Rampage just premiered — yes, Rampage, the movie adaptation of Midway’s 1986 arcade monster mash — and with 153 precincts reporting on Rotten Tomatoes, it is currently rated 51 percent “fresh.” Hold on to your butts, this may actually be the first video game film adaptation that actually gets a majority thumbs-up from those snooty film critics.
This afternoon, the acclaimed athlete and thespian Dwayne Douglas Johnson (aka “The Rock”) smelled what the early reviews were cookin’ and could barely contain his excitement:
Wow! Very cool RAMPAGE news! Not pointing to the scoreboard yet, but it seems we may have finally broken the dreaded video game curse. And remember, I starred in the stinker “Doom” so I have lived thy curse https://t.co/2FSb0wXavK— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) April 13, 2018
Critics agree! Says Chris Klimek of emergency tax-writeoff NPR:
“Rampage is the kind of fearless, discomfiting art that wrestles with our place in the cosmos like Steve Irwin wrestling a crocodile.”
That takes the Oscar for intellectualizing Rampage, pro rasslin’ and Steve Irwin while also using a AP English word like “discomfiting.”
Here’s Brian Truitt of mainstream temperature-taker/hotel doormat USA Today:
While surprisingly dark and a smidgen too earnest at times, Rampage wraps silly spectacle around its emotional core: a bromance between man and beast.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, Brian.
For balance, here’s Richard Roeper, a fun-killing adjunct professor of film studies at City Colleges of Chicago:
Rampage might not be the worst movie of the year so far, but it’s a contender for most pointless.
Rotten Tomatoes’ score measures the percentage of “positive” reviews among those out in the wild. It’s not an aggregation of numeric scores. For that, Metacritic currently has Rampage listed at 45 — which is not good! And it is four points behind the best Metacritic-scoring movie adaptations of a video game — 2001’s Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and 2017’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, both of which juuuuuuuust barely fell short of the Mendoza line at 49 on Metacritic. They are rated 45 and 36 percent “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively.
So, we could be looking at Rampage as the best video game adaptation of all time, pending further reviews. For everyone about to graduate NYU or USC next month, hawking that Fortnite or PUBG script while you bus tables in Santa Monica, Rampage is now the bar you have to pass. Not too hard!