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Rampage Blu-ray Review

July 16, 2018

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Rampage Blu-ray Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Jul 16, 2018
( Rating: 4 Star Rating)

In Rampage, Dwayne Johnson tangles with a ginormous wolf, gorilla and crocodile. Are the How’d-they-do-that? extra features on the Blu-ray package worthy of a buy or gift? Check Kidzworld’s Blu-ray review.

By: Lynn Barker

Rampage, based upon a 1986 video arcade game, features primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) and his good friend George (Jason Liles in motion capture gear), a huge albino gorilla. When George and two other animals are exposed to a genetic editing serum falling to Earth from a destroyed space lab, the results are huge growth, strength and rage. Can George’s plight be reversed or must Davis lose his old friend along with half of Chicago?

Davis tries to protect GeorgeDavis tries to protect GeorgeCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Genetic Disaster

A lone, female scientist calls Earth for help from a destroyed space station, insisting that a giant rat “experiment” is loose and has killed the crew. She gathers samples of a genetic editing drug made by Energyne, a company using it as a weapon to enhance the rage of various animals. When her escape pod blows up, the samples fall to Earth. One in a swamp, one in Wyoming and one in an area of the San Diego Zoo.

Greedy Energyne boss ClaireGreedy Energyne boss ClaireCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Davis and George

Resident Primatologist Davis teaches a group of students how to interact with and study gorillas in a wild area of the zoo. He introduces them to his pal George, a big albino gorilla to whom he has taught sign language. They have a funny and real buddy relationship. They even fist bump. It’s established that Davis is more into animals than people. Later, one of the genetic editing samples is discovered by George and it contaminates him.

Kate, George and Davis are worried when helicopter approachesKate, George and Davis are worried when helicopter approachesCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Enter Kate

George, much bigger and angry now, has escaped and killed a huge grizzly bear. Davis has to cage him until it can be determined what is wrong with him. The capsule containing the genetic serum has been found but nobody knows what it is until Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) sees the container on a TV broadcast. She tells Davis that she developed it for her former employer Energyne. Meanwhile, tough soldier of fortune Burke (Joe Manganiello) is sent by evil Energyne boss Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman) to find the other serum containers and a rogue giant wolf in Wyoming. The wolf kills him and all his men.

Burke doesn't realize his prey is behind himBurke doesn't realize his prey is behind himCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Giant George

George is now full of growth hormone and other aggression-enhancing stuff and is now 9 feet tall and growing. Is there an anti-dote? Maybe at Energyne headquarters. A frightened George busts out of his cage and rampages around the zoo. A helicopter arrives and shoots at him before Davis can stop it. George runs away and Kate and Davis are grabbed by black ops agent Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). When science goes crazy, he’s called in. His men have captured George and he’s tranquilized on a transport plane. Kate and Davis are also put aboard. Russell tells Davis he is truly sorry about his gorilla friend.

Russell tries to buy time for Davis to save ChicagoRussell tries to buy time for Davis to save ChicagoCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Evil Plot and a Crash

Claire knows that radio waves will attract the giant creatures, the military can kill them and Energyne will salvage what they can from the bodies. She has enhanced a big radio antenna on the roof in Chicago to “call” the critters. George wakes up and wrecks the inside of the cargo plane and it goes down but Davis and Kate bail out taking an unconscious Russell with them. George has regenerated and has survived the crash! Claire learns that Kate is helping save George and the other big animals and wants her dead!

After the crash. Where's George?After the crash. Where's George?Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

George’s Sad Past

While tracking George, Davis explains to Kate that he rescued him as a tiny baby when poachers killed his mom in front of him. Davis then killed the poachers. He trusts animals more than humans. Kate didn’t know what Energyne planned for her serum when she created it. It was supposed to help animals. A huge, rampaging trio of animals (George, giant flying wolf and crocodile) arrives in Chicago and starts wrecking buildings etc. Davis and Kate must get to the Energyne building and get the antidote. If it can be given to George, he will be normal enough to help them stop the other two critters.

Wolf creature Ralph looks for prey in ChicagoWolf creature Ralph looks for prey in ChicagoCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Race Against Time

Davis and Kate, with Russell’s aid, must get the antidote and give it to George before a big bomb is dropped on the whole city to stop the rampaging animals. It’s learned that the antidote will make George calm and himself again but, he will remain gigantic. Will the good guys get the antidote in time? Will Claire get what’s coming to her? Will Davis and Kate form a romantic bond? Will George’s aggression be stopped so he can help save the day?

Giant croc Lizzie terrorizes ChicagoGiant croc Lizzie terrorizes ChicagoCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Special Extra Features

The Blu-ray disc for Rampage is full of very informative and fun featurettes that really go into detail regarding creature design, stunts and more!

  • Not Just a Game Anymore is an extra tracing the history of the game upon which the film is based. Cast and filmmakers talk about adapting it to a film and how much they enjoyed playing it as kids and making the movie a tribute to 1980’s monster movies. Easter Egg tributes inside the movie are discussed. Fun!
  • Deleted Scenes add a scene with evil mercenary Burke and more with Energyne big-wigs Claire and her brother. In Florida, a giant monster rises from the deep to kill scuba divers.
  • Gag Reel – the usual line flubs, dancing etc. Dwayne can’t seem to catch a set of keys thrown to him and it starts pouring rain during a scene. Always fun.
  • Rampage Actors in Action is an informative and in-depth look at CGI and actors on wires to accomplish various stunts in the film. Really gets into how it’s done. The bad ass mercenary group of actors is trained in weaponry etc. while Dwayne and Harry Dean Morgan get the giggles during a scene. Really nice extra.
  • Trio of Destruction focuses on the three ginormous and angry critters created for the film; George, Ralph (the wolf) and Lizzie (the croc). Special Effects character design is shown with concept art and basing the monsters on real animals is discussed. We see George Lyles on set in Motion Capture suit, portraying George. Really interesting!
  • Attack on Chicago highlights how the team shot helicopter footage flying through real Chicago streets then laid in CGI monsters. Real sets full of building debris were created for Dwayne and other actors to enhance their performances. Very complete and interesting feature.
  • Bringing George to Life is a wonderful extra that really takes apart the job of a motion capture actor! We learn and see how Lyles studied gorilla movement and mannerisms to make George as real as possible. His relationship with Dwayne on set is shown. My favorite feature.

Dwayne Johnson with Jason Lyles in Mo-Cap gearDwayne Johnson with Jason Lyles in Mo-Cap gearCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Wrapping Up

Rampage is a fun action film with just enough heart accomplished through the relationship of Dwayne Johnson’s character with a super well-done CGI albino gorilla. You end up loving the big furry critter. 

Tiny Davis is surrounded by humungous creaturesTiny Davis is surrounded by humungous creaturesCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The Blu-ray set sounds really good and looks clear and crisp. Extras are especially entertaining and informative. I loved seeing just how the big creatures were designed then executed as they destroy Chicago in daylight! Usually these monster attacks are at night in films.

Dr. Kate and Davis try to save ChicagoDr. Kate and Davis try to save ChicagoCourtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Also a winner is the feature on actor Jason Lyles learning all things gorilla so he could portray George in mo-cap gear on set.  Very detailed. There is no audio commentary however.  As we did for the film in theaters, we can award four stars.

Rampage Blu-ray Rating: 4

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Buy Rampage starting Tuesday, July 17th

Have Your Say

Do you want to take Dwayne and his pal albino gorilla home for your collection? Are you interested in stunts and special visual effects? Roar in with a comment!