Asked only the other day whether The Rock was concerned that video game adaptation Rampage would make the same mistakes as his other ignominious venture in that direction Doom, from 2004, he assured us it would not.
The critics, it would appear, would beg to differ.
Reviews are making their way online as we speak, and while some have given him the benefit of the doubt – i.e. it’s silly, but it’s fun – there’s a broader consensus that it’s just silly.
The movie, to be fair, always sounded a little on the silly side of things, with The Rock playing a primatologist whose beloved silverback pal George grows to enormous size and starts tearing up buildings after contracting a mysterious virus.
His wolf pal Ralph and crocodile chum Lizzie also befall a similar fate, with The Rock hooking up with Bond star Naomie Harrie’s discredited genetic engineer Dr. Kate Caldwell to sort out the carnage.
Plenty remain unconvinced, and though Rotten Tomatoes – at the time of publishing – has it at 47 percent ‘fresh’, it’s a carpet of three-star (and many rather below) reviews.
Indiewire writes: “It’s almost inconceivable that such a boring movie could be made from a story that starts with a mutant rat terrorizing a space station, ends with a 60-foot crocodile devastating Chicago, and peaks with a scene where a silverback gorilla flips off the star of HBO’s Ballers.
“It genuinely hurts to pan a movie that contains even one of those things, let alone all three.
“No satisfying action beats, no memorable images, and so little to say that it’s virtually impossible to say anything about it in return. It’s not a movie for critics, that much is clear. The problem is that it’s not for anyone else, either.”
“No animals were harmed during the making of this film. Humans that sit through it, however, may suffer from destruction-porn fatigue, bouts of confusion and frustration, and a mild case of the giggles,” adds Us Weekly.
Per the Washington Post: “At times, Rampage almost hides its problems. It’s just funny enough, just exciting enough and just visually impressive enough. What it never is, though, is anything more than just enough.”
Adds New York Magazine: “I’m not terribly convinced that the overtly campy version of this film would be any better, but I’m very certain that this one is bad.”
There is certainly praise here and there, but it’s largely faint.
“Rampage doesn’t blend action, comedy, and heart as well as The Rock’s best tentpoles, but there’s good dunderheaded fun to be had here,” writes Screenrant.
Robbie Collin in The Daily Telegraph loved it, however.
“It is exactly how these big, thick destruction films should be done: the script is boisterously funny, the action sequences have real flair and sweep, and the central human-primate friendship is even quite moving at points,” he writes.
The dunderheaded fun arrives across the UK on April 13.