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Rampage: Movie Review

It doesn’t seem to matter how many awful film adaptations from popular video games are released, Hollywood has no problem continuing to invest big bucks into making them.  Last month’s “Tomb Raider” was better than most of the game inspired movies that came before it, but “Rampage” is the first adaptation in a very long time that works.  I would go so far as calling it the best film to date, based on a video game.

The story opens on a space-station disaster that takes the lives of the entire crew.  During the station’s explosion, some canisters containing a genetic altering gas come crashing down to earth and turn three animals into killer monsters.  One of those animals is a San Diego Zoo Albino Gorilla named George.  Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) is George’s friend and head of an anti-poaching unit.  He is understandably concerned about George’s rapid growth and increased aggression.

Things get much worse when George escapes captivity and teams up with a grey wolf that has also been affected by the gas.  The two creatures are being drawn to Chicago by Claire and Brett Wyden (Malin Akerman and Jake Lacy respectively). The siblings own the company that created the formula which transformed the animals and they want to cover their tracks.  What the Wyden’s and everyone else don’t realize is that there is a giant alligator on it’s way to Chicago too.

“Rampage” is big, dumb, fun and never tries to be anything other than that.  Director Brad Payton has worked with Johnson before on “Journey 2” and “San Andreas”.  Once again, the pair know how to entertain the audience. Jeffery Dean Morgan is on hand, basically playing a nicer version of his “The Walking Dead” character, Negan. It’s almost like Morgan thinks he is still on the set of the zombie series.  Naomie Harris is serviceable as the Doctor helping Davis stop save the world, or at least Chicago.

I can’t say I was excited about “Rampage” because I was just worn out on movies that focused on big things taking down cities (robots or aliens), but I was delightfully entertained, and I am sure fans of these kind of films will enjoy themselves too.

By: Marc Ferman