Back when I reviewed this as a "Now Playing" review, I mentioned that video game movies may finally be finding their footing. It was either that, or expectations for video game movies have become so low that we're starting to realize they might deserve a little bit of slack. It's hard to get a video game movie really "right", but there's still those few that stand out, just because they at least feel like the game. The primary example for me is 'Mortal Kombat'; not perfect, but feels right. This film is no exception, really. It's not the best film, but damned if it doesn't deliver what I came to see. Well, at least within it's last half hour.
The plot behind this one involves an experiment gone awry on a satellite involving a monstrous, mutated rat. In other words, it's obvious that we have some big corporation testing something on animals, and some side effects include some monsterism. A crew member is ordered by her company, Energyne, to retrieve a bunch of canisters that contain the mutagenic pathogen, created by some crazy lady named Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman). The canisters crash land on Earth, and the first is discovered by George (Jason Liles), a rare albino gorilla at the San Diego Wildlife Preserve. He's cared for by Primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), a man who is also a former US Army Special Forces soldier and a strong part of an anti-poaching unit.
Something from the crashed canister starts to take George over though, making him angry, confused, emotional, and grow very big very quickly. The rest of the underlying story has to do with figuring out how to help George out, and we find out the same old story that Energyne is trying to use the pathogen as a biological weapon rather than the supposed cure for *insert disease here*. So yeah, pretty 'Resident Evil'-ish. It's also kind of preachy about its message to protect wildlife, has some cheesy dialogue, and isn't tremendously acted. So where's the good in it? Well, again, it's in that last half hour.
Personally, I feel that 'Rampage' is another one that has some leeway to it. Here we have a movie based on a game where the whole point IS to play as a monster and wreak havoc on a city, tearing down buildings, eating people, it was awesome times. In that sense, if a movie is made for something like that, then you can expect the unforgiving tearing apart of a city. I dunno how many lives are saved during an evacuation process, but honestly, I was gonna give this movie that much slack anyway. I'd have been more disappointed in NOT seeing it, being that it's what the game offered. It was very much the same idea with 'Tomb Raider' where the last parts of the movie feel enough like the game that it sort of makes up for the otherwise not so grand opening.
This is a movie that isn't at all great if you're looking for substance, but it can be a lot of fun if you're looking for style. For me, it's probably one of the better video game movies out there, if only because... well, it's 'Rampage'. This is an example of a movie you go to in an effort to see destruction, mayhem and things get torn apart, because that's pretty much all the game ever was. In my opinion, the movie did it justice, and even had the right monsters for it. If nothing else, I think this one actually provides a pretty fun ride. Yeah, it's silly, but it's a good time.
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