Kyle Says RAMPAGE Is A Ridiculous and Fun Action Movie.

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FILM REVIEW: RAMPAGE

BY KYLE ARANGO

 

Rampage is directed by Brad Peyton and stars Dwayne Johnson, Malin Akerman, Jeffery Dean Morgan, Naomie Harris, Jack Lacy, and Joe Manganiello. Rampage is based off the popular arcade game of the same name and tells the story of three animals effected by an experiment who grow really large and destroy everything in its path. Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) has raised one of these animals from a child and is on a quest to stop the destruction and save his friend. Dwayne Johnson has emerged as the biggest movie star today and is taking on a video game movie which history shows are never very good. What would happen when this unstoppable force me this immovable object? The answer is they simultaneously combine to form a dumb, yet enjoyable action flick. Rampage will not win best picture, but it is worthy of a purchased ticket.

To start off, Rampage is a journey like a rollercoaster. It has ups and downs that lead to great moments, but also some very boring moments. To explain, the first act of the movie is very solid. We are introduced to Johnson’s character and his gorilla George who have a special bond with each other. We see them interact and joke around like a father and son. It is a really touching and heartfelt relationship and when George is exposed to this experiment, you feel for him. This is a terrific setup that the second act just completely flushes down the toilet. The relationship Okoye and George share is still there, but everything else surrounding it is very boring. Some things don’t make sense and we are introduced to other awful characters. Finally, the third act gives you what you wanted in the first place and that is giant animals destroying Chicago. Is it horrifying to watch so many people die? Yes, but you are expecting that going into this movie, so you don’t linger on it too much. This inconsistency throughout the film is frustrating, but when two thirds of the movie are enjoyable, it is enough to be an entertaining film.

Let’s begin with the positives in Rampage. The greatest part about this film is what I mentioned already and that is the relationship between Okoye and George. You are immediately emotionally drawn to their relationship and really care for both of them as characters. When you can make me care about a giant gorilla as much as Dwayne Johnson, you are doing something right. Now let’s get to Dwayne Johnson. This man is a movie star in every sense of the word. He knows when to be an action star and knows when to be serious and emotional. Don’t sleep on this guy, it would not surprise me if he took a dramatic turn in his career and is successful. The other good performances are given by Naomie Harris and Jeffery Dean Morgan. Harris is able to go toe to toe with Johnson and not seem behind and Morgan is having the time of his life as a charismatic government agent. His character could’ve been so stupid, but Morgan makes it work. Finally, the special effects in Rampage are fantastic. The gorilla, wolf, and crocodile all look great and have so much detail. They look believable in an otherwise unbelievable fil to the point where you buy that they are actually rampaging through Chicago.

Now let’s get to the negatives. First off, there are some awful characters in this film that are given awful performances by the actors portraying them. Malin Akerman and Jack Lacy are the villains and every time they are on screen you can’t wait for the scene to end. Both of their performances are just so bland, and their lines are poorly delivered. Other actors could’ve done a much better job in the roles and that hurts to say. I just wish they were given more direction with their characters. Now that brings me to their plan and motivation both of which are not made very clear at all. They are the cause of these animals being so large, but it is never explained why they want to destroy the city. There is a huge beacon on the top of their 100-floor building that draws the animals to them destroying everything in their path, but they wait until the last minute to attempt to leave? The smart one is not very smart, and the dopey sidekick is dopier then he should be. One other thing that didn’t make sense to me is the government brings Johnson’s character into custody and it is never really explained why. Its just to further the plot I guess.

At the end of the day, Rampage is a ridiculous action movie that has a lot of heart and solid destruction. Dwayne Johnson and George the gorilla are great and are apart of solid action sequences so much so that they carry the entire film. You are not going to get anything deep out of this film, but if you want to see a fun destruction movie with a big bucket of popcorn, Rampage is the movie for you. I can recommend this film and we are heading in the right direction in the video game genre this year with Tomb Raider and now Rampage. I said two thirds of this film are enjoyable so that should tell you my score.

 

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