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REVIEW: ‘Rampage‘ is Exactly What You’d Expect



Directed by: Brad Peyton
Produced by: Brad Peyton, Hiram Garcia, Beau Flynn, John Rickard
Written By: Carlton Cuse, Adam Sztykiel, Ryan J. Condal
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Joe Manganiello, Malin Akerman
MTRCB Rating: PG
6/ 10

User Rating
7 total ratings



Rampage is hella fun


Rampage is hella dumb

After a genetic experiment fails, the chemicals aboard a doomed space station crashland on Earth and mutate three animals, turning them into massive, city-wrecking monstrosities. One of those affected by the mutagen is George, an albino silverback gorilla and primatologist Davis Okoye’s (Dwayne Johnson) best friend. As George grows deadlier, Davis musters all the help he can get to not only stop the incoming disaster, but to also save his lifelong friend.

Posted April 18, 2018 by



Since Rampage is based on an ‘80s-era arcade game and given the abysmal reputation video game movies currently have, one could be forgiven for entering the movie with low expectations. But lo and behold, Rampage doesn’t just redeem video game movies, but gives modern viewers an old school monster experience that hasn’t been felt that much ever since monster movies replaced mascots with CGI.

Monstrously Dumb Fun

R6Rampage is dumb – there’s no other way to say it. At best, Davis’ personal mission to save his gorilla homeboy is serviceable foundation for the ensuing havoc. To anyone who’s seen a monster movie before, Rampage’s plot and twists are as obvious as a mountain-sized monster wolf trying to hide in a city block. All the characters are one-liner spouting stereotypes who are far from memorable, with the only exceptions being the over the top Agent Russel (Jeffery Dean Morgan) with his hammy cowboy shtick and the cartoonishly evil money-grubbing CEO Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman). The ever-reliable Johnson plays a charismatic lead in Davis, but his latest performance is nothing new when compared to his previous action movie roles – especially Agent Luke Hobbs from the most recent Fast and Furious installments.

Thing is, none of these matter.

Rampage knows that it’s an old-fashioned monster movie with the massive budget of today’s blockbuster efforts. This movie has no intention of deconstructing/revamping the genre as the post-modern Colossal did. Instead, it relishes in how corny yet awesome its niche sub-genre can be. Free of any artistic pretension, Rampage gives audiences exactly what they want from a movie starring The Rock and three CGI behemoths: a simple story, city-wide collateral damage, bloody carnage in a supposedly child-friendly PG-13 movie, and a whole lot of cheese.

The only time Rampage takes itself too seriously is when Davis reflects on how humanity is the real monster, and this moment comes off as laughably cheesy instead of dramatic – then again, Rampage wouldn’t be a true old-school monster movie if it didn’t have a surface-level attempt at nihilistic philosophizing. Thankfully, Rampage doesn’t linger too long on this and gets right back to the monster smackdown a minute later, throwing all need for deeper thought under the feet of its rampaging beasts.

Taming Monstrous Potential

By default, Rampage is the best cinematic adaptation of a video game since Silent Hill from more than a decade ago. This is because Rampage doesn’t try to slavishly replicate an arcade game on the big screen or pander to a nostalgic fanbase. What this adaptation did right was to simply take its source material’s most basic elements and apply it to a monster movie that just so happens to have The Rock in it. The result is a throwback to movies like Godzilla vs. [insert your favorite Toho Kaiju here] from previous decades that newcomers will enjoy, but one fans of the old-school monster mashes will eat up.

R2While it works perfectly as a video game adaptation, Rampage falls short in being its own iconic monster romp. Unlike Kong: Skull Island – which transported King Kong from the ‘30s to the post-Vietnam War years – Rampage grounds itself too much in reality, limiting its potential for creative insanity. This is exemplified best by George, who despite his mutations, remains the same finger-flipping albino gorilla he was at the start of the movie while the wolf (Ralph) and crocodile (Lizzie) constantly mutate into freakishly monstrous versions of their original selves. And to make things lamer, whatever mutations the latter two exhibit are only used once during their big moments. Exciting as it already is, it would have been better if Rampage embraced the genre’s love of horrifying monsters and morbid absurdity, like what was seen in King Kong’s latest cinematic outing.

Case in point, Skull Island’s unexplained creatures had an escalating sense of threat, with each succeeding monster trumping the previous one such as going from a giant spider disguised as jungle fauna to whatever the hell the Skullcrawlers are supposed to be. Meanwhile, Rampage goes from dudes shooting a scientifically-engineered giant wolf to dudes shooting a scientifically-engineered giant wolf AND a scientifically-engineered giant gorilla – talk about innovation. Rampage’s self-control is admirable, seen in how it saves the best monster moments and titular rampages for the third act, but this restraint shouldn’t have been applied to the monsters themselves.

RPG202_173.tifKaiju-Sized Entertainment

What it lacks in staying power, creativity and originality, Rampage compensates through its sheer entertainment value. Rampage is proud of being big, dumb, loud and most importantly, lots of fun. Depending on your cinematic taste, this is either the best or worst description for a modern day blockbuster. For me and those who enjoy massive servings of camp and schlock, Rampage was a surprisingly good campy time in cinemas.

With my viewings of A Quiet Place and The Strangers: Prey at Night in the same day, Rampage completed the trifecta of modern day B-movies gone mainstream – and my younger schlock-loving self couldn’t be happier.


Is Rampage going to be remembered as a groundbreaking genre classic with an engaging story? Hell no. Is Rampage fun? Hell yes. And that’s more than enough.
Distributed by Warner Bros. Philippines, RAMPAGE is now playing in a theater near you!

Angelo Delos Trinos

Part-time artist and writer, full-time critic/overthinker. He believes that Samuel L.Jackson is the greatest actor on earth and he misses video stores.


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