On The Big Screen Reviews

Rampage – Review

Dwayne Johnson is probably the biggest movie star we have at the moment. I don’t mean, you know, his muscle mass, I mean by pure audience draw. He hearkens back to classic stars such as Gene Kelly, Errol Flynn, or even Tom Cruise in his heyday. A person with so much charisma and likeability that everything he is in just seems like a winning movie. Every one loves Dwayne Johnson.  There seems to be a lot of celebrities around but there is absolutely no one who unites us in love like The Rock.

The great thing about this is that we can all come together, chirping excitedly about his latest venture. The not so great thing is that we’re going to have to sit through a lot of drivel. His latest action movie is Rampage, but is it a ginormous mess or gigantic fun?

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Directed by Brad Peyton, Rampage is a ridiculous adaptation of a popular 80s arcade game. The film sees Dwayne Johnson as a primate expert in a San Diego conservation park, looking after the gorillas. His best pal comes in the form of an albino gorilla called George (who, every time he was on screen, would inspire the George of the Jungle theme song in my mind.) However, on the other side of the country, rich villainous siblings and their company have created a pathogen that mutates creatures to huge monsters and George just happens to be one of the poor victims to take sniff. Now he and some other projects are heading straight to the city of Chicago… Can Johnson save the day?

Coming from the team who also produced San Andreas, you should already be aware of what to expect from this film – absolute high-octane absurdity. The plot is crazy, the action is over-the-top, and the dialogue is beyond brilliantly awful. It’s a baffling bizarre monster flick that has a lot of massive moments and comedy hi-jinks meshed inside a sloppily put together film that is terrible but, also, kinda terrific too.

The acting is iffy. Jeffery Dean Morgan is clearly having the best time out of everyone being a surly agent who sounds like he has just been sparring with John Wayne and slurs out the best one-liners in the whole film. Naomi Harris is enjoyable to watch despite her character being a flat and shallow one. The Wonder Twins (the antagonists  whose name have slipped my mind but it’s really unnecessary to learn them,) are played by Malin Akerman and Jack Lacey who are clearly just loving being the villains despite the fact that neither of them can act. Or, well, act in this movie. They are amusing to watch and Akerman does have the best final scene of anyone in the cast.

And Dwayne Johnson is Dwayne Johnson. He is the immovable rock. We don’t need to go over this again.

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There are many people who will find this exhilarating and, granted, there is absolutely nothing more crazy than watching some insane creatures destroy Chicago. But the film is filled with shitty dialogue, the worst acting by garishly, hammy villains that you are champing at the bit to die, and some highly suspect scientific research. And another thing –

Oh fuck it. Look, you are going to have a whale of a time with this film. No, seriously, you are. Johnson is on top form as is the sheer scale of this action spectacle. There are absolutely astonishingly crazy moments here and whilst your brain is lighting up screaming “IS THIS BAD? I DON’T KNOW!,”  your heart will bound with unrelenting excitement that will flurry away inside of you with every pounding second. Especially as the big wolf thing leaps into the air. It genius leaping. Just the best leaping.

And another thing, who doesn’t want to watch a film with The Rock leaping into the air to save his best friend – a gigantic gorilla – who talk to each other in sign language, making strained sex jokes, and puns along the way? I mean: Why aren’t you buying your tickets now?

So yes, objectively, the movie is a bad, bad one, but it is also kind of phenomenal at the same time. You know, like everything Dwayne Johnson has ever been in ever.

I can promise you one thing though; you’ll come for the action, but you’ll stay for the primate bromance.


Rampage is out 13th April! 

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