Rampage

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Rampage Movie Poster Image
Big, loud, occasionally gory game-based adventure.
  • PG-13
  • 2018
  • 107 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 22 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 28 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Stresses the importance of teamwork, communication, courage as Davis, Dr. Caldwell, and even Agent Russell work together to come up with plan after plan to defeat the Wyden siblings and their evil scheme. Also explores how well-meaning research, findings can be used for good or evil, depending on who's controlling information, tools, technology.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Davis and Dr. Caldwell are flawed but heroic characters who team up to save George -- and the rest of humanity -- from the out-of-control super predators. Agent Russell breaks some rules in the interest of the greater good. Wydens portrayed as pretty unambiguously evil. Viewers will empathize with the one animal (George) who's most human like; Davis' ability to connect with animals is important to the story.

Violence

Bloody, at times even gory action violence includes seeing the fatal results of genetically modified animals' attacks on humans: The dead are shown eyeless, limbless, flattened into red goo, blown up in explosions. People stepped on, crushed, eaten (in one graphic scene, swallowed whole). Also several scenes of violence against the genetically modified animals, even George, who's shot at again and again with military-grade weapons. Wide-scale property destruction; people sometimes shown flying out of cars, buildings, etc. Paid mercenaries go on a mission to kill an animal and retrieve data. The armed forces are willing to risk a few casualties -- and mass destruction -- to wipe out the killer animals.

Sex

Flirting and a few moments of touching/embracing -- mostly out of protection/relief rather than sexual in nature. George the gorilla makes a crude gesture (index finger in and out of a fist) for sex in reference to what kind of "friend" Kate is to Davis.

Language

Somewhat frequent use of strong language, particularly "s--t," "a--hole," "hell," and "bitch." One cut off use of "mother--" with the second half of the word ("f---er") left assumed but not said. One use of "goddamn" and a few uses of "Jesus" and "God" as frightened exclamations.

Consumerism

Dave & Busters is shown being blown up. Ford, Bose.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rampage, which is loosely based on a classic 1980s video game, is a pretty gory action/adventure movie with some genuine gross-out moments. It will likely appeal to many tweens and teens thanks to star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who plays a renowned primatologist with an unusually close bond to a gorilla named George. A rogue genetic experiment (bolstered by an evil corporate lab) causes George and two other animals to grow to multiple times their size and strength; they then start rampaging through cities, causing massive destruction and casualties. Expect tons of violence, including a few cringeworthy, bloody scenes (people are shown eyeless and flattened into red goo) and life-and-death action. Johnson's character is injured multiple times (he's even shot), but as always, nothing keeps him from saving the day. There's also some flirting and fairly frequent strong language (mostly "s--t" and "a--hole") and a couple of crude jokes -- including a hand gesture by the gorilla. But in the end, the movie has messages about teamwork and courage, too.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7 year old Written byMichele Z. April 13, 2018

7 yr old enjoyed

So to start, my 7 year old plays this game with my husband, so he already had an appreci for it. My kiddo has been very good about not repeating cuss words, and... Continue reading
Parent of a 8, 11, 14, and 17 year old Written byAmy G. April 13, 2018

Lackluster with a lot of language

I was hoping for an exciting movie that would be fun to watch with my kids. I was disappointed with the type and amount of language. I felt like they could ha... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byJack321 April 12, 2018
Very good movie would give it a watch not really rated on age but on how good it is so 12A BY THE BBFC PG-13 BY THE MPAA
Teen, 13 years old Written bybookworm3284 April 16, 2018

Fun, monster destruction movie!

This movie was such a thrill ride. The only part that I think they missed out on in the review was that there are about 7-8 jump scares, it is not as gory as th... Continue reading

What's the story?

Based on a classic 1980s arcade game, RAMPAGE tells the story of what happens when genetic modification research conducted in space crashes into Earth and alters the DNA of three animals: a gorilla in a California wildlife center, a wolf in Wyoming, and a crocodile in Florida. The gorilla, called George, has a special bond with primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), with whom he communicates via sign language. So when George grows substantially in size and strength overnight, Davis knows something is wrong. He confirms this strangeness when lab scientist Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) arrives at the zoo and explains that the changes must be tied to research she did at her former lab, which is currently being run by greedy, downright evil siblings Claire (Malin Ackerman) and Brett (Jake Lacy) Wyden. Government agent Harvey Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) shows up to take control, but things get truly horrific after the Wydens emit a powerful frequency to attract George and the supersized wolf and crocodile to the Wyden Labs headquarters in Chicago. Davis and Kate follow the animals' path in hopes of finding a cure that will stop the giant animals, rescue George, and save humanity from the huge, rampaging predators. 

Is it any good?

Even the immensely likable Johnson can't save this video game-based adventure from its laughable premise and ridiculous dialogue. Johnson's character is downright invincible in Rampage: He survives so much -- including actual gunshots (which he treats like nothing more than irritating mosquito bites) -- that you can't help but giggle aloud whenever he looks "injured." It's impossible to take anything in the film seriously when everyone is a "type." The Wydens are so unambiguously evil that you almost expect them to have monocles, top hats, and mustaches to twirl as they cackle maniacally. Ackerman's Claire actually refers to black ops consultants as "Killers R Us." Oh, and speaking of the mercenaries, they're led by a machine gun-wielding Joe Manganiello, who's not in the movie long enough to be more than a glorified cameo but is memorable nonetheless.

Despite Rampage's many flaws -- we won't even speak of the made-up science -- there's a certain amount of amusement in watching Johnson win at pretty much everything he does. He's nearly as much of a giant on screen as George the gorilla, and anyone who isn't entertained by The Rock's presence likely wouldn't see this movie in the first place. As a fan, it's never a complete waste of time to watch him do his heroic thing, but it's also not necessary to support such a violent, unimaginative, unremarkable action film.

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