RAMPAGE – A Review by Hollywood Hernandez
Rampage was one of my favorite video games to play back in the 80's. Mainly because it was so easy. You picked one of three characters: The Giant Ape, The Giant Wolf or the Dinosaur looking creatures; and then you went on a rampage, tearing down buildings and destroying entire cities. I wasn't sure how director Brad Peyton could make an entire movie based on such a simple game, but the director, who worked with Dewayne Johnson on the recent movie San Andreas, actually created an epic movie filled with plenty of action and special effects.
In Rampage, Johnson's character, Davis Okoye, is an animal expert who was also a member of the Military's Special Forces Unit. An animal lover, Okoye spent time tracking down poachers all over the world and, after witnessing George the silver back gorilla's mother being slain, rescued the great ape. The two learned to communicate with each other and an actual friendship developed between the two. The two friends have a special bond and that is at the core of the story of the movie.
In the movie's very first scene on a space station carrying experimental growth hormones crashes to Earth and the secret science project effects George along with a wolf in South Dakota and a alligator in Florida. The three giant creatures are drawn to a radio signal in Chicago, the home of the company who produced the project, which causes them to be enraged and driven to destroy the signal, along with the entire city in the process. Malin Akerman and Jake Lacey play the brother/sister team that run the company and the two are a fun type of evil as Claire and Brey Wydnen. They play their characters "big" much like "Dr. Evil" in the Austin Powers movies, or if you can remember that far back, they are like the evil villains in the old James Bond movies.
Naomie Harris, who starred in 2016's Collateral Beauty, plays Dr. Kate Caldwell, a gene specialist, who once worked for the company thinking she was working on a cure from cancer. She ended up in jail for stealing company secrets and her brother ended up dying from the disease while she was behind bars. She's Okoye's only hope to get a cure for George and she plays an excellent supporting role for Johnson to play off of in the movie. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, from Grey's Anatomy, plays an agent from a secret government agency. Originally sent to kill the ape, he becomes an ally for Johnson when Okoye saves him from a crashing plane.
Johnson is a very charismatic actor on the big screen. He and the ape, George, have some very funny interaction in the movie and there's plenty of humor to go along with the incredible action. Rampage is rated PG-13 for violence and destruction and some crude humor and it has a run time of 1 hour and 47 minutes. It's the kind of film I was thinking of when I created my "Popcorn Chomping Scale." It'll have you reaching deep into the bag. On my "Hollywood Popcorn Scale" I rate Rampage a JUMBO.
Movie Site: www.rampagethemovie.com