In 1986 the place to hang out was the video games arcade. And one of the hottest games was Midway’s Rampage.
Fast forward to 2018 for a movie adaption of the game.
Now, to be fair I was curious as to how an entire full length movie could be generated from a game where you control a select set of mutant monsters and smash buildings and eat civilians.
But Warner Bros. Pictures pulled it off and proved that bigger is badder.
Starring Dwayne Johnston (aka The Rock) as Davis Okoye, a military man turned animal saviour and Primatologist, who works at a San Diego animal reserve.
Favouring animals over people his best friend in life is George. An albino ape that he has taught sign language to.
Meanwhile, above the Earth, a genetics conglomerate called Energyne is experimenting with a weaponized version of a genetic mutation gas that, if used for good, cold have prevented illness amongst humans by re-engineering and tweaking the human genome.
Energyne CEO Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman) favoured a more nefarious means.
In the space station Athena-1 the genetic mutation experiment goes awry. One of the lab rats mutates and destroys the station. The seemingly sole survivor uses an escape pod and retrieves the gas canisters that have the mutating gas inside.
The escape pod and it’s sole inhabitant do not survive re-entry to Earth, the canisters do however, and land in varying parts of the U.S. One of those is Georges holding pen with other Apes.
Damaged from the impact the canisters begin to leak. From the San Diego Reserve through to the crocodile infested marshlands over to wolf lade prairies; we see the mutations of George, Lizzie (Crocodile) and Ralph (Wolf).
The mutation that the gas causes is not only extreme accelerated growth but also increased fury. It’s not too long until George’s personality changes from being human like to primal.
Claire, flanked by her brother Brett Wyden (Jake Lacy) at Energyne come up with the plan to harvest the genetics from the three mutated beasts and after a mercenary unit fails to catch the wolf, she sets up a high frequency signal from atop of the Energyne tower to attract the trio in to the heart of the city.
It is up to Davis and a scientist; Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) who was an engineer at Energyne and responsible for this mutating gas, to save the city… and the world.
Throw in the U.S. Government and scores of military personnel, including an ‘OGA’ (Other Government Agency) agent; Harvey Russell (Jeffery Dean Morgan) who has other interests in these creatures, the story subtly leaves it open for a sequel.
With Rampage, expect to see alot of carnage as a wide section of the city gets destroyed.
There are Easter eggs in the film for those familiar with the Arcade game and Director Brad Peyton did exceedingly well to incorporate core elements of the video game in to the action, intertwining this in to the film seamlessly.
Rampage is a big ole epic destruction flick with a cheesy ending. It pays homage to the games’ franchise while also being a totally stand alone and stand out film.
Fans of Rampage the series of games will most certainly appreciate the movie, those not familiar with the Arcade legend will equally appreciate Rampage for what it is; a Big Bad Destruction ride.
Running Time: 107 MIN
Director: Brad Peyton
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Åkerman, Jake Lacy, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Production Studio: New Line Cinema, Flynn Picture Company, Wrigley Pictures, Asap Entertainment, Seven Bucks Entertainment
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures