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Rampage Is the Best Video Game-Based Film Ever

Sebastian Hunt

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★★1/2

In years prior, the ‘video game-to-film’ genre has been a literal cesspool of unmitigated awfulness – look no further than Silent Hill or Assassin’s Creed to get a good understanding of that. Some of the most talented people in Hollywood have been thrown at these films; from hiring brilliant sci-fi auteur Duncan Jones for Warcraft to getting proven comic genius Bob Hoskins to play Mario in Super Mario Bros.

And yet, these films just couldn’t seem to work. So when Warner Bros. decided to headline Rampage as a high-budget, Dwayne Johnson vehicle, I groaned. If immensely talented Academy Award nominees couldn’t make these things work, what chance would Dwayne Johnson have?

And yet, he pulls it off. Rampage is far and away the best video game ever made; it being a fun, simple monster film that I’m sure will be a smash at the box office. It’s by no means whatsoever a great film – but it’s simple, popcorn fun and that’s all it needs to be.

Dwayne Johnson pretty much plays himself here, delivering the same ‘brutal-but-sensitive’ action hero character he’s been playing since he took over the blockbuster scene. Your enjoyment of him here very much depends on your enjoyment of him as a whole. So I’ll just say I enjoyed him and leave it at that.

The rest of the cast, while their characters are fairly one-dimensional, are fun to watch. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays essentially a neutered (but still fun) version of his character on The Walking Dead; as a cackling, outrageous, mean-but-nuanced FBI Agent working both with and against Dwayne Johnson and his ape friend. The rest of the cast, particularly Marley Shelton, all have enormous fun in their roles and are great to watch.

Unfortunately, the screenplay does not match the cast’s quality. While it’s not awful, it’s largely as thinly-written and plotted as the paper it was written on. The first major plot-point is absolutely outrageous; as is a lot of the plot if you think hard about it.

However, the fun cast and impressive visuals for the most part overpower the lackluster script to make Rampage a fun, family-friendly ride I’m sure most will enjoy. Not for the nitpicking-types though.

 

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Rampage Is the Best Video Game-Based Film Ever