Rampage - Of Monsters and Men

April 16, 2018

Just a quick heads-up that this will be a (much) shorter review compared to most of my previous ones, but like my Den of Thieves review, there isn't a ton of in-depth analysis that's needed. Or maybe there is. Who knows.

 

I never thought I'd say this, but Rampage was a very good time. I mean that not in the this-is-passable kind of way, but in a way that becomes that much more enhanced with a good group of friends and a large bucket of popcorn. At their best, when I think of summer action flicks, this is the type of movie that comes to mind. Like many of Dwayne Johnson's other films, it's loud, muscular and packs an exorbitant amount of firepower. What makes Rampage work so well is the combination of a couple of different things. The ridiculousness of its plot aside (large mutated monster fighting in Chicago), Johnson's charisma and self-awareness of said ridiculousness lets himself and the rest of the cast have a ball of a time. One-liners are a dime-a-dozen, and you can't help get the feeling that behind every machismo piece of dialogue is followed by a scene cut and laughter amongst the cast.

 

While Dwayne Johnson carries the bulk of the film, Jeffrey Dean Morgan might be the only other cast member that outshines him. Their back and forth rebuttals are snappy and pack plenty of kick. Morgan is well aware that the role of antagonizing government agent is about as dry as they come, and ends up doing a fantastic job of breathing life into what could've been an otherwise one-dimensional character.

 

The first two-thirds of the film leans a bit heavy on the exposition side of things, and the two corporate heads have more than a few instances of grimacing dialogue. (Thankfully they end up more endearing than annoying by the film's conclusion.)

 

I won't spoil any of the big monster confrontations, but if that's the reason why you decide to see the film, then almost the entire last third is dedicated to it. As a whole, it's certainly a long ride at about 2 hours total, and I would've been perfectly fine with around 40 minutes hacked off. That said, the movie finishes strongly, and allows me to overlook many of the flaws that hindered it's slow middle act. If you're looking for a mindlessly good time, Rampage, above all else, is a fun, charismatic film led by a duo that's looking to have just as much fun as those that decide to buy a ticket.

8/10

1-2: Horrendous, wouldn’t recommend watching even if free of charge.
3-4: Potentially has some good ideas, but overall still lackluster.
5-6: Average, a decently good time; go see it if it's free.
7-8: A solid recommendation, and well-rounded film; potentially warrants a purchase after home release.
9: No glaring flaws; deserves to be watched multiple times.
10: Masterful, must-see; filmmaking at its finest.

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