When it comes to giant monster flicks, only one country is king: Japan. And Dwayne Johnson is paying homage in the Japanese trailer for Rampage, where he explains the significance of kaiju movies.
On Tuesday, the former WWE champ and Hollywood superstar, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson greeted his Japanese fans on Instagram, revealing that he’s been working “very hard” on his Japanese in anticipation for Rampage. In the caption, Johnson Rock-splains the popular film genre of kaiju movies, citing noteworthy entries like Mothra, King Kong, and the original 1954 Godzilla.
“KAIJU IS COMING!!” Johnson wrote, “In Japan they’re excited and bracing for our monster movie, #RAMPAGE.”
Johnson then lectures about the nature of kaiju movies in a way only The Rock can. He writes: “KAIJU meaning ‘strange beast’ is a very popular genre of Japanese film that features gigantic monsters tearing up cities and each other - GODZILLA, KING KONG, MOTHRA etc. Cool to see audiences around the 🌎 getting hyped for our three gigantic mutated beasts. And for some reason they’re very angry and hungry.”
Meanwhile, in the actual trailer for Rampage, the film takes on a distinctly old school flavor as a narrator yells with gusto. Anyone familiar with Japanese monster movie trailers knows how well the style fits with the beastly action in Rampage.
Kaiju movies have been around for more than 50 years, beginning with the original King Kong and popularized through Ishiro Honda’s Gojira, which have made them a favorite genre among hardcore cinema enthusiasts. But it’s only recently, through Hollywood reboots like Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island, and Saban’s Power Rangers — along with original films like Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim — that mainstream Western audiences are starting to better recognize kaiju films.
Rampage, starring Dwayne Johnson and directed by Brad Peyton, is based on a series of arcade games in which players took control of one of three giant monsters — Ralph the werewolf, Lizzy the lizard, and George the gorilla — and racked up points based on how much destruction they caused.
Rampage will be released in theaters on April 20.