Director: Brad Peyton
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman
Release Date: July 17, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
In 1993, a breakthrough new technology gave scientists a path to treat incurable diseases through genetic editing. In 2016, due to its potential for misuse, the U.S. Intelligence Community designated genetic editing a “Weapon of Mass Destruction and Proliferation.”
Johnson stars as primatologist Davis Okoye, a man who keeps people at a distance but shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent, incredibly rare albino silverback gorilla who has been in his care since he rescued the young orphan from poachers. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry mutates this gentle ape into a raging creature of enormous size.
To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered animals. As these newly created super creatures tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with discredited geneticist Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
Inspired by the popular arcade game of the same name, ‘Rampage’ joins Davis Okoye (Johnson), a primatologist that shares a special relationship with the animals he cares for, often relating to them far more than humans. But when the debris of a secret experiment begins transforming various animals including a close friend of Davis’ into massive and angry creatures drastically unlike their previous selves, a homing beacon calling them into the city of Chicago quickly leads to a terrifying path of destruction and chaos. Now only Davis and a scientist booted from the project years prior stand any chance of stopping the madness before it’s too late.
Directed by Brad Peyton (San Andreas) from a screenplay by Ryan Engle (Breaking In), Carlton Cuse (San Andreas), Ryan J. Condal (2014’s Hercules) and Adam Sztykiel (Due Date) which was based off an initial story by Engle, Peyton does a pretty great job at the helm of ‘Rampage’ smoothly guiding along the explosive fun. The film also owes a healthy share of the credit to the well selected cast which includes Dwayne Johnson (The Fate of the Furious), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Malin Akerman (TV’s Billions), Jake Lacy (TV’s I’m Dying Up Here), Joe Manganiello (TV’s True Blood) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (TV’s The Walking Dead) along with more, nearly all delivering highly capable and fitting performances in each of their respective roles and helping significantly to make this goofy and wildly entertaining popcorn flick work so well.
‘Rampage’ serves up plenty of monstrous fun along with a surprisingly decent story and interesting characters that all molds together into a fairly decent film that wildly exceeds expectations. As opposed to merely delivering two hours of senseless monster-crushing madness similar to the focus of the game, the film instead wisely opts for crafting an actual story and motivation leading to the city-stomping chaos we naturally expect from a ‘Rampage’ film. It’s certainly not going to nab any best picture nominations, but courtesy of a capable cast, a fun adventure and some truly impressive special effects, ‘Rampage’ still ends up being one heck of a solid popcorn flick that should keep you glued to the screen without requiring much brain power to follow the excitement. I would strongly encourage anyone even mildly interested in this one to try and make a point of giving ‘Rampage’ a whirl when you have the chance, it’s a surprisingly solid and just incredibly fun flick that is far better than expected in nearly every conceivable way. It should have no problem proving well worth your time and the cost of a rental one random evening if you’re seeking an exciting and enjoyable movie to just relax and have some fun with.
Overall, ‘Rampage’ is a surprisingly decent film that’s overloaded with goofy fun, visually spectacular effects and a solid cast that helps tremendously to keep things flowing smoothly throughout its explosive and enjoyable course. ‘Rampage’ is recommended for anyone that’s already somewhat interested in this one to begin with, as well as for those that are looking for a fairly simple and incredibly fun adventure to kick back and immerse yourself in after a long day, without requiring much in the way of brain activity to keep up with the unfolding storyline. It’s probably not necessary to go out of your way in order to immediately get your hands on a copy and watch if you’re not already itching to do so, but it’s definitely well worth keeping in mind for an easygoing ride worth taking in the foreseeable future.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Rampage’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great and provides a sharp and detailed presentation from start to finish without any noteworthy issues to be uncovered along the way. It holds up admirably even during the numerous fast paced, darkly lit and heavily populated moments, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a pretty fantastic high definition video presentation that shouldn’t have any trouble satisfying both fans of the movie and first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack makes a spectacular compliment to the on-screen insanity and offers up a crisp, clean and wildly aggressive audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes full advantage of all seven available channels (and the subwoofer) to send stomping creatures, helicopters, crashing, debris and bullets regularly zipping throughout the various speakers along with plenty more, and always making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously remain clear and fully audible. Overall, this is a magnificent Dolby Atmos (TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack that sounds outstanding and contributes a tremendous amount of fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Rampage’ includes some fun extras. Included on the release is a number of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 10 minutes in length altogether), in addition to a ‘Gag Reel’ (running approximately 3 minutes) and a collection of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore different aspects of bringing the film to life and include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Not Just A Game Anymore’ (approximately 6 minutes), ‘Rampage: Actors in Action’ (11 minutes), ‘Trio of Destruction’ (10 minutes), ‘Attack on Chicago’ (10 minutes) and ‘Bringing George to Life’ (12 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
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