Big, stupid movies. They are out there waiting to be scrolled to on your Netflix list. They’re sitting in the ‘under $10’ bin at your local JB HiFi. Its not necessarily a bad thing. I like some big, stupid movies. The first Transformer movie, Armageddon – there’s heaps of them! Heck, I guess Star Wars is a big stupid movie. It’s the type of movie where you don’t have to think, you just look at it. What separates them though, the good from the bad, is that I guess they have to be fun. A really good big, dumb movie could be a guilty pleasure that you watch every year and you know every line of it – like Predator. Something you can share quotes from with your friends. But there is another way a big dumb move can win: if they’re bad enough, they can be good again.
So, qualifying for this category, where does Rampage fit in? From the trailer you know what to expect, you know what’s gonna happen and that there are probably zero surprises. You go to switch off from the world and switch on to the wall in front of you which has explosions projected onto it. It’s an opportunity to have really memorable characters that are really fun to watch as they deal with whatever really ridiculous situation they find themselves in.
If you watch the trailer for Rampage you see an example of this for just a moment. The Rock is standing there (He’s just the ‘Rock’ and no one cares) and a giant mutant wolf thing jumps from a building or something, opens out its legs to reveal a flying squirrel membrane so it can glide around and the Rock’s character calmly says “Of course the wolf can fly.” Great! That’s what these movies are about, setups for moments like that. So I’m sitting in my movie seat wondering, well where are the rest of them?! Hello, where are my big, stupid moments?!
It’s the story of big ape and a wolf who breathe in evil genetics mutant-making green mist. The ape knows sign language and likes to kid around with his trainer the Rock. But the LOLs end when he breathes in said angry mist. And as he runs away from home to punch a library we hope and pray the ‘humies’ can find a cure to restore their good-natured friend.
I used to play Rampage on my friend’s Amiga 500. Great game, you can play as the giant monkey of wolf and try and do as much damage to the city as possible while little soldiers shoot at you. You take damage from being shot at and to recover you eat people out of the windows of the buildings you’re pwning. That’s the game. I was hoping something like that would happen in the movie but nahh. It did have a big monkey and a big wolf aaaaaannd a big croc – it’s not enough. They smashed up the place, they rampaged the city that a soulless computer made. Boring. I was pretty tired so when some boring character was expositioning to some guy I thought I’d take a lil nap. Half an hour later I woke up! Didn’t matter.
Rampage falls into that lamest of modern day movie traps. It tries to play it safe with a crazy idea. They got the Rock for the main actor but they wrote him as some normal dude. He was still more interesting than everyone else. Where are all the wacky and insane side characters? This movie by committee focus group sucks. Not only is it ruining good movies it’s wreaking bad ones no to. This fear of using stereotypes and playing with assumptions is boring and it’s not funny. How can a monster movie with a giant evil dog and monkey smashing up a city be boring? How do you do that?
Rampage. That’s how.