When a video game comes to life

I HATE it when movies emulate real life.

Case in point—“Rampage” which is taken from—of all things—a coin-operated video game.

I remember playing Rampage at Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza joint in Newport Beach, California back in 1986. They then (and still do) serve up the best slices of Italian pizza and for a quarter (P13) you could play an assortment of the best of the nacient computer games which was … you guessed it … Rampage.

You had a choice of playing as either George (the gorilla) Lizzy (the lizard) or Ralph (the wolf). George was my personal favorite and I could maneuver him up and down one skyscraper to another as he went on a “rampage” destroying everything in sight.

Now the coin operated game come to the silver screen in “Rampage” where Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, clearly the hottest action hero in the world,
befriends his gorilla pal, George after he comes in contact with a gene splicing material that drops out of the sky.

Here is the official synopsis:

“Primatologist Davis Okoye (Johnson) shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent gorilla who has been in his care since birth. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry transforms this gentle ape into a raging monster.

As these newly created monsters tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.”

Okay, okay not the most original idea every to come of the Dream Factory of Hollywood. Even so, “Rampage” is a great popcorn movie with terrific
action, a great conniving villain in Jeffrey Dean Morgan from TV’s “The Walking Dead” and more giant monsters than you can shake a stick—or shoot a machine gun—at.

You will find plenty of guilty pleasures in “Rampage”—just like a slice of pepperoni pizza.

It is a great monster movie and totally campy with tons of throw away lines from The Rock.

Not only that, “Rampage” as mindless as any computer game can be, even the early games from back in ’86. Sorry, if you are looking for the cure to cancer or something from Shakespeare in “Rampage,” forget about it as there are no socially redeeming values in this one.

With “Rampage,” Johnson has teamed up again with Brad Peyton who helmed Johnson’s “San Andreas” back in 2015 and the chemistry between the director and his mega superstar is spot on.


As you might expect, there are monsters a plenty—plural that is—as a wolf and a crocodile become infected with the same gene altering device that crashed down in the Florida Everglades National Park, as does George, with unpredictable results, giving all of them super speed, agility and strength.

In other words, that is when the mayhem begins.

And, of course, the 30’ tall wolf (being genetically altered) can fly.

By the way, “Rampage” is loud.

I’m sorry—my hearing is just coming back from watching a screening of “Rampage.”

I did say that this movie is “loud.”


By the film’s end, George comes to his senses and with Johnson’s urging—goes King Kong against the other monsters.

I had issues on why the US government has to move George from his home in Florida all the way to Chicago. Look, laboratories are everywhere and the tests they want to run on the big white gorilla could be done just about anywhere. But Chicago, my birth city, gets completely trashed and it’s all in fun.

So sit back, order a slice of pepperoni pizza if you can and watch the world—or at least, Chicago—burn.

Questions, comments or travel suggestions, write me at [email protected]

TAGS: come, life, rampage, to, video game, when
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