VFX ‘Rampage’ review: Chaos submerges quality -

‘Rampage’ review: Chaos submerges quality

To go by the past precedents, it wouldn’t be wrong to suggest director Brad Peyton is an action junkie. The Canadian film-maker pulls no punches in trying to create something that triggers visceral auscultation without giving even a philia of attention towards story or substance. His Cats & Dogs and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island immediately come to mind.

But in his latest offering Rampage, Peyton just takes the biscuit way too far in attempting to take the action genre to the next level. And yet again, leaves a lot to be desired from a storytelling standpoint.

A criss-cross of Godzilla and King Kong minus a wolf, the Dwayne Johnson starrer gave us a glimpse of what it is about in the trailer when we saw gargantuan creatures wreaking havoc in the city while the former WWE superstar comes to rescue with the help of his albino gorilla of a friend. Well, after watching the whole movie, you would be disappointed to have served little else apart from what you’ve already seen.

Even the destruction sequences – that account for most of the film – appears mundane and evokes little thrill.

In a genetic experiment in outer space gone haywire, a big American firm Energyne created pathogen gets leaked on earth after particles of shipwreck crash lands in three different places. One of them being the biopark where primatologist David Okoye (Johnson) works and nurtures his gorilla friend, George. The albino silverback is severely infected by the gas emanated from the wreck that not only makes him aggressively dangerous, but also gradually increase in size.

Two more creatures nearby, a wolf and an alligator, get diseased in a similar fashion, before they all come together to unleash devastation.

While it sounds interesting, the movie is undone by a lack of solid, ingenious story. The writing too gets wobbly at times while the humour peppered into it is cliche and trite. The lead pair of Johnson and Naomi Harris though, bring urgency to the proceedings with some fine acting chops. And that’s perhaps the only saving grace of the film.

Now that brings me to its visual effects. A movie of this genre and stature does involve plenty of CG and VFX to bring about the kind of effects that gives you the thrill. But in Rampage, even that’s bog-standard at best. The gigantic creatures, especially the flying wolf and the alligator, are more hideous than horrifying, while the ensuing wreckage looks like a straight rip-off from aforementioned, Godzilla and King Kong.

Hydraulx, Scanline VFX and Weta Digital take credits for the VFX.

Rampage, if anything, is a sci-fi monster film that would cater more to the kids of age five to 12. If you’re looking for something substantial; something of material, then it’s as good as avoidable.