Movie Review – Rampage (2018)

So, a trio of monsters walk into a bar and…

BQB here with a review of “Rampage.”

Ugh.  How did this movie get made, 3.5 readers?  Honestly.

It’s like Hollywood refuses to take a risk anymore.  Anything that comes with a brand, a name, a nostalgic audience…it’s going to get made.

Do you remember the “Rampage” video game?  As arcade games go, it was pretty awesome.  As a kid, it was one of my favorites.  It was pretty easy.  You take control of a monster.  You climb the beast up and down buildings, punch them until they fall down.  Gain extra points by destroying helicopters, tanks etc and if you need more health, just eat some people.

Hmmm.  Maybe that’s why I’m so messed up.  Anyway, what usually makes for a good video game does not make for a good movie so….I’ll be very kind here….it’s a fun popcorn movie and it was better than I thought it would be, but that being said, it’s not something I’d bother to watch again either.

The plot?  Ummm….let’s just say it’s the Rock doing his thing – saving garbage movies by being a big, loveable lug, that rare bodybuilding tough guy who seems like he could save your ass and yet he’s probably read a book or two so he might also hold up his end of a conversation.

The Rock = saver of shitty movies, from “Fast and Furious” to “GI Joe” and now, this drek.  Without him, I doubt it would have been watchable.

The evil Wyden Corporation, headed by a duo of duplicitous cartoon villains/brother-sister siblings (Malin Akerman and Jake Lacey as Claire and Brett Wyden) have corrupted the genetic research of ex-employee, Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris).  Their super evil corporation has turned what was supposed to be a cure for all diseases and used it to, instead, make animals become super big and strong and crazy and able to destroy entire cities.

Um…because apparently giant, city destroying animals are way more profitable than a cure-all for all of mankind’s diseases but, yeah, stop thinking too much.  Seriously.  If you saw the trailer with the Rock running around with a giant gorilla and thought this was a thinking man’s film then I don’t know what to tell you.

Rounding out the cast is Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Harvey Russell, a mysterious government agent dubbed “The Cowboy.”  He more or less plays a watered down version of his Negan character from “The Walking Dead.”  While he doesn’t carry a bat and isn’t a murderous psychopath, he does have that similar, “Look at me, I’m saying inappropriate things but because I’m saying them with an attitude, you’re supposed to think they’re really clever!”

The Rock, of course, plays an ex-special forces soldier turned primatologist because, apparently that’s a thing.  When his buddy, a normally well-mannered gorilla (George) is turned into an insane killing machine because of the Wyden’s dubious concoction, it’s up to the saver of all franchises to save the day (and this movie because seriously, the man’s macho charisma is the only reason to bother watching…although Naomie Harris is hot, intelligent…arguably too good for this picture.)

One complaint – it’s PG-13 so…I guess it’s ok for the teenagers but still, there are a few jokes where it’s like…eh….really…do we need so much use of the word “shit” and other naughty activities (George likes to give the middle finger to the Rock).  I don’t know.  Maybe I’ve become an old man but PG 13 meant something different in my day.  Get off my lawn and I’m keeping your football.  It’s mine now.

STATUS:  Shelf worthy.  It’s not a flick for the ages, but it’s a fun ride.  As utterly ridiculous as it was to make a movie based on a very simple video game, this version was the best possible version that could have been made, I think.  It doesn’t suck as much as I thought it would, let me put it that way.

I had the chance to watch it at Disney’s super deluxe AMC with all the thrills, my seat shook when the monsters punched each other and shit.  Good stuff.  Go see it in the theater once, have a good time, then try to forgive yourself for wasting two hours of your life on this tomfoolery.

 

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