Rampage ★★

In a world where genetic editing has the ability to combine various animal DNA to create 100 ft monsters, where a low-frequency radio signal can reach across state lines thousands of miles away because your antenna is big, and where being shot in the kidney results in no physical harm because it missed the vital organs, the most egregious logical error in the disaster movie Rampage is that a multi-billion dollar bioengineering company with space station capabilities would headquarter itself in high tax, bad weather Chicago--on the 86th floor of the Sears Tower no less. Rampage is a disaster movie that knows exactly what target it's going for and hits it squarely in the center. Most of the film is the expected disaster flick, with plenty of city destruction and soldiers perishing. There are a few unique elements, however, that make this blatant cash grab a bit more bearable than its louder Transformers counterpart. It's a movie that starts with heart, beginning with a gripping sequence inside a space station and fleshing out a charming and lovable relationship between The Rock and his gorilla, George. Many characters, including the initial sidekicks and villains, are given little thought and enter and leave the film either without reason or completely ridiculously, but the three main characters--The Rock, Naomie Harris, and the amusing Jeffrey Dean Morgan--bring a spark to the screen that actually makes the audience want to cheer for something. And the real saving grace, is actually the directing? Remarkably yes, where director Brad Peyton feels competent enough to hold off on cuts to give the talented performers enough time to deliver the cheesy, predictable dialogue. That's combined with some interesting shots of a bird's eye view of the animals destroying the city, mimicking the same detached and omnipresent feeling from playing the game this movie is "based on." So while there's complete disregard for human life, a faux ending without any resolution, and a structure that defies the laws of physics and basic logic, it nonetheless knows what structure it wants, smartly balances tone, and delivers exactly as expected.

It's a shame we didn't get to see a 100 ft tall The Rock, though, that would be a masterpiece.