2018, Movies

Rampage (2018, Brad Peyton)

Aka CRISPRZILLA.

This is Gojira/Godzilla only with a very Hollywood version of CRISPR substituting for nuclear energy. (In the ’50s nuclear energy was scary and I guess now gene editing is the substitute.) Though the specifics of the plot are different in terms of who is responsible for setting it in motion – now it’s a terrible multinational corporation rather than the military – otherwise this is pretty similar. I can’t imagine this idea surviving without The Rock’s presence, if only because it is so unbelievably similar to Godzilla.

But the plot is actually closer to Godzilla sequels, only the additional monsters don’t come from space. One of the many perplexing things about the movie is how the wolf, the gorilla and the alligator) are not the same relative size. (Another would be why spikes appear out of some of them but not all. Oh and why the alligator turns into a dinosaur.) If it was explained I wasn’t paying enough attention but I don’t think they even addressed it.

There are so many other ridiculous things, as you might imagine. Here are a couple of examples.

  • One character jumps out of a plane minutes ahead of the other two and they all land in the same place.
  • The Rock and Harris jump into a damaged helicopter in order to escape a falling building, and he then pilots the safest helicopter crash in history, all while the entire city of Chicago falls apart around him.
  • George is impaled by and later uses metal rods that are so large it’s kind of impossible to conceive of, or where they could have possibly come from.
  • And [SPOILER] George takes a huge beating, the kind that would, you know kill someone. But you know what happens. (Maybe he was played by Bruce Willis.)

This is a dumb Hollywood film full of excess. But what makes it worse than normal is both that it is a transparent Gojira remake but also because of its manipulative use of CGI to make animals more lifelike and cute, particularly baby George, who is impossibly cute. (I’ve heard The Lion King is similar.) I laughed once and otherwise was mostly bored or annoyed by the bizarre giant weapons George was picking out of the rubble.

3/10

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