There are plenty of worthwhile potential videogame adaptations out there. Perhaps a Bioshock movie? What about something akin to The Last of Us? Hell, I’m still waiting for someone to take another swing at Silent Hill and get it right this time.
But Rampage? That coin-operated arcade game from 1986, featuring three giant monsters plotlessly stomping city after city? Well, that’s an interesting choice for a big-budget adaptation, and especially one starring the reigning king of action cinema, Dwayne Johnson. But that’s what we’re getting in April of 2018, and that’s what you can see in the first trailer for Rampage above.
The game, which was more or less without a story and played from the perspective of the monsters, has necessarily been re-imagined to insert some human viewpoint characters. The Rock plays a man who appears to be some kind of primate researcher, and one who has forged a tight bond with an albino gorilla named George who he saved as a baby. But when George is exposed to some kind of chemical cylinder from the heavens, he rapidly begins to grow larger and become more violent. Soon, he’s out RAMPAGING (!!!) on the streets of Chicago, joined by the two other giant monsters from the game: Ralph the giant wolf/werewolf and Lizzie, a giant, mutated reptile or lizard. It’s not really clear from watching the trailer if the three are working in conjunction with one another to wreck up Chicago, or if we’re going to get to see some kaiju-style giant monster battles, although our gut would say yes.
The trailer is, in a word, absurd. Jeffrey Dean Morgan features heavily, swaying back and forth and performing with exactly the same physical tics as we see from Negan on The Walking Dead each week. The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” is shamelessly used for its “despite all my rage” chorus. The Rock gets to play both comic relief and emotional core, because he’s The Rock. Check out the trailer above, and attempt to answer the question: Shouldn’t machinegun fire from an A-10 Warthog be able to kill a gorilla within seconds, even if it is the size of a house? Granted, a film about giant monster corpses probably isn’t quite as interesting.