Imagine that you’re hanging out with your 8-year-old son/nephew/brother. He turns to you and says, “Do you want to see my new play I wrote?” He’s adorable, so you go along with it, expecting complete gleeful ignorance of all common sense and logic. He takes the stage (which is really just a pillow in the living room) and then… a film crew shows up with a $150 million budget, a full VFX crew, and a promise of production and release with zero changes to his script. That’s Rampage.
I honestly don’t know whether I’m more amused or confused here. There was literally no fact checking on this script. I think it was written in one evening by a dude at a Starbucks whose internet was broken. Without Wikipedia, no research was done and completely inane things made it into the story. Things like an alligator swimming from Florida to Chicago… or the supposition that there may be military submarines in the vicinity of Chicago. I’m not sure the writers know where Chicago is.
This movie is preposterously stupid, but sort of endearing sometimes. If Oscars are intended to be awarded for an outstanding performance, then give one to Jeffrey Dean Morgan. He acted the hell out of this movie. He stood out from the rest of the cast. Bless his soul, I don’t know how he played his part with such earnestness, but I feel like he deserves a high five for his efforts. He’s earned major kudo points from me for this.
Also, the visual effects were pretty great; better than a lot of Marvel movies. We can’t seem to create CG people worth a darn, but we’ve got gorillas down pat. There are a lot of explosions, and thrilling heroics, and complete lack of respect for physics or biology. A building falls over, a helicopter flies without a tail, a giant space rat claws through a porthole on a spaceship… these things are designed to re-enter earth’s atmosphere at terminal velocity, so it’s a bit hard to believe that a dog-sized rat could get through it.
The Rock is, of course, charming and wonderful. Like every role he takes on, he does so with gusto, never apologizing for the inanity he is subjecting you to. I don’t love him any less for this movie, personally, but I could see how he might be running low on goodwill with fans. The rest of the cast was fine. Malin Akerman was particularly mustache-twirling, which I guess is some sort of progress through the glass ceiling or something.
Overall, I don’t even know what to say. I think there will be a lot of people who like this movie well enough, but I don’t think you’ll be clamoring to add it to your blu-ray collection. It’ll fade into the recesses of your memory, only to be retrieved at your next “The Rock” trivia night. If you really like monster and disaster movies, and you support Dwayne Johnson in all that he does, then go ahead and go watch this. Otherwise, catch it for free on Netflix down the road. I don’t drink, but if you do, then I think alcohol would probably help.