A big mega star, big monsters and big adventure? Sounds like a dream package for an action film. Dwayne Johnson stars in Brad Payne’s new action film and video game adaptation ‘Rampage’ (in theatres now) where plentiful scenes of larger-than-life monsters destroying city buildings are featured to keep the viewer on their toes for more. But does the CGI and the overall plot align to make a more than decent film to watch? Keep reading to find out!
David Okoye is the character Johnson plays, where he is a primatologist that works alongside George, an albino gorilla with a soul so gentle and light as a feather, on top of that he knows sign language and knows good humour- what more wouldn’t you want in an onscreen animal sidekick? Well not for long as the plot thickens when an experiment being done in space by Chicago tech firm Energyne goes terribly wrong and transmits to Earth, only to be contracted by George, a crocodile and a wolf who consequently grow larger in size by the hour. It transforms a rat into a monstrous being that kills civilians on board, definitely not a virus to be reckoned with. Okoye needs to stop them and this is where the journey begins.
Other fellow cast members include Naomie Harris who plays Dr Kate Caldwell, a genetic engineer and ex-member of the nemesis’ firm, who teams up with Okoye to fight the bad guys. In the meanwhile, Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays Harvey Russell; a jokester slash agent cowboy who combats Okoye, but ultimately befriends him. In the midst of this odd union, is the formation of a goony, corporate pair, Claire Wyden and Brett; in Chicago played by Malin Akerman and Jack Lacy. These villains openly vocalise one another’s plans to each other and to anyone who will listen in fact, their comedic tone are that alike of the typical villains in a classic Jackie Chan film. Together the cast bring a refreshing scent and fragrance that is sweetly embraced but may be underwhelming in a big-budget film such as this.
Nevertheless, Rampage presents an enjoyable and pleasant aura for all ages (13 and over) to savour on. What makes it even more enticing is the heavy use of suspense throughout the film, the way each action scene sneaks up to the audience’s psyches.
Yes, Rampage does get away with a few shortcuts of plot and character development through the use of good humour and therefore can abandon its initial purpose of a big-budget action film; however, it does have moments where you can imagine it coming off as compromisingly serious and in the genre of science-fiction. Ultimately, that means that viewers can enjoy a taste of different genres all in one movie- score!
A little goes a long way, in this case the dialogue could have had some minor adjustments to give a more realistic feel to the film. “We’ve got to get to them before they level Chicago!” Or, “We’ve got to evacuate Chicago!” (the last line is said only 10 minutes prior to the monsters present themselves), maybe less on stating the obvious and more of leaving things unsaid to give the audience a chance to solve the jigsaw puzzle.
Overall, Rampage is a rather safe and comfortable film that is content in its own skin. It encompasses the comedic side of actions films and adds a light- hearted and cartoonish tone towards it’s villains. Sure, there could be some improvements but if you’re looking to get a laugh and see Dwayne Johnson rock out his usual macho roles as well as Naomie Harris’ badass character roles then grab a ticket and have a watch!