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Rampage (2018)

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Like my grandpappy always said: us assholes gotta stick together.

An obscure company conducting scientific experiments related to genetic manipulation on animals on a space station, get the horrible news something terrible has gone wrong. Then you see one of the female crew members getting away by means of an emergency capsule, while a terribly mutated rat is chasing her. And yes. She managed to secure some canisters with samples of the genetic material. Until the emergency capsule explodes and the samples end up on the earth. The result is a trio of random animals that bump into the canisters by accident and inhale a strange looking green smoke. And that is when trouble starts. The result is Chicago being reduced to rubble by the three cooperating giant monsters. Chased by the military and getting nuts due to some kind of radio signal that the obscure company broadcasts so they can regain the genetic material, the three primates leave a trail of destruction behind them.

Dwayne does it again …

It all sounds pretty bizarre and ridiculous. “Rampage” isn’t meant to be taken seriously and you should watch it with your mind turned off. But boy, what a joy to watch it as soon as hell breaks loose. Occasionally I like to watch such a pulp film. You can look at it as a mixture of “San Andreas” with “Godzilla” and a King Kong movie. And who to ask best to play the leading role in such a film? Exactly. Dwayne Johnson. Not exactly an actor who you’d associate with high-quality films. But since “Jumanji: Welcome to the jungle” I appreciate this guy and realize that he has more qualities than just inflated biceps and an impressive chest. Perhaps his acting is sometimes terribly exaggerated and it’s filled with some bad jokes. But I admit that it’s a pleasure to see the man at work. The enthusiasm and his empathy are phenomenal.

I want a George as a pet.

However, the one who steals the show is the albino monkey, George. A computerized, motion-captured character who’ll charm you from the start and guarantees some funny moments. It’s a gorilla who masters sign language and who has a weird sense of humor. George fits perfectly with the rest of the film. It’s utterly ridiculous and sheer nonsense packed in a destructive and action-rich whole. The supporting actors were already standing in George’s shadow. But as this monkey starts to grow into something enormous and begins to slam things around, those supporting actors are really tiny, so to speak. The clash between the oversized George and the mutated alligator is brilliant and a joy to watch. It reminded me of those old monster movie like “King Kong v. Godzilla “. A clash between two titans in the city of Chicago. A city turned into a battlefield with those two creatures creating havoc.

“Rampage” is a fun movie full of nonsense.

“Rampage” is no more than an exorbitant disaster film, full of spectacle and sometimes enjoyable humor. The film is overloaded with improbabilities, you don’t pay attention to after a while because you automatically shift into a sort of nonsense mood. I still don’t understand why this multinational didn’t use a remote facility with heavy surveillance to perform these genetic experiments. And why lure those huge, destructive creatures towards you? When an arsenal of military missiles doesn’t even cause a scratch, how were they going to get the genetic material? But again, don’t pay attention to that so you can enjoy this blockbuster, full of graphic wizardry and spectacle. It’s certainly worth it.

My rating 7/10
Links: IMDB

Adventure

Enola Holmes | Very Much Worth A Watch

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Enola Holmes [Netflix]

‘Enola Holmes’ is one of those films that confirms my belief that I will never make a serious film critic. There will no doubt be people who will review this film pointing out the number of flaws, from the inaccurate backdrops to the overtly political messages (BLM and Feminism are all over this film, which personally made me love it more), but none of that concerns me. I thought it was terrific fun and enjoyed it immensely.

I watched this with my 12-year-old daughter who is probably slap bang in the demographic target audience of this film, and like me, she loved it. What is clear is that this is a career goal vehicle for star and producer Millie Bobby Brown, who is allowed to show off her considerable comic timing, her tough as nails action abilities and demonstrate an emotional side she has shown so well previously in three years of ‘Stranger Things,’ and you know what it works. She is a completely enchanting screen presence from the moment we meet her as she clumsily, comedically struggles to ride a bike across a field.

The constant breaking of the 4th wall with narrations and knowing winks to the camera may grate on a few, but I thought it added to the charm of the whole piece, nobody is taking this too seriously, and that surely is the point. Henry Cavill comes in as older brother Sherlock in casting that probably helped get the film made, with Cavill turning up occasionally as the reassuring presence in Enola’s life, but is generally given very little to do. Likewise, Helena Bonham Carter is a touch of familiarity but is sparsely used. The subplot involving the darker side of Bonham Carter’s Eudoria’s disappearance isn’t fully explored and is one of the lower aspects of the film.

The film itself isn’t all slapstick, sweetness and light, Burn Gorman’s Linthorn is at the top end of sinister as a hired hitman who would have served as an equally terrifying adversary in one of older brother Sherlock’s adventures, and Sam Claflin has great fun as moustache-twirling “nasty” older brother Mycroft Holmes.

The film lags a little in the middle third which after the breakneck pace of the opening act is to be somewhat expected but picks up sufficiently for a more than satisfying conclusion.

Like most child stars, the true test is when that child becomes an adult, and Millie Bobby Brown has proved here that she has the presence and personality to be able to have a long and varied career. Only time will tell of course, but if nothing else this is a film that can be enjoyed for years to come. Great fun all round.

You can follow me on Twitter @DomHolder  and read some of my reviews on Letterboxd at letterboxd.com/DomH and read some more of my film blogs on dominicholder.wordpress.com/

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Adventure

The Croods: A New Age | Official Trailer – HD

The prehistoric family the Croods are challenged by a rival family the Bettermans, who claim to be better and more evolved.

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Genre:

Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Release Date:

November 25, 2020

Director:

Joel Crawford

Cast:

Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Leslie Mann, Peter Dinklage, Clark Duke, Cloris Leachman, Kelly Marie Tran

Plot Summary:

The prehistoric family the Croods are challenged by a rival family the Bettermans, who claim to be better and more evolved.

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Marvel / Disney + Release – WandaVision | Official Trailer 2

TV-Series Spinoff from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Containing the characters Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff and The Vision. Plot is unknown at the time.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Drama

Release Date:

2020

Director:

Marvel | Disney

Cast:

Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Kat Dennings, Kathryn Hahn, Randall Park, Teyonah Parris, Shane Berengue

Plot Summary:

TV-Series Spinoff from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Containing the characters Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff and The Vision. Plot is unknown at the time.

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