Rampage

Rampage, directed by the great and powerful Brad Peyton, was an action-flick released in the summer of 2018 starring Dwayne Johnson. He plays a primatologist (Davis Okoye), who observes his albino gorilla (George) undergo unusual changes in his physique as a result of exposure to a synthesized gas. Alongside George, two other creatures in the animal kingdom also undergo similar morphological changes; changes that could wreck havoc on the city of Chicago.

I enjoyed this movie because it was exactly what it was supposed to be; a time pass summer action flick. The action in this film was entertaining, and somewhat unique in the sense that we got to see some of nature’s deadliest predators go head-to-head against each other in a densely populated metropolitan area. Without going into too many spoilers, the sequence inside the airplane was a definite standout for me. The CGI was also pretty impressive, particularly with regards to how these creatures moved and fought when they were 100x larger than what they were supposed to be.

Rampage also contains humor, but just the right amount. I felt that this was well executed largely due to the presence of Dwayne. He is one of the very few actors who is able to deliver both action and comedy in his roles without overdoing one over the other. His on screen dynamic with George was also heartfelt. The last positive of this film was its messaging about poaching and the preservation natural habitats. It was subtle and to the point.

On the negative side, the film failed to make full use of some of its characters. Joe Manganiello makes a brief appearance in this movie. He plays a sort of rogue member of a militant group who was tasked with taking these creatures down, but his presence was short-stayed. It would have been interesting to see his character team up against Dwayne Johnson’s character, who had a completely different agenda. We were missing an epic fist fight between these two characters. The other antagonists of this film (played by Malin Akerman and Jake Lacy) were also very forgettable and borderline intolerable on screen. They played the cliche “corporate baddies”, who wanted to profit off of the havoc caused by these creatures.

In short, I am all for a sequel to Rampage. This movie did a lot of things right: (1) it knew exactly the kind of film it was supposed to be, (2) had great action set pieces, and (3) radiated some important messaging about animal poaching and habitat preservation. If the studio does decide to go for a sequel, I would recommend having some more menacing antagonists.

RATING: 7

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