Despite being 50 years old "Rampage" reminds me a lot of modern cinema where storyline comes down the order of importance behind the look and cast. And there is no denying that "Rampage" looks good with some wonderful location shots, crisp colouring and Elsa Martinelli looking stunning next to Robert Mitchum and Jack Hawkins, two stars who guaranteed an audience. But the storyline and what happens ends up surprisingly boring, lacking the adventure, drama and romance which this movie needs to come to life.
Trapper Harry Stanton (Robert Mitchum - The Wonderful Country) and hunter Otto Abbot (Jack Hawkins - The League of Gentlemen) are hired by a German zoo to head to Malaysia to bring back two tigers and The Enchantress, a cross between a Leopard and Tiger which has never been caught before. But going with them is Anna (Elsa Martinelli) who has been by Otto's side since she was 14 and she immediately grabs Harry's attention. As Otto begins to realise that not only is he loosing Anna but also that he is getting old tempers begin to rise.
So let's go with what is good about "Rampage" and that is it is visually beautiful with vibrant colours and some wonderful location shots. I believe it is Hawaii which stands in for Malaysia but cinematographer Harold Lipstein has done a stunning job of capturing its beauty. This beauty is coupled with a stunning Elmer Bernstein score which in truth is the best thing about the movie.
On the subject of the good is the casting, Jack Hawkins is well cast as an aging hunter whilst Robert Mitchum is equally well cast as the younger trapper who becomes a threat. And in the middle Elsa Martinelli is beautiful and seducing as Anna but does so with a touch of heart. Plus there is Sabu who adds some humour and charm to the proceedings working well with Robert Mitchum.
But from a drama point of view "Rampage" suffers because whilst the drama of Harry becoming a threat to Otto because Anna is attracted to him lacks drama. Oh it has drama but that only really comes in the final 20 minutes when the focus is on catching the Enchantress as before that it lacks story, ponderously building up the feelings between Harry and Anna rather than delivering drama. It is a shame because "Rampage" really looks great but ends up uninteresting till we reach those final 20 minutes.
What this all boils down to is that usually two out of three isn't bad but when it comes to "Rampage" the thing it is lacking is the most important. It is still a beautifully shot movie with good performances but with a storyline which for a long time lacks drama it is a bit of a slog.