King Kong’s second-rate cousin (Rampage review)

Rampage is the latest Blockbuster hitting our screens, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as “Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson”, and Oscar-Nominated Naomi Harris as “Oh my God, what is Oscar-Nominated Naomi Harris doing in this film?”. It’s based on a video game (and this immediately rings warning bells) where animals are turned into vicious giant monsters thanks to a radioactive serum they’re accidentally exposed to. That’s all the story you’re getting, because that’s all the story the film really gives.

Let’s start with the positives. The CGI is breathtaking, and apart from one shot, looks incredibly realistic. As well as this, the motion capture performance of George (the giant albino gorilla) was very well done, and really humanises him. Not only this, but you have to give credit to Dwayne Johnson for perhaps being the only person to make fist pumping a giant gorilla look like normal everyday behaviour.

However, now we move onto the negatives, and unfortunately they majorly outweigh the positives. Firstly, the dialogue and story is dire, with most lines feeling as though they’ve been lifted from cheesy 80’s action films. As well as this, the character development and exposition is so desperately crammed in that it’s almost insulting to the audience’s intelligence. Then we have the acting. To describe the performances in this film as flat and wooden would be insulting to IKEA furniture. The two ‘bad guys’ in the film were so staggeringly annoying and boring at the same time that absolutely no threat was ever felt. The film really felt to me like a B movie that just happened to have a huge budget of $120 million. Put it this way, if Asylum Films (of Sharknado fame) made the film, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid.

Honestly, as a monster film it was pretty pants, and this is because standing up against films like 2014’s Godzilla, it utterly falls on its face. The difference is that Godzilla had class, it had depth and it was stylish, while also delivering the chaos and destruction that we expect in Monster films. Rampage is just big monsters, exposition, smashy smashy, character development, crash, explosion, bad joke, credits.

All that being said, I cannot deny I enjoyed myself and found the film entertaining. It’s not by any means a good film, but it was fine as a popcorn blockbuster that I’m sure will make a fortune in the box office.

4 Stars

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