Big gets bigger as dumb gets dumber in a monster movie with bark but no bite.

Based on the 1986 button mashing video game of the same name, Rampage has Dwayne Johnson playing a role similar to those seen in some of his previous films – the lone hero who must save the world. That’s not such a bad thing as there are several other action movie icons tasked with similar roles. But Johnson also makes two types of films in conventional roles – the action film meant to be funny, and the action film meant to be serious. Rampage tries to be both but succeeds at neither. The film is instead in the same boat as Johnson’s 2015 CGI potpourri of disaster, devastation, and destruction – San Andreas. While that film revelled in the complete destruction of California, this film does the same with the city of Chicago but in a tired old way – adding size to spectacle.

That’s what happens to George, a blue eyed albino gorilla under the care of a primatologist played by Johnson. Thanks to a mysterious virus from a doomed space station that crashes into Chicago, George is in a furious fit and there’s no way of containing his rage nor his increasing body mass. While it would have been tried and tested to go the King Kong route, the film tries to remain loosely based on the video game it is named after by introducing two more ferocious creatures that have mutated along with George. Two would have been fine, but three’s a crowd and Chicago serves as the proverbial China Shop.

With the inclusion of some violence and creature terror, Rampage is only watchable for its action segments and a few scenes of standard quality visual effects. The story and pseudo science about the mutation are not just dull, it’s an early warning indication that goes from lame to lazy and stays that way. Even so, nothing can be worse than the excruciating fact that Rampage tries to be a very serious film in everything it tries to be. What little humour the film has also feels juvenile, even if it means imagining an ape making lurid gestures on a big screen. If that’s the highlight of this film, you can just imagine how unintelligent the rest can get. And that’s before the film abandons any sense of common sense. Sorry George. Kong is still King!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

About Lloyd Bayer

Besides his passion for travelling, photography and scuba diving, Lloyd is a prolific film critic having contributed hundreds of film reviews to web and print journals, including IMDb and local daily Khaleej Times.