Rampage ★★★★

This was an intensely enjoyable movie experience for me. And I realize it's at least partially because of my own personal taste-- I grew up on monster movies and watched made-for-SyFy flicks every Saturday morning with my brother. It's also at least partially because I love movies that are BATSHIT INEXPLICABLE, and this one absolutely suffices.

Some things worth noting:
- The Rock breaking his handcuffs by simply pulling them apart and having them pop off his big-ass wrists fits perfectly with the Furious Seven cast-shattering flex, and every single Rock movie needs a scene in which he escapes some sort of restraint just because he's so goddamn big and no further explanation is required
- the Joe Mangianello series of scenes isn't tied to the narrative or the main characters whatsoever. The movie spends a solid ten minutes of run time on something that *exclusively* exists so that we get some more scenes of giant wolf carnage-- and I was, as the kids say, HERE FOR IT
- Malin Akerman and Jake Lacy-- I don't even know where to begin here. I like to imagine they signed up for this movie, thinking, "Sweet, villains in a monster movie!", saw that they were basically given *zero* character to play and *zero* interesting things to say, and decided they would compensate for that by going AS BROAD AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. I love love love this decision, and Jake Lacy in Rampage, with his constant snacking, bizarre hair choice, and bug-eyed over-the-top sitcom-style reactions to everything going on-- I could write an entire BOOK about this performance
- the ABSOLUTELY GRATUITOUS AND NEEDLESSLY NASTY VIOLENCE that the movie deploys at every turn-- this is normally the sort of thing that turns me off (it was one of my complaints about San Andreas, made by the same creative team as Rampage), but for some reason, when the horrible violence is being perpetrated by these giant creatures, it made me gleefully happy-- the way both villains met their ends made my jaw drop
- by the way, I suppose this one constitutes as a spoiler, but whatever-- when that wolf spread its legs and revealed flying squirrel glider wings, I genuinely GASPED in the theater. Here is something insanely goofy and awesome that is ONLY USED ONCE IN THE WHOLE MOVIE (there's a previous scene that alludes to the wolf flying, I suppose, but it's in the distance, and if you're like me, you just thought, "shit, that wolf can jump"). It's as if they said, "we need a moment of something fun here, that exists only to delight Russell." Same for the scene when the wolf shoots goddamn porcupine quills out of its massive tail. Same for the scene when the crocodile comes out of the water, knocks over a boat, and you can see little humans trying to cling for life on its spikes. These little goofy-ass, wonderful details are what made this experience for me.

Yes, I laughed at the Dave and Busters plug too, and yes, there are obvious groaner lines of dialogue, but even those groaners oozed love to me. This movie seemed like it was made by people with a deep love for corny sci-fi movies about giant goofy monsters who destroy everything and pound the shit out of each other, and sure, they made it mainstream instead of soaking it in Guillermo Del Toro nerdery and wonder... but I had less than zero problem with that. If someone gave me $100 million and said, "Make a movie with this," I'd absolutely make a movie with giant monsters beating the shit out of everything. Corny one-liners, shameless product placement, absurd violence, my muscular hero showing off his bigness at every moment. I fully acknowledge that this movie will not be for everyone, but I'll be goddamned if I didn't have a *ball.*

Russell liked this review