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‘Rampage’ (2018) Review

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Movie: Rampage (2018)

Genre: Action

Director: Brad Peyton

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Naomi Harris

There’s not exactly a whole to say about a film like Rampage (2018). I usually like to preface my reviews with some sort of personal anecdote about my moviegoing experience, but the fact of the matter is that Rampage is too generic to make any kind of interesting commentary about the movie. That’s not to say that the film is bad, though. Rampage is hilarious and enjoyable in its attempts at seriousness and a pretty great time if you turn off your brain. The film’s greatest flaw is that it’s wholly unoriginal and devoid of any compelling conflict.

Rampage is the latest directorial effort from filmmaker Brad Peyton—a man with so disappointing a filmography that I’m shocked his film was given the go ahead in the first place. Surprisingly, Rampage is Peyton’s highest rated film, coming it at an astonishing 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. As mediocre as that score is, I can’t really say Rampage is a bad movie. The film is technically well made and The Rock gives an entertaining and often heartfelt performance. However, I can’t disagree with Rotten Tomatoes’ score either. If for some reason you’re looking for any semblance of depth, conflict or character development from Peyton’s latest movie, prepare to be disappointed because, at its core, Rampage is nothing but a big, dumb action movie. Although this will bore a lot of moviegoers, it’s not as if the movie’s marketing portrayed it as a sensitive art film.

The film’s premise was the first thing that deterred me from seeing it: a primatologist (Dwayne Johnson) has to stop three animals infected by a biological weapon from destroying the greater Chicago area. The twist is that one of the infected beasts is a gorilla named George—the Rock’s best friend. It’s sort of sad that, in the end, the only thing that convinced me to see Rampage was the opportunity to laugh at its ridiculousness; to watch The Rock make quips and spew one liners about the giant man-eating zoo animals running rampant through the Windy City. I knew going in that Rampage wasn’t going to accomplish anything game changing. However, once I decided to sit back and enjoy the ride, Brad Peyton’s Rampage became one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had at the movies in a while.

It may sound contradictory given how negatively I’ve talked about the film’s writing and plot, but I can’t deny that I still had a great time with Rampage even if it’s for the wrong reasons. Its villains are hilariously underwritten stock characters and moments the audience were supposed to take seriously came across as anything but. Still, I don’t have it in me to not recommend this movie. Rampage isn’t a good film—but sometimes, that’s ok. Despite all of its technical flaws, I still had a blast at the theater. Even if Rampage did give the audience a giant middle finger (literally and figuratively) right before the credits rolled, it made me laugh harder at how ridiculous and over the top Peyton’s latest project is, and that’s why I have to recommend it. If nothing else, Rampage is a great way to tie audiences over until Avengers: Infinity War (2018) next Friday.

My score: 6/10

 

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‘Rampage’ (2018) Review