Sunday, 23 September, 2018

'Rampage' is big, dumb fun In Theaters

'Rampage' is big, dumb fun In Theaters 'Rampage' is big, dumb fun In Theaters
Beatrice Douglas | 13 April, 2018, 06:09

Davis learns all this from Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris; Moonlight), the scientist who did the research on the formula.

The space station belonged to Energyne - an unscrupulous biotech firm run by Claire Wyden (Malin Ackerman in full-on reptilian villainess mode) and her goofball brother Brett (Jake Lacy) - and was being used to conduct risky and illegal genetic editing research.

Peyton says Johnson - known as The Rock during his wrestling career - has all the qualities needed to carry an action-packed blockbuster because you believe he could actually save the world from such fantastical threats. What's more, it delivers on two genre fronts as we get both a proper monster movie and a surprisingly good video game adaptation.

The latest attempt is based on a hugely popular arcade game of Rampage from the mid-1980s, a game that saw three enormous beasts face off against one another - a gorilla, a wolf and an alligator - and the fllmmakers have taken that set-up and lobbed it at the big screen, throwing in the screen presence of Johnson for good measure. The plot - an evil, shady bio-engineering company called Energyne loses control of an illegal experiment that catches three unsuspecting animals in the crossfire and leads to a national disaster - is totally, utterly utilitarian, but it works for the movie's purposes just fine.

Adding more exposition does not make Rampage unique.

The same accident plays out twice more elsewhere in America, on the plains of Wyoming and in the Florida Everglades: anyone who has played the game or seen the trailer will already know the results, but the film has so much fun unveiling them it would be a pity to give them away in print. It all looks animated but that's how they do these movies now.


The action set pieces establish the geography of each scene, especially on a plane. George moves the same at any size, no matter how much extra mass he obtains.

Review: At some point during "Rampage" you are going to find yourself confronted with a choice. George is played in motion capture by Jason Liles who, I'm sorry, is no Andy Serkis. Despite its insistent name-checking of CRISPR gene-editing to ... root the flying wolf in scientific reality, I guess ... this is in fact way more SyFy than Sci-Fi, one shark short of a Sharknado.

Here's the thing: Rampage is not, strictly speaking, a bad movie. Across the States, an alligator and a wolf that the internet dubs "Ralph" are also infected and they head towards a radio signal in Federal Plaza, Chicago - a ideal location for them to battle it out and turn all the iconic architecture into rubble. So they're still on all fours, just bigger.

Yes! As giant monster movies go, it's pretty damn terrific.

Don't worry, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is there so The Rock can get in his face. All of the goriest stuff is on screen, but cleverly hidden in out of focus foregrounds, just enough to sate those looking for a thrill, but never quite enough to make the audience squeamish.

Cobbled together from bits and pieces of previous box-office hits, Rampage is a perfectly okay special-effects adventure for the Rock's younger fans: not too gory, not too scary, but sadly not too amusing either.

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