Rampage (2018)

Movie Title: Rampage

Year Released: 2018

Rated: PG-13

Runtime: 1h 47m

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Director: Brad Peyton

Writer: Ryan Engle, Carlton Cuse, Ryan J. Condal, and Adam Sztykiel

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello, Marley Shelton, P.J. Byrne, Demetrius Grosse, Jack Quaid, Breanne Hill, Matt Gerald, Will Yun Lee, Urijah Faber, Bruce Blackshear, Jason Liles

Review: When a wolf, a crocodile, and a remarkably intelligent silverback gorilla named George, are exposed to an unstable pathogen they mutate to monstrous size which is only matched by a furious aggression. Now it's up to a primatologist (Dwayne Johnson) and a geneticist (Naomie Harris) to stop these creatures from destroying everything and everyone in their path. With the help of a charismatic government agent (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) maybe these two desperate heroes can manage to save George, the world, and keep these beast from going full Rampage!

As a kid, I filled the Rampage arcade game with a substantial amount of quarters and enjoyed playing it very much. If you recall, the game is basically... you're a gigantic monster that smashes buildings, cars, etc., and eat people before the armed forces bring you down. It was simple and fun, much like the movie.

The movie is simply a celebration '50s monster movies and Godzilla-esque destruction, with a big budget and big-time movie star. I was grinning ear-to-ear during every second of the carnage, and you certainly get your money's worth. What I was most surprised by was how caught up I got in the relationship between Johnson's David and George, the gorilla. They have great chemistry and you really feel for both of them as the stakes increase, much like George's size. It kept me invested throughout the runtime.

Dwayne Johnson was born to entertain. Here he can not only handle the humor and physicality of the role, but he's great when worrying for George's safety and survival. And George might just be is one of the best CGI characters ever! You truly feel for him and his uncontrollable behavior and growth. I also got a kick out of Jeffrey Dean Morgan effortlessly stealing every scene he's in. He enters the movie at the perfect time and adds the right amount of charm and sass to the escalating events.

The last act is pound-for-pound some of the most intensely insane adrenaline-fueled entertainment I've seen in quite some time. I can't recall seeing so much broken glass, twisted metal, and fiery explosions on screen. It's awesome!

The only problem is that it's kind of forgettable. I really don't remember too much about the plot or the characters, but I do recall a trio of terrifying monsters beating the snot out of each other and me lapping it up. So I must say that Rampage is a fun watch whether you liked the game as a young, you're a fan of Dwayne Johnson, or like when monsters destroying just about everything while wailing on one another. I certainly went ape for it!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: George is the only animal to be played by an actor, Jason Liles. Ralph and Lizzie were created entirely through key frame animation.


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