Dwayne Johnson has had a very erratic movie career of late, especially after Black Adam crashed and burned at the box office. But streaming audiences have discovered the beautifully stupid majesty of his 2018 video game adaptation Rampage: as FlixPatrol reports, the film has cracked the top 10 for both Amazon and iTunes. And if you want to see what the monster madness is all about, you can stream Rampage on Amazon today.
Dwayne Johnson stars in Rampage, the big-screen adapatation of the classic giant monster arcade game.
The first thing you need to know about this unconventional Dwayne John sci-fi film is that it is based (albeit very loosely) on the 1986 video game of the same name. That arcade game (later ported to the NES and many other consoles) had a delightful premise: players take control of giant monsters that were clearly designed after creature feature icons such as King Kong and Godzilla.
Whereas other games would have you try to take such monsters down, this game lets you play as them on a quest to destroy as many humans, buildings, and vehicles as you possibly can.
Like the King Kong and Godzilla movies that came before them, Rampage adds a human element to the kaiju mix, and this is where Dwayne Johnson comes in. He plays a former Special Forces soldier who works at the San Diego Wildlife Sanctuary, and things go sideways when his favorite gorilla is transformed by a canister of a mutagenic agent (cue the Ninja Turtles theme).
It doesn’t take long for Johnson and the rest of the human characters to be caught in a monster mash where they must find a way to keep the titular rampage from destroying the entire city.
As films go, Rampage was in development for a long time. Warner Bros. snagged the rights back in 2009, and John Rickard decided to produce the film (which was formally announced in 2011) for the simple fact that he remembered enjoying the arcade game in the ‘80s.
Instead, the movie was deliberately modeled after some beloved monster movies of yesteryear, including Jaws and Jurassic Park.
Dwayne Johnson was brought onto the project in 2015, and, like Rickard, he had fond memories of playing the game back in the day, both in the arcade and on the NES. Despite this love for the video game, the studio abandoned early story ideas to emulate the game and have humans mutate into rampaging monsters.
Instead, the movie was deliberately modeled after some beloved monster movies of yesteryear, including Jaws and Jurassic Park. Despite the script taking Dwayne Johnson and his costars (including Joe Manganiello and Jack Quaid, who are clearly having a blast) in a different direction from its arcade roots, the final movie has some fun Easter eggs referencing the game.
This includes everything from a Rampage arcade machine in the background to George eating someone after punching a building (an action quite familiar to veterans of the game).
Even if you’re not the biggest fan of Dwayne Johnson, the film has some great special effects that make it worth watching.
Rampage didn’t exactly impress critics when it was released: it currently has a 51 percent critical score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Weta Digital handled everything, and they arguably made the gorilla effects for this film even more impressive than what they gave us in earlier films like King Kong and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. And the motion capture work is genuinely impressive, adding depth and realism to a movie whose plot is (let’s be honest) not exactly deep or realistic.
The movie didn’t exactly impress critics when it was released: it currently has a 51 percent critical score on Rotten Tomatoes. However, it has a much higher audience score of 72 percent, and that’s underscored by the film’s downright monstrous box office. Audiences flocked to see Dwayne Johnson tangle with giant monsters, and the movie grossed an impressive $428 million worldwide against a budget of $120 million.
Previously, Dwayne Johnson discussed the prospects of making a sequel to this hit film, and as recently as 2021, Warner Bros. sounded very interested in pursuing it. However, we haven’t really heard much since then, though Johnson is likely hoping for another Rampage-style hit film rather than box office duds like Black Adam.
While we wait for a sequel, though, you can see Rock beat much more than scissors by streaming Rampage on Amazon today.