"Rampage" Movie Review

Updated on January 3, 2020
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Rampage | Source

It wasn’t that long ago that Dwayne (“The Rock”) Johnson had to go on the defensive at WrestleMania when John Cena called him out for abandoning WWE for Hollywood. Cena, of course, has gone on to enjoy a nice little Hollywood career of his own, including last week’s hilarious Blockers. Johnson should now be on the defensive again… if, that is, there’s any way to defend the waste of time that his latest starrer Rampage is.

Based as loosely as human possibly on the old-time video game, Rampage is one of those ridiculous monster movies that makes you desperately hope the monsters win, obliterating every last vestige of humanity in the process. And though Johnson remains one of the film’s few (if only) bright spots, it’s not enough to justify this thing ever getting made in the first place.

We’ve seen the plot hundreds of times before (including just a few weeks ago in Pacific Rim: Uprising)—big monsters terrorize city; will they be defeated? And the four-person screenwriting team, which includes Lost vet Carlton Cuse, doesn’t bring anything original to the party. More than half the movie is the requisite scenes of urban destruction and mayhem, and while I enjoy a good disaster porn flick as much as the next guy, Rampage’s lame script and flimsy characters just make it all far too tedious.

Johnson stars as Davis Okoye, a primate communication expert working with a rare albino gorilla named George. (Davis has a team of young bucks helping him, but they’re forgotten after the first half-hour, so don’t get attached.) After a preposterous outer space-based prologue that not only makes us legitimately wonder if we’re in the wrong theater but also makes it very clear the level of preposterous-ness we’re gotten ourselves in for, a trio of hazardous canisters fall to the Earth and infect nearby animals with a genetic mutation that makes them grow at exponential rates. George, naturally, is one victim, along with a wolf in the Rockies and a croc in the Everglades. And thus, the rampage begins.

Davis eventually teams with Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) to try to find the antidote that will stop the animals’ growth; it turns out that Kate was recently fired from the evil Energyne (gah, even the names are silly!), where callous CEO Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman) and her snivelly brother Brett (Jake Lacy) were trying to weaponize the mutation. Now that they know it works, they use a radio transmitter to call the three monsters to Chicago with the hopes that… well, it’s not clear why they do it, other than logistically it gets everything together in one place so the mayhem has ample opportunity to ensue.

And we do get mayhem galore—a space station explosion, a huge plane crash, and the veritable destruction of half of downtown Chicago… not to mention a bevy of other scenes so over-the-top that your disbelief may become permanently suspended. Director Brad Peyton has proven he knows how to make decent disaster flicks, including 2015’s goofy-fun San Andreas (also with Johnson), but he takes a big step backward here.

There’s precious little that works in Rampage, not the least of which is the utter lunacy of the main plot along with the characters’ reactions to it. Of course there’s the pig-headed military commander who refuses to take Davis’s advice only to realize (too late) that he should have. And Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s wise-cracking cowboy/special agent may just snap your neck with how quickly he goes from “bad guy” to “hero’s buddy”.

Fortunately Johnson has built up enough cred that Rampage will be viewed as one of the few bumps (along with last May’s god-awful Baywatch) on an otherwise surprisingly decent resume. But if Cena is keeping score, he’s got a 1-0 lead so far this year.


1.5/5 stars

'Rampage' trailer


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Bills Place profile image

      Billy Haynes 

      2 years ago from Paragould, AR

      The girlfriend and I actually went to see this today. I agree on the loosely based on the video game. However, still better than Open Waters...


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)