Rampage 4K Blu-ray Review
|Pros||Great image and a fantastic soundtrack to back up the action on-screen, Dolby Vision HDR.|
|Cons||The movie itself is very light on plot and depth, but you probably won't care.|
|Summary||If you want a movie about giant genetically mutated monsters destroying a city while The Rock tries to stop them, then Rampage is for you. The audio and video are wonderful and back up the on-screen action well.|
|Negative Formats||ARRIRAW (3.4K), ALEXA 65|
|Peak Brightness||Dolby Vision|
|Stars||Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman|
|Review Date||July 10, 2018|
Summary: In 1993, a breakthrough new technology gave scientists a path to treat incurable diseases through genetic editing. In 2016, due to its potential for misuse, the U.S. Intelligence Community designated genetic editing a “Weapon of Mass Destruction and Proliferation.”
Johnson stars as primatologist Davis Okoye, a man who keeps people at a distance but shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent, incredibly rare albino silverback gorilla who has been in his care since he rescued the young orphan from poachers. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry mutates this gentle ape into a raging creature of enormous size.
To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered animals. As these newly created super creatures tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with discredited geneticist Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) 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.
Rampage Movie Review
Growing up, trips to the arcade were something I loved. We’d go to the nickel arcade and play games for a few hours for $5 and in that time I played a lot of Rampage. Sure, there was no depth, but it was fun to be a monster and to try to break buildings and eating people. But when they announced a film version of it, I wasn’t sure how they could possibly do it based on that simple, single-screen arcade game.
Rampage clearly has almost no interest in developing a deep backstory, or much of the characters at all. In the opening scene with The Rock, there are a number of characters with him that he works with that seem to be who he’ll be interacting with. No, those characters are quickly forgotten as the movie shifts to other characters. The villains in the film are completely single dimensional with no attempt at all to explain how they got that way, or what their motivation is. Everyone working for the government is also a virtual parody character of what you’d expect. The character with the most development and backstory is probably the gorilla.
But you didn’t come to Rampage for deep character development and plot, you came for giant monsters destroying a city. If that’s what you are after than Rampage delivers. There are plenty of action scenes, a city does get mostly destroyed, and it’s completely ridiculous while doing it. It’s not a great action film, but it’s a serviceable one, and it certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously. I mean, there’s even a Rampage arcade game in the background during the movie!
Rampage Technical Review
Rampage was shot at 3.4K and 6.5K with ARRI cameras but only has a 2K digital intermediate. It features a Dolby Vision layer, which is the version I watched on the Sony Z9D. Overall the image in Rampage is quite strong, but there are times where the lower 2K resolution is noticeable. Close-ups of Kate Caldwell’s hair show a lack of ultra-fine detail, and you can see some artifacts in there from scaling versus a true 4K master. When you see The Rock, his face isn’t as detailed as it could be, but still looks good.
Dolby Vision does well with HDR highlights, never clipping details that are on-screen. When a plane crashes, the fireball is a bright, rich yellow and it doesn’t run out of color gamut as some explosions can in HDR10. There are some very dark nighttime scenes, and these have lots of detail that is visible even with HDR highlights from headlights on the screen. The downside to 4K HDR films is they make the VFX very noticeable. Some close-ups of the monsters show the flaws in resolution, as it looks quite fake, and other green-screen scenes are easy to pick out. Just like the VFX of the 80’s look bad today, VFX technology has to fully watch up to 4K HDR now. The image isn’t perfect with the lower resolution, but it’s as good as it can be with the 2K DI.
The Atmos soundtrack, however, tried to rip my listening room apart. There is a constant sonic assault in the film, from the opening scene down to the final battle. The subwoofer gets a massive workout, and the film was clearly pushing the SB-4000 to its limits at times. The Atmos channels are fully used during the movie, and there is no lack of dynamic range here either. If you want to show off what the subwoofer can do in your home theater, Rampage will accomplish the job.
Rampage Special Features
- Not A Game Anymore – From arcade sensation to movie monster epic, we explore how the Midway video game inspired the filmmakers to create the ultimate disaster film.
- Gag Reel – Hilarious outtakes and mishaps captured during production.
- Deleted Scenes – Deleted scenes that barely missed the final theatrical cut.
- Rampage – Actors in Action: Strap in for a wild ride as Dwayne Johnson, Joe Manganiello and the cast prepare for the film’s demanding stunts and explosive set pieces.
- Trio of Destruction – Follow the innovative design team and the artists at Weta Digital as they bring to life the biggest and baddest monsters for the film’s climactic battle royal.
- Attack on Chicago – Director Brad Peyton reveals the challenges of filming on-location in Chicago and turning digital destruction into a cinematic reality.
- Bringing George to Life – Discover the wonder of what it’s like to be a gorilla, as movement coordinator Terry Notary teaches actor Jason Liles how to move, behave and become “George.”
Sony Z9D LCD, Sony UBP-X&00 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver, SVS SB-4000 Subwoofer.