Path of destruction
Of all the video games out there, Rampage is the one I would never expect get a live-action film adaptation. I mean, the game literally has no plot; you basically play as a towering beast that scaled buildings and knocked them down (I miss those glorious arcade years). But it's Hollywood, and in their logic if they can find a way to make money off of it then they'll find a way to create a plot, or something that resembles a plot. For this adaptation, the filmmakers opted to make several changes (how shocking) from the original 80s game by using real animals instead of humans who turned into the beasts. A primatologist named Davis (Dwayne Johnson) looks after a rare albino silverback named George whom he's cared for since saving him from poachers. A corporation called Energyne conducts an experiment on genetic alteration in secret when one of their projects gets loose and finds its' way into George's enclosure, affecting the poor primate to grow inconsistently large and becoming more aggressive. Davis is unable to contain him and George breaks loose, joining other creatures in different parts of the world who have also been affected by Energyne's experiments as they lead a trail of chaos heading towards Energyne's headquarters. Some parts of the story actually do work, and Johnson's character is not as hollow or wooden as most characters in video game films tend to be. George's mo-cap actor, Jason Liles, also gets kudos for his stupendous work from his movement to his facial expressions as the ape. Unfortunately, not all the characters have same level of depth; specifically, the antagonists of the film who are as two-dimensional as villains can get but my real gripe here, and it's the most confusing part of the whole film, is their "evil" plot. They try to control the monsters by sending out a signal frequency that only the monsters can hear which leads them directly to their headquarters. Even in video game standards that doesn't make sense; why would a villain who is trying to keep their operations hidden do that and bring that much attention to themselves?? It doesn't ruin the film; it just makes people think that video game films don't require consistency in terms of story which lowers the level of quality even further. Fret not though; despite this, the good outweighs the bad. Rampage is still a fun B-level monster movie with some great production value, a weighty performance by Johnson who helps carry the film, and an overall enjoyable time. Rampage definitely doesn't set the new standard for video game film adaptations but it does show how, with a little heart, it can be done.