Film Review: There Are Just Enough Reasons to Go Ape Over ‘Rampage’

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CHICAGO - As a whole, we have a fascination with watching destruction in front of us. It provides a catharsis from our heavily stressed lives, especially in the Trump era. It provides a necessary release of aggression, the same way video games do for people. “Rampage” scratches that itch, but only if you aren’t also looking to be intellectually stimulated or care about plot coherence.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

Let’s start with the origins of this film. I’m not talking about the studio executive pitch room where someone was thinking about what projects could use Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. I’m talking about the video game of the same name. In the video game, you get a choice between three monsters (that were once men), and the objective is to destroy buildings, eat soldiers and occasionally save an attractive, pixelated woman from the building you’re destroying. The game didn’t pretend to have a high concept, but instead delivered exactly what it thought the average game player wanted: destruction. In many ways, “Rampage” (the film) does the same, fueling the average viewers need for disaster porn and big, muscular beasts.

Johnson’s charismatic shimmer seems to be turning dim with each subsequent film where his natural affability and undeniable hunkiness are the only things saving an otherwise subpar film. As with any drug (and yes, “The Rock” is a drug to some), the more you take, the less effective they become. In “Rampage”, Johnson plays a slightly toned down version of his “Fast and Furious” persona, but with more similarities to his character in “San Andreas”, especially with his near single-minded focus on saving his family (albino ape George in this case). It is not a coincidence that this film feels similar to “San Andreas”, especially since they share a director, screenplay writer, and lead actor.

“Rampage” opens everywhere on April 13th. Featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Malin Akerman, Joe Manganiello, and Jake Lacy. Directed by Brad Peyton. Written by Ryan Engle, Carlton Cuse, Ryan J. Condal, and Adam Sztykiel. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Jon Espino’s full review of “Rampage”

rampage1
Look out kaiju’s, there are two new beasts in town ready to ‘Rampage’
Photo credit: Warner Bros Pictures

StarContinue reading for Jon Espino’s full review of “Rampage”

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