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Rampage
  • Composed by Andrew Lockington
  • WaterTower / 73m

We’ve all been there – make friends with a gorilla, gorilla gets accidentally turned gigantic and goes all nasty, have to coax it to be friendly again to defeat the giant crocodile and wolf also raging through the city.  Dwayne Johnson plays the man at the centre of it all in Rampage, about which critics are saying “this is… very good!” (a truncated quote from the actual phrase used, “this is not very good!”)  Director Brad Peyton has worked with composer Andrew Lockington before – I enjoyed their previous collaboration, San Andreas – but it did get a bit too Remote Control for my liking at times.  Well, Rampage is much further in that direction.  There’s a line you could draw through these “one-size-fits-all” action scores which goes from the likes of Lorne Balfe and Junkie XL at one end through to maybe Brian Tyler at the other; Tyler has shown how entertaining they can be made to be but sadly Lockington has pitched this one nearer to the other end, a great pity since he’s capable of so much more.

It’s not awful: there’s a surprising quotient of softer material, predominantly orchestral, which isn’t memorable but does its job and features some tender moments.  But action does dominate and it’s not good action: choppy string ostinatos, OK, nothing new but nothing terrible either – but my god, there’s the HORN OF DOOM over and over again – wait, there’s some classy Nicholas Dodd-orchestrated action but you can’t hear it because there’s a great bank of synth percussion and fart noises drowning it out.  Aaargh!  It’s frustrating because it could have been much better even if it had just been mixed differently (OK, not brilliant, but much better); and even more frustrating because we know that Andrew Lockington has the chops to do something that would wipe the floor with this.  If this is what he’s reduced to for his most notable directorial collaborator, it really isn’t a good sign.  The lack of a strong theme – even a cheesy anthem – is another nail in the coffin, with the collection of simplistic motifs that run through it all going into one ear and out of the other.  Things get better near the end – the last three score cues are certainly the best – but it’s too little, too late.

Rating: **

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  1. Edmund Meinerts (Reply) on Wednesday 2 May, 2018 at 15:15

    Good review of a disappointing score, but I have to admit that I find the fact that this has the same star rating as Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters to be more than a little ludicrous. :p