s going to develop into something, M sends Mr. Bond on another assignment. The action takes center stage. Then there’s cowboy agent Harvey Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) to add tension to the proceedings, we’re not sure at the beginning of the film if he’s a protagonist or an antagonist, which makes his character slightly unpredictable at first. The real antagonist in this film is Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman,) who is ruthless in her rush to test this highly unstable drug.
George becomes infected with the drug while on the animal preserve and winds up killing a grizzly bear. He goes from being a likeable oaf to an unstable, mean version of his former self. Two other animals (no spoilers) are also infected and the lab that developed the drug sends out some kind of a signal to draw them to the lab which developed said drug to administer an antidote. Along the way they wreak havoc with the city of Chicago and an army general sends forces out to stop these creatures, but they have a heightened healing factor due to the drug and their wounds become a mere irritation, bullets and missiles can’t stop them. So, an evacuation of Chicago is ordered as the military plans to drop a bomb on the city to destroy the beasts.
It’s a race against time as the war of these colossal giants make their way to the lab. But you see the FBI, ignoring the scientists, arrive at the lab to confiscate everything, including said antidote, needed to return these creatures back to normal. It’s extreme edge-of-your-seat stuff and a satisfying entry to the action/sci-fi genre. ***1/2 stars
Director: Brad Peyton
Producer: Brad Peyton, Beau Flynn, John Rickard, Hiram Garcia
Writer: Ryan Engle Based on Rampage by Midway Games
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Music: Andrew Lockington
Cinematography: Jaron Presan
Distributor: Warner Bros.