I must admit that when I heard about Evan’s Rampage screening being outside in the cold, I chuckled as I imagined him in his raincoat. I, on the other hand, was treated to a Prestige experience at Ster-Kinekor Mall of Africa, one of the most luxurious cinemas in South Africa. Unfortunately, though, the organisers failed to tell me it was in 3D, which raised two problems: One, my eyes tend to struggle with 3D and I get massive headaches afterwards. And two, I had to purchase a pair in a rush before the film.
Still, this is the first area of praise that I can offer to Rampage. The film looks good in 3D, and didn’t leave too much of a sting in my brain after the credits rolled. Unlike the bulk of action flicks that seem like a giant blur on the screen, the CGI of this flick is solid and uncomplicated. In fact, when you consider the fact that Warner Bros. spent $120 million on Rampage and $300 million on Justice League, you realise that big budgets don’t always equal better effects.
Much like Evan explained in his review, Rampage is loosely based on the video game. Mind you, the game had no plot to speak of, so as long as you have a giant gorilla named George, a wolf named Ralph, and a lizard named Lizzie, you can do whatever you want and that’s what happens here.
In what I can best describe as a mash-up of Transformers and Jurassic Park, Rampage keeps the story simple and flowing. There’s a lot of action in the film, and it’s held together with a straightforward narrative that’s obvious from the first act. Sure, there are a few moments when you think things happen a little too conveniently, but this was never going to be Schindler’s List or win an Oscar for Best Screenplay.
Rampage doesn’t hide what it is. It knows it’s meant to be over the top, exciting, and fun. It’s reminiscent of ’90s blockbusters, which were mindless and good popcorn flicks that allowed for escapism. Additionally, it doesn’t shy away from giving the audience the moments of levity, which proves this film shouldn’t be taken too seriously. While Dwayne Johnson and Jeffrey Dean Morgan provide a lot of back-and-forth banter, the strongest moments of comedy are between Johnson’s Davis and George. It never gets old to see the gorilla show Davis the middle finger.
It’s apparent that Rampage has the potential to be a franchise starter, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the first of many to come. By moving this film away from Avengers: Infinity War, Warner Bros. has also ensured it’ll be afforded a few weeks to rake in the cash at the box office, because it would’ve been slaughtered had it stuck to its original release date.
So, is Rampage the best video game movie of all time? I’d say yes. It isn’t trying to change the world or pretend to be something it’s not. It’s a fun time – and isn’t that what movies are supposed to be, too? Is it worth spending the extra money at Ster-Kinekor’s Prestige? Certainly!