Rampage is the new Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson action film. Based off the 80s arcade game, I’d like to say that the dialogue and acting are a clever satire pointing out how unoriginal Hollywood has become but no screenwriter has had an idea that smart in fifteen years.
The special effects are excellent. There seems to be a mix of some practical with a lot of C.G. and the results are generally good. George, the gorilla, steals the movie in a couple of scenes and he’s given characterization, which is nice.
There is a scene with the wolf in the forest that’s almost worth the price of admission, but it’s too short. I would have loved to see more things like that in the film.
It was short.
A movie about giant animals who punch each other and destroy Chicago shouldn’t be boring, but it is. Part of the problem is that there isn’t a whole lot of action up until the last thirty minutes of the film or so. I don’t mind an action film that spends time building up plot and character, but this one didn’t do it very well.
One of the subplots of the movie is that Johnson is a reclusive guy who doesn’t trust people because of what he’s seen in his time as a soldier killing animal poachers. That’s all well and good, but Johnson either has too much charisma or too little acting skill to make that believable. They try to emphasize this character trait several times in the movie, but it never quite lands.
The dialogue and the acting, especially from the villains (played by Malin Akerman and Jake Lacy), is horrible. I have rarely seen writing this bad in a major studio release. The villains don’t come off as cunning or dangerous; they’re simply inept.
They didn’t go far enough.
Rampage tried to straddle the line between a campy, tongue in cheek, B-movie and a big budget action blockbuster and they failed at both.
If they wanted to make a good blockbuster, they should have called in a script doctor to fix the dialogue and tailor the scenes.
If they wanted to make a campy movie, they should have pushed things farther over the top and played their characters accordingly. It appears as if the writers had one kind of movie in mind and the director and actors had a different one in mind.
It’s not worth your time. Maybe catch in on cable in a year.