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REVIEW OF RAMPAGE

Grade: C+

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Author: Billy Madden

Usually, moviegoers at the end of spring are force-fed flicks that are not exactly up to snuff with your typical summer blockbuster. With probably the biggest feature of the blockbuster season only a few weeks away (Avengers: Infinity War), Warner Brothers decided to sneak in Rampage before the Marvel box office titan touches the silver screen. It was smart to battle Paramount’s well-received A Quiet Place (last week’s box office newcomer and winner).

Rampage is your typical loud, non-stop action picture that works well because of great CGI and a thin storyline. This movie is based on a classic video game where the player would control a choice of three characters (a gorilla named George, a wolf named Ralph, and a lizard named Lizzy) in hopes of fending off wave after wave of military forces whose only goal was to annihilate you. The game’s object was to kill any military personnel and destroy any building you were standing or climbing on.

The film takes those two elements from the game and mixes in a friendship with the primate and his rescuer during a genetic mutation experience that did not go according to plan. Davis Okoye, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, is gorilla George’s primatologist, and they have a special bond through a mutual understanding of sign language.

While the movie is not great by any means, it is better than the medium it was born from, as the game got old quickly due to its repetitive nature. With special effects that make the battling creatures look real, the feature was highly entertaining.

Rampage is not out in the wild to capture an Oscar, which is perfectly fine for its audience. Though my expectations for this film were pretty low, it held my attention for the entire hour and forty-seven-minute brawl. It is pure over-top silly fun. Just get past Naomie Harris (who plays Dr. Kate Caldwell alongside Johnson) completely overacting, and you’ll be entertained.

Go ahead, forget worrying about playing the classic game, and find your way to the theatre for a ringside seat of an epic, loud monster rumble Rampage delivers. Be surprised with a good time!

Rated: PG-13 (for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief language, and crude gestures)
Director: Brad Peyton
Screenwriters: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, P.J. Byrne, Marley Shelton, Breanne Hill, Jack Quaid, Matt Gerald, Jason Liles, Demetrius Grosse, Will Yun Lee
Genre: Action, Adventure

Synopsis:
Primatologist Davis Okoye (Johnson), a man who keeps people at a distance, shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent silverback gorilla in his care since birth. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry transforms this gentle ape into a raging monster. To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered alpha predators. As these newly created monsters tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.

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