2018 | DIRECTOR. BRAD PAYTON | REVIEW BY GLENN COCHRANE.
animals which have been exposed to a top secret toxic pathogen. The virus causes them to mutate and grow, and fuels their temperaments with pure rage and aggression. Of the various creatures depicted in the game series, the film focuses on an albino gorilla, a wolf and an alligator. Dwayne Johnson plays the former special forces officer (of course he does) turned primatologist, who is apparently the only living human capable of saving humanity by “finding the antidote”. He is joined by Naomie Harris who plays the genetic engineer who helped create the pathogen, and is hell bent on bringing down the evil corporation.
The less said the better really. What you need to know is that RAMPAGE is comprised of every stupid cliché in the book; my favourite being the evil brother and sister CEO's of the evil corporation who scheme their evil plans as if they were starring in a Saturday morning cartoon. Johnson and Harris run around jumping over things. They fly helicopters around things. And they sky dive too... talk about bang for your buck, right?
I spent the entire movie facepalming and scratching my head. I couldn't believe what tosh I was watching, and yet I kept second-guessing why the hell I was enjoying it so much? It had to be the B-movie factor. RAMPAGE is deeply rooted in that classic creature-feature sub-genre from the 1930s through to the 1950s. Like the original Godzilla taking on Ghidorah and Mothra, or King Kong sparring with his prehistoric mates, this is a monster movie from the ages. Of course if you want this brand of movie WITH credibility then the Warner Brothers new MonsterVerse (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island) is where you need to head. If – on the other hand – you like your creature-features with a shit-tonne of schlock and absolute absurdity then look no further.
RAMPAGE marks the third collaboration between Johnson and his director Brad Payton following Mystery 2 Mysterious Island and San Andreas. They clearly have a rapport and in this instance it's as though neither of them actually give a shit. They are upstaged by three massive creatures and all focus is on the mayhem. The story is riddled with CGI, which is both phenomenal and abhorrent in equal measure. The attention to detail is at times incredible, and then we're faced with the sight of an entirely digitised Dwayne Johnson for seemingly no reason at all. It's pox.
But as I said... it's also fun. Although another brain-stumper is the movie's target demographic. The story lends itself perfectly to a family audience, and yet it is bombarded with gore. What would be a very appealing adventure movie for kids is delivered as an adult's only smorgasbord of violence. It's so damn confusing.
But again. Fun. I'm sure it will end up somewhere near the bottom of the list when it comes to ranking the year's releases, but I cannot say that I wasn't entertained. And for that, there's for to be some merit to it, surely... right? Oh dear!