Reviews

Rampage review: it’s just fine

This is a big, dumb monster movie far more cartoonish than most modern comic book movies, and more like silly, classic monster movies than the modern takes on King Kong and Godzilla. The evil corporation responsible for the mayhem is comically, ridiculously evil; the dialogue is campy in a ’90s sort of a way and the narrative doesn’t much bother with logic or reason.

If that’s what you’re after and you keep your quality expectations low, Rampage is just fine.

The arcade game it’s based on was beloved for massive monsters smashing down a city’s buildings, while a tiny human army pitifully tried to stop them. The film certainly delivers that – although it takes about an hour for the monsters to make it to the city. The climactic battle has some suitably epic moments that deliver on a pure spectacle level.

But the obvious requirement for all of the important bits to be made in a computer lessens the impact, as it pretty much always does. The CGI is really well done, but in several of the crucial action shots it clearly looks like CGI, failing to properly trick the human eye into believing.

Dwayne Johnson’s enormous charisma makes every scene he’s in enjoyable, Naomie Harris makes for an interesting sidekick and Joe Manganiello is a surprising highlight as a sexy mercenary. Jeffrey Dean Morgan goes a little too far with it all, making his Walking Dead character seem subtle by comparison, but most of the supporting cast here ham things up more than they should.

That’s all part of the stupendous, winking tone – which will probably piss a lot of viewers off, even though I quite enjoyed it. There are some lame jokes that shouldn’t have been left in there and it’s a shame about how some of the action doesn’t work, but the movie is just fine. Hell, compared to most videogame adaptations, it’s actually bloody good.

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