As a whole, we have a fascination with watching destruction in front of us. It provides a catharsis from our heavily stressed lives, especially in the Trump era. It provides a necessary release of aggression, the same way video games do for people. “Rampage” scratches that itch, but only if you aren’t also looking to be intellectually stimulated or care about plot coherence.
Let’s start with the origins of this film. I’m not talking about the studio executive pitch room where someone was thinking about what projects could use Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. I’m talking about the video game of the same name. In the video game, you get a choice between three monsters (that were once men), and the objective is to destroy buildings, eat soldiers and occasionally save an attractive, pixelated woman from the building you’re destroying. The game didn’t pretend to have a high concept, but instead delivered exactly what it thought the average game player wanted: destruction. In many ways, “Rampage” (the film) does the same, fueling the average viewers need for disaster porn and big, muscular beasts.