‘Rampage’ may be a couple of weeks old, but that does not mean I do not have things to say about this video game adaptation. First of all, it had potential to be amazing and fun; secondly, it is an excuse for Dwayne Johnson to make another possible action blockbuster. Who am I to ponder the existence of the ‘Rampage’ movie? All I cared about when seeing this was seeing monsters destroy buildings in awesome, epic fashion! For those expecting more of the same, you have to get through an hour of movie just to see some destruction. At least, in a way, there are moments of self-awareness, and once we see the action unfold, we are treated to excitement!
In case you did not know the premise already, ‘Rampage’ was an arcade game from 1986 where you control one of three monsters (actually, they are people subjected to science experiments); George – a giant gorilla reminiscent of King Kong, Ralph – a werewolf modeled after a similar creature in ‘An American Werewolf in London’, and Lizzie, a giant reptile similar to Godzilla, in which you destroy buildings, eat people, and gather points. That is all there is to the ‘Rampage’ franchise. For the product to be made into a movie is one that could have worked. In some cases, it does; the climax involving the three monsters is the highlight of a somewhat average, yet mindless action movie.
Most of the movie centers on a primatologist named Davis Okoye (Johnson), who has more of a connection with animals than he does people; a walking cliché to move the plot forward, if you will. His friend is an albino gorilla named George (Yes, the same George from the video game), who later becomes affected by a genetic formula that increases his size by the day, along with a wolf, wherein Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s government accomplice Harvey Russell says, “morons on the internet call him Ralph” (providing a meta joke for the hardcore fans of the original games), and a crocodile, who you should recognize as Lizzie. Joining Davis on his quest to solve the mystery as to why this is happening to George, is a geneticist named Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris), who may be the key to stopping the plot of the evil Energyne corporation run by siblings, Claire and Brett Wyden (Malin Akerman and Jake Lacy), that may be responsible for the failed science experiments.
As far as video game adaptations go, ‘Rampage’ has the potential to tell a good story, if not for the fact that its human elements have been scrapped only to make a disaster movie. However, if you are down for an entertaining thrill ride, and could care less, this movie is for you.