1986 was the golden age of retro video games with titles like Legend of Zelda, Castlevania and Dragon Quest to name just a few of the titles hitting the market it would be easy to overlook a little title called Rampage.
You take control of one of three building sized creatures, Lizzie (the not Godzilla), George (the not King Kong) and Ralph (the Giant Wolfman) with the goal of trashing skyscrapers. Created by Bally Midway the Pinball icon and distributor of games like Ms Pac-Man and Space Invaders, you would wreck your way through 128 ‘days’ of wrecking American cities. And now, some 32 years later it’s the latest video game adaption to make it’s way to the big screen but with one key difference to all other video game adaptions that have come before it, The Rock.
Following the video game loosely the Rock is the animal specialist who cares for an Albino Ape in San Diego named George. This is until space debris from an evil corporation space lab who has been doing genetic manipulation research crashes to earth and exposes George (and two others who you may just have guessed from playing the original game or the movie poster/trailer). As George starts to grow his gains attention from the government and that’s when stuff starts to happen.
Following that old chestnut of Giant Monsters vs. the US Army the movie doesn’t really reach the same feeling of scale as the 1998 Godzilla film but on the same note the monsters do definitely get more screentime than the 2014 Godzilla. We would rate the monster screen time in the King Kong: Skull Island levels but with more city based destruction to stay true to the video game.
Regardless of the origin of the story this movie has definitely gotten a lot of people you are going to recognise. With soon to be Deathstroke Joe Manganiello, Watchmen’s Malin Akerman and Watchmen/Walking Dead/Supernatural’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan, if the Rock/Black Adam spin off is still on the books then you could possibly consider this an unofficial DCEU pre-reunion.
So should you go see it? This movie definitely sits in the Rock/Popcorn flick category and given it’s release timing it is definitely aiming for that audience. While no movie involving a giant Lizard/Wolf/Ape was going for hyper realism the Rock being invincible is definitely stretched far in this movie. If you are looking for something to watch which is just dumb action fun this weekend, this might just do the trick even if you just go for the easter eggs (we especially like the one towards the end dropped in by one of the script writers who also wrote Brisco County Junior).
Rampage is in cinemas across Australia from the 12th of April.