It’s well documented that most video game movies suck. And we’ve seen it first-hand already in recent projects like Assassin’s Creed and most recently, the Tomb Raider reboot. To be honest both sucked balls to the nth degree and did no justice to their successful video game origins.
This is probably why Rampage works on so many levels. It’s based on a smaller scale arcade game, it’s got a simple-AF storyline to follow and it’s also got The Rock in its corner. By no means it’s a ball buster action fantasy that will go on to smash box-office records and win awards but it’s entertaining nonetheless…just as long as you check your brain at the door.
Rampage tells the story of George, an albino gorilla and his best friend, primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson). The duo’s peaceful life at the San Diego Zoo however gets disrupted when a canister containing a genetic mutagen comes crashing into George’s enclosure.
After infecting him, George begins to grow at an alarming rate, which puts his life in danger. However, George isn’t the only infected animal. He’s soon joined by a wolf and a crocodile. As these newly created monsters tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer and a veteran government agent to help secure an antidote.
Fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield and battling a giant wolf and crocodile, Okoye goes through great lengths to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend. That ultimately is what makes Rampage work so effectively – the simplistic storyline of a giant mutated ape and his human friend.
That said, although Johnson dials in his action-oriented leading man persona in the film, he’s also supported by Jeffrey Dean Morgan who portrays the very cool and slick Agent Russell. But make no mistake, despite their performance and special effects laden spectacle; it’s ultimately the CGI-created George, which steals most of the show.
By the time the dust settles and the end credits roll, Rampage would have satisfied most of its audience members. Granted by no way it’s perfect and flawless, but it is entertaining to a degree that it was at least worth the price of admission. And, as history as shown, for a video game adaptation, that’s saying a hell of a lot.
Popcorn Rating: Semi-Sweet, Semi-Fresh