Rampage12¦ 3D, Blu-ray, 4K, DVD
It was 1933 when a large gorilla first made an impact in cinema history, when it appeared in the iconic King Kong. Since then, apes, of various shapes and sizes, have pounced on our screens ever since.
And although Dwayne Johnson hasn’t been around quite that long, he has fast become one of the top grossing actors of this generation. Some would say then, that it was only a matter of time, before world’s collided, and Johnson and a representative from ape kind wound up sharing screen time.
With people getting so pernickety about genetic engineering, it’s no wonder a company took their dubious experiments into space. Turns out all those haters on earth were right, as a seriously pissed off lab rat decides to cause serious havoc on a space station. One scientist managed to flee, with canisters on board containing a pathogen. Although she didn’t make it back, the canisters did, of sorts, with the gases from one being inhaled by an albino gorilla named George, kept in captivity.
George just so happens to be smarter than your average, erm, ape, as he’s been taught sign language, which is how he communicates with primatologist Davis (Johnson). But after inhaling the pathogen, George not only has an unusual growth spurt, he becomes far more aggressive and breaks free.
As if a giant angry albino gorilla wasn’t enough to contend with, he wasn’t the only creature to breathe in the pathogen...
For a guy who made a name wearing Lycra, Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson has done well for himself. Although his choices in film have been iffy at the best of times, (Snitch, Hercules, Pain & gain etc.etc), who has often been the best thing about them. This charm, added to his physical presence, has clearly paid off for him.
And although rampage is a ridiculously silly film, in both its premise and most certainly its execution, you’d be hard pushed to not have a smile on your face – at least once – while watching.
Johnson doesn’t have it all his own way though; his CGI sidekick is impressive, to the point where you may find yourself forgetting he’s just a glorified cartoon character (something that Johnson himself has probably been accused of), as George continues the ape tradition of scene stealing.
Brit Naomie Harris ably supports, without having to resort to the clichéd woman in need of manly help, but nearly everyone is upstaged by the appearance of Jeffrey Dean Morgan; his character Russell could easily be a template of Negan before the apocalypse, and it’s obvious he enjoys chewing the scenery around him, as much as George.
Director Brad Peyton may not have much of a CV, but he knows how to get what’s needed from his leading man, having worked with him on two previous titles (Journey 2: the Mysterious Island and San Andreas), as well as on the upcoming San Andreas 2. He ticks all the boxes, but doesn’t go above in beyond as far as his vision is concerned.
It’s not ground-breaking, but Rampage is a fun, Friday night popcorn flick, that continues Johnson’s reign as a blockbusting beast at the box office.