We attended the premiere of Rampage on Wednesday in Leicester Square. Hit play below to hear what we thought as we left the cinema
S2 Bonus 10: First Impression: Rampage
Director Brad Peyton follows up his last full-out massive action nature blockbuster San Andreas with a perfectly natural next step: a full-out massive action monster blockbuster. Just as Peyton raised the genre with his previous movie, Rampage ups the classic monster ante by pulling in King Kong, Godzilla, and Moro, into one monumental battle.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson plays Davis, a primatologist that raised his best friend George, an intelligent and gentle albino gorilla, from birth. After a gene-editing research chemical crash lands in three spots across North America, one of which is George’s enclosure, three animals become infected and begin to grow, mutate and kill. The evil corporation that developed the ‘Rampage’ chemical, hoping to capture the secret sauce that caused the evolution, brings all three monsters to Chicago. Obviously it doesn’t go well, and it’s up to sexy scientist Davis to save his primate friend and stop the carnage, with the help of Naomie Harris.
Rampage is based on a Midway arcade game from 1986. Renton stays true to the source material in many ways, especially in that story is kept to a minimum. The story that does exist is serviceable, and is used as clunky bridges between action scenes.
I thought the writing started off well. Enough of the jokes landed that you would believe you were in safe hands. Unfortunately, when we meet the two corporate villains Claire and Brett, who couldn’t be more insufferable, it’s evident that the humour and charisma is brought to the screen by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and the equally matched Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Let’s be honest though – writing, plot, character development, this isn’t why you’re buying tickets to see this movie. It’s to see four larger than life creatures destroying a city and each other, Johnson of course being the fourth.
It was big, dumb, nonsense and enjoyable enough to know that I needed to see more. Not every action scene packed punch, some of the utter destruction felt without consequence, but when it did hit, it was great. There’s a moment when we first see Ralph (the giant wolf) in a battle against a feared assassin squad, and when he jumps off a cliff onto a helicopter, tearing it to pieces, I was on board. These are the highs in this movie.
However, I don’t think there was enough of it. As much as I love Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and as much of an absolute delight he is to watch on screen, I would have preferred more time spent on the final battle between the three monsters. We could have easily lost most of the antagonistic and annoying villains in service of George using a building as a weapon against a giant crocodile! Apart from George, who’s animators made very likeable and played quite well against Johnson, I would’ve liked the other monsters to have had more of a personality, adding some emotion to the final CGI punch out.
You know exactly what this movie is. If you enjoyed Peyton and Johnson’s San Andreas, if you enjoyed the recent smatterings of monster movies like King Kong or Godzilla, you’ll enjoy Rampage.
Release: Thursday 12th April.
Starring: Dwayne Johnson
Run Time: 1H 47M
Never miss an episode!
Subscribe today and we'll let you know about the latest episodes when they release. Your personal information is important to us and we won't share it with anyone, including those pesky marketing companies!