Guess who got to go to an early screening thanks to the wonderful awesome that is Stardust?! It wasn’t even so much about getting to see the movie early. It was about the 90 minutes of schmooze time pre-movie and the excited commentary post-movie with a bunch of other film afficionados, geeking out over every movie that came to mind, and excitedly chattering away on my favorite subject with others who also never get a chance to talk movies so intensely. I’ve never felt so comfortable in a crowd of people I hafta interact with, and I’m starting to really love these friends I’m seeing again and again.

But this wasn’t purely a social hour, there was a movie to see! Very loosely based on a video game (which they had set up to play before the movie, which was key to getting an extra bit of context), Dwayne Johnson is the caretaker of an albino gorilla at a primate sanctuary. Big boy gorilla George comes in contact with something science-y and starts getting bigger and angrier. Come to find, he’s not the only creature to start getting big and bad, and soon three creatures are converging on Chicago with an eye for destruction.

Look, with a movie like this, you know what you’re getting and what you’re coming for. You’re not going for the plot, which was pretty thin and thrown together. Oh and their concept of science? Totally laughable. There was no need for all the exposition because we just cared about big monsters, not why there’s big monsters, esp when your reasoning isn’t very plausible. You’re also not going for the acting, which was mostly cheesy and over the top. The baddies were particularly bad offenders there. The Rock was fine, but it felt like his charisma was wasted on this film. I loved the early scenes of him interacting with George in the facility, and would have gladly watched an entire movie of just them interacting as such. But even big guys gotta step aside when bigger creatures are on screen.

What you do go see this movie for is the fun factor. There were so many surprises in this movie that caught me off guard: unexpected jokes or jumps in action. My Stardust friend next to me said she even felt me flinch and recoil during one of those. There were whoops and cheers and gasps in the crowd. It’s def one you’re gonna wanna see with friends (maybe after a couple drinks) because it won’t be the same level of amusement on your own.

The other reason you go see this is the effects. Those monsters did indeed look pretty dope, and the destruction was well done. I’m typically not into that sort of thing, but when it’s the forefront of hte movie, it had dang well better be good (and it was).

Look, you know what you’re getting with a movie like this. If you think you can make a good time of it, then you most certainly will. Otherwise, maybe just find a barcade somewhere and play the game instead.

Rampage – \m/ \m/ \n