Both boring and painfully cheesy, Rampage is just another generic action movie in Dwayne Johnson’s repertoire and even fails at being a great monster movie.
Rampage follows the story of primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) and George, an albino gorilla. After Okoye rescues George as a baby gorilla, the two develop a special bond and are able to communicate through sign language. But after an odd chemical comes in contact with George, as well as two other creatures, the animals begin to mutate and grow to unimaginable size. With the creatures showing aggressive behavior and heading for Chicago for an all-out rampage, Okoye and geneticist Kate Cadwell (Naomie Harris) must stop the beasts from destroying the city and figure out what changed them.
The film actually starts off pretty strong and showcases Okoye and George’s special relationship. There is a fun dynamic between the two and the ideas of them using sign language leads to some great dynamics that are seen much in monster movies and some genuinely funny lines. Not to mention, that Johnson’s light-hearted yet macho man personality can carry even the corniest of jokes and the dumbest moments.
Unfortunately, Rampage is too heavy of a load for even “The Rock” to carry. While at first, Okoye and Cadwell seem like intelligent characters, they quickly diverge in being comedic, dumb action heroes that feel disconnected from how the characters are originally presented. The dialogue also takes a terrible turn from people just talking to one another more casually to every line being a quip or some god-awful pun that knocks the wind out of moments. It’s something that causes more groans and eye-rolls than intended and makes Rampage nothing new.
There are also a slew of random characters that seem like they will be important, but just go through a rotating door for their one-liner and exit as quick as they came. The film’s villainous characters are also just full-on cartoons and viewers will be shaking their heads at the stupidity that is these villains. Jeffery Dean-Morgan’s government character, Russell, is literally a southern stereotype that is so unrealistic it is almost embarrassing to see it on-screen.
The film’s main two antagonists are just plain dumb and really never explain their paper-thin plan and their reason for being in the movie at all. Answering this question of the way is really Rampage’s biggest flaw. Viewers never really feel like they have a grip as to what is going on and understand what is happening. It leaves little to be desired for and very little to go back and explore any further.
Sadly, Rampage also fails at being a great monster movie by having lackluster fights that could draw even the most casual moviegoer. It contains short action sequences that constantly cuts to another character giving mediocre dialogue or doing something worthless towards the plot. It makes big action moments feel choppy and makes audiences go back to characters they couldn’t care less about.
Rampage fails on many levels. It lacks epic monster fights for viewers to be excited over and characters that have any sort of depth. Those who do decide to go see it, won’t really care to remember it.
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