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RAMPAGE
4K Ultra HD Edition

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jake Lacy, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Director: Brad Peyton
Audio: Dolby Atmos-TrueHD, DTS HD 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1
Studio: Warner Bros.
Features: See Review
Length: 108 Minutes
Release Date: July 17, 2018

Oh, damn...that was a lot.”

Film **

As far as movie adaptations of video games go, you could definitely label Rampage as one of the better ones. Then again, the game in question involved mutated animal creatures wreaking havoc and destroying building after building. So adapting that faithfully into a movie isn’t exactly going to be a hard task.

And rest assured, there is PLENTY of destruction on display here. To be completely honest, there’s enough of it here to supply three Michael Bay movies. If its brainless action and endless battling of giant gorillas, wolves and alligators you seek, this movie is certainly not going to disappoint.

But back to the word brainless...oh boy, does this movie ever excel at that. There’s nobody who enjoys a big dumb action fest more than I do. Plus, there is such a thing as overdoing something to the point where it simply becomes boring, and countless fighting amongst creatures and never-ending city destruction does fall into that category.

The story concerns Davis (Dwayne Johnson), a San Diego wildlife primatologist. He has developed a special bond with a gorilla named George. They communicate through sign language to the point of even trading obscene gestures (which does boast a really good laugh).

Eventually, George and a number of other animals across the world become infected with a pathogen that turns them into giant sized creatures with an even more giant appetite for destruction. Immediately, the military is called in to put the angry creatures down. Davis, obviously worried for George’s safety, is soon contacted by Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris), a scientist who helped create the pathogen and may know a way to cure it...meaning there may be a way to save his furry companion.

Caldwell created the pathogen while employed at the tech company Energyne, who accidentally released it into the atmosphere. The evil siblings who run the company, Claire and Brett (Malin Akerman and Jake Lacy, qualifying as two of the lamest villains of all time), see much profit to be made resulting from these mutant creatures (um, sure!) and enlist the military to capture them because...evil. And thus begins the non-stop rampaging, if you will, that dominates the remainder of the movie as George and two other mutated creatures (a wolf and an alligator) make their way to Chicago.

One of the brighter spots in the movie comes in the form of Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the role of a government agent who lives by an old fashioned cowboy code. He starts out as an adversary of Davis, as the two instantly trade off macho insults at one another, but then becomes an ally. There’s really no reason for this character to be in the movie, but Morgan is having all the fun in the world taking his persona from The Walking Dead and blending it in with a little Tommy Lee Jones from The Fugitive.

In short, Rampage is all noise, nonsense and…well, pretty much just noise and nonsense. The action and effects are spot on, but the monumentally weak villains bring the whole movie down a lot and there simply isn’t a reason to care about much of anything that goes on. Although I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie where our hero suffers a serious gunshot wound, and then completely shakes it off just five minutes later like it never happened…so this movie’s got that distinction.

Video ****

This movie has all the proper ingredients for a bold, eye catching Ultra HD presentation, and this release from Warner does not disappoint in the slightest. Right from the opening scene, the visual effects are amazingly detailed and displayed in magnificent form. The motion capture performance of George the gorilla is especially impressive in this regard. Colors are incredibly vibrant and all of the mass destruction that occurs looks nothing short of fantastic.

Audio ****

I don’t think I’ve heard a sound mix that gave me such an impression that my entire living room was about to be demolished. The Dolby Atmos mix on this release will definitely give your ears and your surround sound system a truly good working, especially in the entire second half of the movie. Music playback and dialogue delivery are balanced out well terrifically, in addition.

Features **

Included on the standard Blu-ray disc, the extras consist of several brief featurettes, including “Not Just a Game Anymore” (which looks at the history of the video game), “Trio of Destruction” (an examination of the three mutated animals at the center of the movie) and “Rampage: Actors in Action” (a look at the cast involved in the production. We also get several Deleted Scenes and a Gag Reel.

Summary:

Rampage is mindless popcorn entertainment, and isn’t pretending to be anything else whatsoever. If it weren’t for the incredibly awful villains, its tendency to be repetitive and a lacking of any real reason to care, I’d give it more credit. At the very least, the movie lends to a most awesome 4K Ultra HD presentation!

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