Rampage Blu-ray Review: A Beloved Arcade Game Brought to Life on the Big Screen

If you’re looking for a total popcorn flick with lots of destruction, then it fits the bill perfectly.
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Energyne is a company run by brother and sister Brett (Jake Lacy) and Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman). They are experimenting with genetic editing and doing tests that are outlawed and being done in space to keep them secret. But that all changes when one of the experiments breaks free from its cage and destroys the station, sending canisters of the genetic formula crashing to the Earth. Some of the containers remain intact but three of them have opened and released their gene-altering gas onto animals that have wandered into the area. One is a wolf, another an alligator, and the final one is an albino silverback guerrilla named George (Jason Liles).

But George isn’t your normal guerilla. He has been in the San Diego Wildlife Sanctuary since he was a baby when primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) rescued him from a group of poachers. The two of them have created a strong bond over the years, while George learned sign language. After George has been exposed to the mysterious chemicals, he quickly begins to grow bigger and more aggressive.  Seeing the story on the news, Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) arrives on the scene to explain what is happening, as she used to work for Energyne and offers to help. Kate isn’t the he only one to arrive on the scene. Government agents led by Harvey Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) decide to take both of them and George into custody.

As the news reports begin coming in, Claire decides that the best way to handle the situation is to turn on a beacon that drives all the animals infected into a frenzy, forcing them to come to the office building in downtown Chicago to destroy the beacon. It’s up to Davis, Kate, and Harvey to figure out a way to get there before the monsters in order to turn it off and keep them from destroying the city while on their rampage.

The Blu-ray is presented in 1080p High Definition 16x9 at an aspect ratio of 2.4:1 with an audio soundtrack available in Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, with a DTS-HD 5.1. The video quality is excellent and shows all the details of the monsters, making them feel even more realistic. A couple of times, George did not look quite right, but that issue was a special-effects problem and not a quality issue. The audio was just as good with a very deep and dominant bass sound that felt like its own special effect as it rumbled and growled around the listener and was sometimes so powerful that it was actually startling.

The Blu-ray Combo Pack contains a Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital copy of the film. The Special Features include: “Not A Game Anymore” is a feature talking about the original arcade game and how they adapted it for a movie.  “Rampage: Actors In Action” shows how the stunts are coordinated, the use of practical sets as much as possible, and the pre-viz technique they used as a reference to demonstrate how the action should be portrayed once the special effects are added. “Trio Of Destruction” discusses the evolution of the three monsters and the film and the real life scientific genetic editing that they used to base on how the creatures would be created. “Attack On Chicago” In the game, the original lab was in Illinois so they used Chicago for their back ground. In order to do this, they used thousands of pictures to create the city digitally, had helicopters fly through the streets for footage, and then destroyed. “Bringing George To Life” is the story of how renown movement coach Terry Notary taught Jason Liles how to act like a real guerilla for his motion capture performance. There is also a gag reel and deleted scenes

Being that Rampage was based on a video game, expectations were not high on the type of presentation this would be. The original game’s plot was simply three monsters smashing tall buildings in a city, destroying vehicles, and eating people. The film had little direction for a plot and was totally conceived by the writers. Fortunately, all that was really needed for moviegoers was to see monsters destroying a city and causing mass havoc. And of course, it needed to look good. There was no question that the special effects were very good and the monsters looked plausible, but the actual storyline was jumbled and made little sense. There appeared to be no real logical reason that the Wyden’s would use a beacon to bring all three monsters into Chicago to attack the building they were in other than to add the cityscape into the carnage.

Johnson played the same character he does in all films and Morgan was essentially a nicer version of Negan, the character he plays in The Walking Dead television series. None of that is bad, but other than the special effects there wasn’t anything new or original that grabbed your attention. But if you’re looking for a total popcorn flick with lots of destruction, then it fits the bill perfectly.

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