As a lifelong sports fan I oughta understand jinxes by now. In my last review of a movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Rampage, I half-jokingly supported his rumored thoughts about running for President, due to his consistently sound judgment in choosing projects. JINX! I may have caused this family-friendly action flick to go off the rails by praising his picking power prematurely.
In this opus, The Rock is a former FBI crisis stud who lost his lower left leg in a hostage situation that ended with a bang. The wrong kind. Now he’s a security consultant who flies to Hong Kong with his wife and two kids to double-check the systems for a 200+ story building that’s about to open its upper floors of luxury condos. Bad guys have other plans that begin with hacking the controls and starting a fire about halfway up. Guess whose family just happens to be in one of the imperiled apartments?
Which demographic has the best chance of enjoying this attempt at a blockbuster? We start with the many millions of ardent fans of The Rock. But the focus must shift quickly to those who’ve never seen Die Hard, ’cause Bruce Willis gave us a lot more gore and guffaws than anyone will find in this descendant of the concept. I suspect the area of overlap on the Venn diagram of those two circles is rather tiny.
The eponymous building is amazingly, if not excessively, complex, making all the heroics therein hard to follow. Every bit of the budget and thought seemingly went to computer graphics, with nothing left for plot or character development. Or dialog. It all looks great, but more in the sci-fi realm than intended. The only upside from the Die Hard franchise is that Mrs. The Rock, Neve Campbell, contributes more actively to the rescue and villain foiling than Bonnie Bedelia’s Holly McClane. Another win for Me Too, however Pyrrhic the package renders it.