Just Friends

People cry with joy. I laughed out loud with it.
Reported on 23rd of May, 2018

After Avengers: Infinity, anything is going to be better. I knew Rampage would be, but I wasn’t expecting it to actually be fun and good. This is basic screenwriting, and it has one thing I’ve been thinking about lately. Love. No, not the yucky kind, the kind between a man and his ape.


2 May 2018 @ The Gaumont Champs-Elysées

$9.00 or, if one must be prosaic, and one must... 
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

§  §  §


At the beginning, it felt in trouble. Where was the slug for the game company? Battleship had one. What the hell? Then there is a bizarrely unnecessary slug about how genetic testing is bad and the government is bad unless it’s good because it’s bad. Then we go up to space and suddenly we worry we’re in that misfire called Life.

Then something happened.

No, that’s it. It’s weird when something actually happens in the expositional part. It’s exposition that works for two reasons: first, our scientist (Ms. Bre Hill) makes a bad choice: she agrees to go along with the evil corporate voice on the radio and save the nasty genetic samples in order to escape the space station.

The second reason is the way that Rampage is not going to attract A-List talent (sorry Ms. Hill). As she escapes in the pod, there’s a chance that she could die or live with her choice and become a character in the film. Both would work for the story. It’s not right that a film like Rampage is lean enough that it discards the entirety of a story like Life as a throwaway open.

From there on, it’s The Rock being friends with an Ape. That’s the movie. And it’s more than enough.

Most films are about the journey of the hero/ine, the one that stands alone. And it’s a screenwriting convenience, that all the characters in the film will be meeting each for the first time, because those scenes help a lot in exposition dear reader who I’m meeting for the first time and who has stumbled upon this place by googling Schlimmbesserung.

Friendship is often a throwaway, a sidekick, or unequal comic relief, or exposition, or leading to a forced fight, the lazy desire for ‘conflict’, the phoniness that plagued the Harry Potter films.

Here, their friendship is never in doubt. It doesn’t hurt that The Rock hates people, having seen, and we love him all the more for it. He tells the story of killing poachers to save George, and we feel it.

Yes, there’s going to be spoiler alert for Rampage because I liked it. And there wasn’t one for Avengers: Infinity because it’s garbage because the only thing that happens in it is the arbitrary end where Black Panther, Star-Lord, Groot, Drax and Spider-Man die and everyone ‘gasps’ and says that’s a ‘ballsy move’ even though they announced the sequel. Calling a slight pulseless film ‘ballsy’ just says something about yours.

So, if you’re not going to see Rampage, and you so are not, here are some…

Basic Screenwriting Do’s:

There are three creatures. We know this. We played the videogame. We know that one of them is an alligator. The characters (none of them) know about this third monster. Us knowing and them not is called suspense. It is better and harder to pull off than surprise.

Thing is, when you hide something from the characters and are going to reveal it in act three, you have to make the alligator awesome.


And speaking of avoiding lazy surprises, during the fight, Alligator eats Wolf. We actually see him eating the head which is 1) gross 2) delightful and 3) actually tells us that there won’t be a moment where Wolfie comes back to life as a surprise.

How is it that Rampage seems to know more about Hitchcock than the Mr. Spielberg that made the recent Ready Player One ?

Finally, and most wonderfully, there’s a giant wolf jumping through the air and chomping helicopter. People cry with joy. I laughed out loud with it.

The Take

Having enjoyed San Andreas and Jumanji, I feel like The Rock and I have exactly the same taste in films. Do you think he’ll be friends with me? Well…maybe the same taste as his agents. Do think they’ll be friends with me?
Mr. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, having a grand old time as usual
‘Food for thought, and you’re the food.’ is actually a nice line.
George is smaller that the main baddie. The giant ape is the underdog. It works.
Total Profits
It’s minor, but I do have to seem objective. ‘The poachers fired on us. They missed.’ is where you leave the line. You could have fixed that in the edit guys. Come on!
Total Losses


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