“Rampage” starts at the ending of a much better movie. It delivers a concentrated dose of pure horror right up front to demonstrate what will happen if the heroes fail. It’s probably the best scene in the movie because there’s no useless side characters on screen to ruin your fun.
Most of “Rampage’s” supporting cast falls somewhere between unmemorable, unlikeable, and stereotypical. They deliver a few critical bits of plot or set up a few jokes for The Rock and then stand aside for the two leads: the male lead, Dwayne Johnson, and the ape lead, George. Naomie Harris, the female lead, is unfortunately strapped with the same burden of script as the rest of the cast, and to a greater degree. She’s a fine actress but is given nothing to do but follow Johnson and say science words. You probably already know what to expect from Johnson, except his dialogue in this movie is weaker than in better movies elsewhere.
George, on the other hand, will make or break the movie for you. He’s a little more intelligent than any real-life gorilla, but in doing so, they made him a sympathetic character. This is the movie’s greatest success, and the reason we care more about the film’s city-smashing finale than we do in any “Transformers” movie. George is a bit of a troll, and it’s his sense of humor that makes an ape more charismatic than any of the humans.
Like I mentioned before, the dialogue in this film can be foolish. So can its plot and the actions of its human villains. But there’s some crazy, reality-defying action in this movie. And because it’s about gas that makes animals big and angry, the dumbness of the dialogue complements the action and concepts.
If you’re interested in watching “Rampage,” you’re not going to compare it to “Requiem for a Dream,” or even “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” If you’re okay with a big, dumb action movie, then on the spectrum of big, dumb action movies, this is one of the good ones.
It’s a video game movie. Cut it some slack.
You’ll like this movie if:
–You want to like “Transformers” but don’t want the stupidity or insensitive jokes.
–You want to watch a “Planet of the Apes” movie but don’t want to be depressed or deal with philosophy.
–You want to watch “The Mummy Returns: Rise of the Scorpion King,” but also don’t because it’s a terrible movie, and The Rock should be ashamed of it and its terrible computer-generated imagery scorpion.
Skip this movie if:
–After watching one too many giant robot or animal movies, you’re just done.
You don’t feel like explaining sexual innuendo to your kids.
–You don’t want to watch a thoroughly mediocre movie. There, I said it.