Saturday, April 14, 2018

Rampage pushes the PG-13 line

Movie Title:   Rampage

Grade:   B

Rating: PG-13, 
1 hour 47 minutes

In a Nutshell:   My 4 sons used to play the 1997 Midway Rampage video game, so I was curious to see how well director Brad Peyton would adapt the game to a movie for the fans. 

Historically, movies that take video games to the Big Screen are horrible.  Well, yeah.  This movie requires you to turn off your brain and not care.  If you just want to see some monsters destroy a city and watch the ROCK do his thing (he’s awesome), then this movie is for you.  If storytelling and character development is important to you, then you’re going to have trouble watching this.  The monsters look great; it’s the humans in the movie that feel more like they’re in a video game.


Tips for parents: 
  • George , the silverback gorilla, flips the bird several times.
  • There is a HUGE body count.  There are a lot of bloody bodies and some of the deaths are almost portrayed as a joke, which was a bit alarming.  Lots of blood splatter.
  • Lots and lots of destruction and violence
  • Some profanity
  • People in perilous situations
  • Talk of poachers.  You’ll need to explain to your little ones what poachers are and why they’re so bad.
  • Cleavage
  • Inappropriate joke at the end.

Uplifting theme: 
  • Family
  • Friendship
  • Loyalty
  • Animal protection

Things I liked:
  • Some humor, although there could have been more since the movie already feels like a cartoon.   
  • According to IMDB, an original cabinet of the Rampage arcade game can be seen in Claire Wyden’s office.  That’s a fun Easter egg for fans, but it doesn’t make sense for her to have it. Midway Arcade Origins - Xbox 360
  • The movie shows George, the gorilla, living in the San Diego Wildlife Sanctuary.  As far as I know, that doesn’t really exist, but the San Diego zoo is fantastic.  They actually have a really good gorilla habitat there.  About 40 minutes outside San Diego is the awesome Wild Animal Park.  I used to live in San Diego and can highly recommend both!
  • I think Malin Akerman’s eyes are so pretty.  I hated her stiff hair that looked like plastic.  Her character, unfortunately, was ridiculous.  If you're a Billions: Season One fan, you'll like that she gets to finally play the boss.
  • Well done CGI.  The monsters look really cool.
  • You see Dwayne Johnson get out of some zip ties.  First of all, his biceps are soooo massive!  Second, you actually can do it and big biceps aren’t required.  A former CIA agent taught me how.  Make sure the zip lock thing faces up.  Then, lift up your arms above your head and quickly pull them down to your hips, pulling your elbows back as fast as you can.  Ta da!
  • SPOILER: Jeffrey Dean Morgan does a bad guy so well.  He was so maniacal in The Walking Dead Season 7 [DVD] that I had to stop watching the show.  Seriously evil.  Luckily, he has a heart in this movie.
  • You’ll actually learn a little bit of sign language.  My niece married a deaf man, so I’m always thrilled when sign language is used in movies.  Another movie that uses sign language and is currently in theaters is A Quiet Place.  I thought it was really good!  You can read my movie review of A QUIET PLACE by clicking here.
  • I thought it was a respectful nod that the city rampage occurs in Chicago, the headquarters of Midway video games.

Things I didn’t like:
  • There were quite a few differences in the movie and game, although George and Ralph keep their names in the movie.  Lizzie’s name is never mentioned as the crocodile.  George was never an albino in the game.  The biggest difference is that the monsters in the video game were mutated humans, not mutated animals.
  • The villains are terrible, but not in a good way. 
  • Some characters are introduced in the beginning, but completely disappear from the story.
  • There are some really dumb details that could have been easily fixed if anyone working on the movie had been paying attention or cared.
  • The young male gorilla that is new at the Sanctuary in the beginning of the movie looks totally fake.  George looks much better.
  • Naomie Harris doesn’t really do anything, other than run around and rely on the ROCK to come up with a plan.
  • The clip in the movie trailer that shows the gorilla crack the crocodile’s jaws open like King Kong does to the dinosaur in his movie didn’t actually make it into this movie.

Funny lines:
  • “Of course the wolf flies!” – Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) 
  • “You know there are other ways of dealing with people, don’t you?” – Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris)
“Of course I do, but that’s no fun.” – Davis
  • “That’s a big arm.  Don’t fight it.” – Davis
  • “Who are you?  Homeland? CIA?  Justice League?” – Dr. Kate Caldwell  
  • “Girls love him.  I should shave my head.” -  Nelson  (P.J. Byrne)



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