Although nobody asked for it, we got another Hollywood movie based on a video game. On this occasion, it is an “adaptation” of the classic Rampage arcade. Yes, that game in which we controlled giant monsters whose sole objective was to destroy entire cities of the United States. With Dwayne Johnson “The Rock” as the protagonist, we are facing a film of the so-called disaster genre that bets on spectacular special effects and a plot that has little to do with the classic game. Is it worth going to see at the movies?
A Game that Few Remember!
Before we fully enter the film’s review, let’s remember a little about the Rampage game. Produced by Midway, it came out in arcades in the year of 1986. Although later it had its respective ports in NES, SNES, Master Arcade, Atari Lynx, and PC. This Game had considerable success and many players who grew up in those years we remember with great nostalgia.
It was not a perfect game, but it was different from a lot of what was on the market. I remember it was one of the first games in which I controlled “the bad guys” in the story. We took control of three giant monsters that were the product of bizarre mutations. Our goal was just to destroy cities, eat the citizens and face the army. Our advance depended on demolishing all the buildings on the screen, only to reach another one in which we had to do the same.
Based on the game but with many changes!
The first thing that came to mind when this movie announced was: why make a movie of a game when modern generations do not know about it? To tell you the truth, I’m still asking. Intellectual property rights are held by Warner Bros. when they acquired Midway years ago. So the most logical thing was that they wanted to make a disaster movie and found in Rampage the perfect excuse to carry it out.
The director is Brad Peyton, who has already worked with Dwayne Johnson in two previous films. They were together in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and San Andreas. As you can see, he has a taste for fantasy and destruction, so it was the perfect choice to carry out the adaptation.
As for the plot, apparently, the emergence of the three gigantic creatures had to be justified in some way. Dwayne Johnson is Davis Okoye, a primate expert (who coincidentally was also an elite soldier) who has a special bond with an albino gorilla named George. There is a company that has carried out genetic experiments and who do not care that their mutations affect innocent citizens to fulfill their objectives. By accident, three samples of his mutagen fall near a wild wolf, a crocodile, and George. That makes them start to grow exponentially and become aggressive.
Hence, with the help of a scientist and a government representative, Davis must find a way to save his friend George and stop the other two creatures before reaching the city of Chicago. I will not tell you this logic for not spoiling anything.
Outside of the names of the monsters and that is dedicated to destroying cities, it has nothing else to do with the video game. Although to tell the truth, the game did not have much history to say either. And as expected, the plot is simple, predictable and boring.
From the pixels to the CGI!
As for special effects, it is divided into two main categories. On the one hand, we have the design of giant monsters and the other on the destruction of buildings. In any of those cases, the result is favorable.
Perhaps the most surprising is Gorilla George looks in the movie. Andy Serkis made a frame of all the movements and gestures of the character, to be digitized by CGI. His face is very detailed, and you will truly believe that it is a real ape that was trained for the film, especially in quiet scenes and in which the bond of friendship between Davis and the gorilla is shown.
On the effects of destruction in the cities, you will think that you are watching a kaiju movie. As I mentioned, the director had experience in the subject with the San Andreas film. So if you like to go to the cinema to see explosions and buildings falling with violence, then you will enjoy it. It is projected in IMAX rooms, so it’s worth seeing it there.
Rampage is the perfect definition of a “Sunday” movie. Those you only go to see for their special effects and that you will forget a few hours after having seen it. The story is very predictable and has no moments that surprise the audience or for which it is remembered.
Being based on a video game seems that it was only an excuse to make a movie of giant monsters starring “The Rock.” In fact, it will be hard for you to differentiate it from other fantasy films of the actor since there is not much difference. We see Dwayne Johnson in his same role as always.
Rampage is another example that continues to show that adapting a video game to the big screen is not always a good idea.