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Rampage

Apr 12, 2018

It's silly and funny, all because Johnson is much more than muscles.

Rampage

Grade: C

Director: Brad Peyton (San Andreas)

Screenplay: Ryan Eagle (The Commuter), et al.

Cast: Dwayne Johnson (Jumanji), Naomi Harris (Moonlight)

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 1 hr 47 min

by John DeSando

It’s not even summer, but you can enjoy a popcorn, action thriller called Rampage just the way I did years ago with “B” movies. It’s mindless fantasy based on a 1980's arcade video game about genetic experimentation that leads to outsized monsters as if they were the mutant sons of King Kong and Godzilla with a 50-foot tall bat-winged Colorado wolf thrown in for added horror.

Fear not because primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) from the San Diego Wildlife Sanctuary comes to the rescue with outsized muscles himself and enough charm for the entire cast. What distinguishes this bundle of non sequiturs from my youthful experiences is Johnson’s well-toned sense of humor, with quips kind of funny and surely soothing after its non-stop chases.

I won’t dignify this silliness with a critic’s attempt to find the profound in the ridiculous. I will simply say it is worth seeing when you want to be titillated and no more, when you want to see Johnson make an interspecies funny bromance with a congenial, motion-captured albino gorilla, George (and they are funny together), fight a giant lizard names Lizzie, and not feature his muscles as you might expect.  

He doesn’t need to because his comic timing has had successful workouts. Watch as well for Jeffrey Dean Morgan as a rogue government agent; his Texas twang in both amusing and menacing. Rampage is the sort of toss off adventure that will leave you laughing, partly because it’s absurd fun and because Johnson is so charming.

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.rr.com