Rampage is passable popcorn entertainment thanks largely to Dwayne Johnson

Rampage (2018) – Film Review

Rampage film poster 2018

Rampage film poster 2018

The ever charismatic Dwayne Johnson gets to be an action hero again in Rampage – a film loosely based on a forgotten video game property from the 80s.

Actually, forget the video game – everyone else has. And it’s got no bearing on the film.

No, it’s not Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) – that’s a superior film – but Rampage will definitely pass the time for fans of cheesy action films with cgi monsters causing mayhem all over the US.

Johnson’s presence raises the film above snooze fest with another reliably good turn as David Okoye – an ex- special forces soldier turned Primatologist (of course!) who teams up with Dr Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) after a rare albino gorilla under his care, George, becomes affected by a dodgy science experiment and starts becoming much bigger and more aggressive.

George isn’t the only affected creature, though, and we’re treated to the sight of other giant beasts converging on the Chicago headquarters of the company which was responsible for the highly dodgy science experiment gone very wrong.

Thin plot, dull end, brightened up by Dwayne Johnson

Jeffrey Dean Morgan lends support as a laconic government agent while Malin Ackerman makes for a perfectly hissable main corporate villain. It’s a pity that Naomie Harris is playing her character a bit too seriously.

Most of the fun is to be had in the setup, with the characters playing well off each other with decent dialogue – if not quite up there on the level of Jumanji by the time we reach the inevitable monster fisticuffs and city demolishing finale.

Some comparisons can be drawn to Kong: Skull Island (2017) – but that film was perhaps a more interesting watch whereas Rampage is unashamedly a popcorn movie.

The ending is quite dull compared to the usual third acts of monster movies following a plot-light first two acts. The fact is that this is technically a video game movie, and a fairly ordinary one at that, and only Johnson’s presence saves it from mediocrity.

Rampage (12A; moderate violence, threat, brief gory images, rude gestures; 107 minutes)

Director(s):  Brad Peyton

Cast Includes: Dwayne Johnson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Will Yun Lee, Malin Akerman, Joe Manganiello, Naomi Harris

Summary: RAMPAGE is a US fantasy action film in which an experiment gone wrong unleashes three mutated monsters.

Rating: *** (Dwayne Johnson’s presence makes Rampage passable popcorn entertainment)