Wed | Nov 14, 2018

'Rampage' monstrous on fun, hairy on logic

Published:Monday | April 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy/Gleaner Writer
Dwayne Johnson (right) in a scene from 'Rampage'.

Of the infinite sources that could inspire filmmakers and captivate audiences, the last thing I ever expected was to see a full-length feature film about the video game Rampage. Sure, movies have been made on a simple premise before, but Rampage was a game that was predicated by its particular brand of mindlessness. Still, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson tends to draw audiences, so at least it will make a pretty penny. Perhaps, at the same time, the film about giant monsters terrorising a city would prove to be a critical gem.

Johnson plays the most muscular primatologist to ever walk the Earth, Davis Okoye. You witness Davis' bond with the albino gorilla George. After a mysterious artefact falls from an exploded space station one night, George seems to go through a very late stage of primate puberty. He has increased in size and displaying violent tendencies, like any moody teenager would, with slightly more homicidal tendencies.

 

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A great plus to Rampage is how quickly the film moves without feeling chaotic. There's a great sense of flow to the film, and it gets to the action that a title like Rampage promises quite readily. How it gets there might be extremely unintelligent, but at least it doesn't try to waste your time. Soon after meeting George, a giant wolf and a crocodile make their way on to the scene without at all feeling uninvited.

The film also continues Hollywood's love affair with apes. No, Davis is no Tarzan, and George won't be mounting a revolt like Caesar, but the two share a genuine connection that drives the film. I found myself caring more about the outcome of the gorilla the size of a building than I did any of the human characters. The worst of those were the villains of the film, a brother and sister duo intent on capturing the monsters to salvage their research. Somehow, in a film this ridiculous, they managed to be the most unbelievable parts.

As a spectacle, Rampage is a fun film. It delivers on what you ask for but doesn't really care about how it gets there. Logic seekers, be wary of this film. For that reason, it might be a good time, but because it's so short of being the full package, there's no real push to rush out to the cinema.

Rating: Catch It On Cable.