Content Type: Gaming Reviews
Date: August 22, 2018
Rampage is a blockbuster film adaptation of the legendary videogame franchise. The popular legacy of the Rampage franchise began with the Midway developed arcade cabinet in 1986 before gradually being ported to such platforms as the Amiga, Atari, Commodore 64, NES, SEGA Master System and ZX Spectrum. A sequel released in 1997 titled Rampage: World Tour as an arcade game that received ports to PS1, SEGA Saturn, Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Colour, alongside a re-release on Midway Arcade Treasures 2 on PS2, Xbox and GameCube in 2004. Rampage 2: Universal Tour is a direct sequel to Rampage: World Tour that released on PS1, Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Colour in 1999, while Rampage Through Time released on PS1 in 2000 and even a puzzle spin-off published by Midway, but developed by the same team responsible for the Drop Mania series that results in a Rampage themed puzzle game for Game Boy Advance in 2001 titled Rampage Puzzle Attack. Rampage: Total Destruction was published by Midway in 2006 on PS2 and GameCube; rather positively including ports of Rampage and Rampage: World Tour as extras before releasing an expanded version on Wii in 2007. No Rampage games were released until a film tie-in arcade game in 2018. Can the Rampage film adaptation capture the monster mayhem of the Rampage videogames?
As unlikely a videogame to film adaptation as Rampage would seem; it actually has a story that seems rather plausible. This is brought about by the film adaptation’s introduction of a breakthrough technology in 1993 named CRISPR that provided scientists the potential to treat previously incurable diseases via genetic editing; however America declared its possible misuse as a Weapon of Mass Destruction and Proliferation in 2016. Unfortunately, that did not stop a particular company from deliberately running secret weaponised experiments on animals.
Rampage’s pacing is completely on point as it immediately begins to establish the foundations of the story within two paragraphs of text and a rather unexpected yet quite brilliantly choreographed opening scene. Other than some light-hearted moments very early on between Davis (Dwayne Johnson) and his favourite guerrilla George; the entire film is action set pieces involving the evolution of multiple animals and those that try to prevent them from causing harm to civilian animals and humans, while others try to capture them for their own gain in order to run further tests to see what caused their genetic mutation to become so rapid. There are clever references and throwbacks to the Rampage videogame franchise situated throughout the film such as a Rampage arcade cabinet in the head office of the Energyne company.
Rampage features an excellent cast that portray their characters with precision in relation to each of their respective scenarios. Rampage stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Davis Okoye (Ballers, Fast and the Furious 5 onwards, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), Naomie Harris as Dr. Kate Caldwell (28 Days Later, James Bond: Skyfall and Spectre), Malin Akerman as Claire Wyden (Billions, The Final Girls and Watchmen), Jake Lacy as Brett Wyden (Diane and The Office), Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Harvey Russell (The Walking Dead and Watchmen), Joe Manganiello as Burke (Deathstroke, Justice League, Sabotage and True Blood) and more cast members that also all deliver quality performances.
Rampage has skilled directing courtesy of Brad Peyton (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Just Cause and San Andreas) from a story written by Ryan Engle (Non-Stop and The Commuter) accompanied by a screenplay written by Ryan Engle, Carlton Cuse (Lost, Nash Bridges and San Andreas), Ryan J. Condal (Colony and Hercules) and Adam Sztykiel (Black Adam and Due Date). Production is of a high quality with a huge production team including Beau Flynn (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, San Andreas and Skyscraper), John Rickard (Jack the Giant Slayer and Midnight Sun), Brad Peyton (Daybreak and Frontier) and Hiram Garcia (Hobbs aand Shaw and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), while executive producers include Marcus Viscidi (Pride and Glory and We’re the Millers), Dwayne Johnson (Ballers, Seven Bucks Digital Studios and Snitch), Dany Garcia (Ballers and Jungle Cruise), Jeff Fierson (Frontier), Toby Emmerich (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug), Richard Brener (Central Intelligence and The Butterfly Effect) and Michael Disco (Fracture and Game Night) and Wendy Jacobson co-producing (Solace and Red Notice).
Rampage’s special effects are incredible at a high level blockbuster calibre as every giant animal looks believable in their evolved design, emotions and movements, alongside epic battles accompanying the destruction of surrounding environments, debris and explosions. Rampage’s creatures were fully realised in collaboration between five-time Academy Award winning Weta Digital (The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), alongside visual special effects supervision and design by Colin and Greg Strause respectively (Constantine, Skyline and X-Men: Apocalypse). The Blu-Ray 3D version adds depth to certain scenes such as when debris is scattered in mid-air, while the 4K Blu-Ray release offers better colour depth and a positive refinement in picture quality that is clearly visible on the three creatures, characters and environments via Dolby Vision and HDR support.
Rampage’s audio includes clear dialogue throughout and supreme depth to the audio in every action scene as showcased by the loud roars of creatures, alongside bullets, explosions and destruction during battles that helps to elevate the impact of the battles by the audio being on par with the visuals. Meanwhile, a rather fitting soundtrack to the subject matter is composed by Andrew Lockington (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and San Andreas). Every version features DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 that is quite engaging, especially when heard through headphones, while Blu-Ray and 4K Blu-Ray also has the superior Dolby Atmos.
Rampage’s value begins with the inclusion of a digital version of the film included for viewing on computers, smart phones and tablets within every different release of the film. There are numerous special features contained on Blu-Ray including 10 minutes worth of deleted scenes; a gag reel; Rampage: Actors in Action looks at Brad Peyton’s direction, how a variety of scenes come together via practical and digital sets, photographic styles, stunts, acting performances and special effects; Trio of Destruction provides an overview of the three monsters and how special effects bring them to life, creature design and scale and more besides; Attack on Chicago offers coverage of the city itself and the role it plays in the film including geography, shooting in the city, set construction, digital integration and more besides; Bringing George to Life provides a detailed look at motion capture training and performance; and Not Just A Videogame Anymore. There is only one special feature on the DVD release titled Not Just A Game Anymore that chronicles the film adaptation of the videogame franchise, what the adaptation means to those involved in making it, the varying story concepts that were pitched and how many similarities there are between the videogame and the film. Rampage videogame gameplay, film concepts and film footage are interspersed amongst interviews from producers John Rickard and Beau Flynn, director Brad Peyton, actor Dwayne Johnson, Rampage videogame animator and designer Brian Colin, actor Joe Manganiello, screenwriter Ryan Engle, executive producer Jeff Fierson and actress Malin Akerman; however it is advised to not watch this special feature until after the film due to a lot of spoilers towards the end of the feature.
- Title: Rampage
- Studio: Seven Bucks Entertainment, ASAP Entertainment, Flynn Picture Company, New Line Cinema, Twisted Media and Wrigley Pictures
- Publisher: Warner Bros
- Cast: Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jake Lacy, Joe Manganiello, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, P.J. Byrne, Marley Shelton, Breanne Hill, Jack Quaid and Matt Gerald
- Film Running Time: 1:42:53
- Special Features Running Time: 62:19 (Blu-Ray)/6:01 (DVD)
- Media: Blu-Ray 3D, 4K Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital
- Age Rating Certification: 12 (region 2)/PG-13 (region 1)
Rampage can be purchased in America’s region 1 in a variety of versions from WBShop US:
Rampage can be purchased in the UK and Europe’s region 2 in a variety of versions from Amazon UK:
Rampage can also be purchased in the UK and Europe’s region 2 in a greater variety of versions including a limited edition exclusive steelbook available in-store and online from HMV: