Big, fun and a whole lotta dumb; it’s the perfect summary of a movie like ‘Rampage’, a film based on the classic arcade game in which giant creatures…an oversize gorilla, wolf and crocodile…tear down buildings, beat up tanks and swat military choppers out of the sky.
‘Rampage’ the movie? Not a whole lot is different. An oversize gorilla, wolf and crocodile tear down buildings, beat up tanks and swat military choppers out of the sky. The only difference? Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is present for the proceedings – and on the big screen, that DOES make a difference in the pro column.
There’s a reason that Johnson is currently the premiere action talent on the planet; for one thing, he looks like he was chiseled out of….well,….his name. Secondly, and surprisingly MORE importantly…the dude has charm. And comic chops. And the amazing ability to somehow take this catastrophic cheese seriously.
The story? Can you say – preposterous? Three capsules containing a nasty genetic serum crash to earth, with the green goo having pretty hefty effects when ingested by living organisms. In Wyoming, a grey wolf chows down on the space junk and turns into a 50-foot hairy psycho. An Everglades gator has a similar snack and evolves into a gigantic ‘thing’ that barely resembles a reptile when the transformation is complete. And at the San Diego Zoo, a hulking but gentle gorilla named George is the unfortunate recipient of the serum and outgrows his enclosure in, like, an hour.
Primatologist Davis Okoye (Johnson) is George’s buddy, his keeper since rescuing him as an infant from poachers – thus, their bond is strong. When George escapes the zoo, meeting up with his XXXXL size chums (I know, I know, they SHOULD be natural enemies, but the serum has changed their…..oh, does it really matter?!) and bounding across the country to Chicago. Why the windy city? A radio signal on top of Sears Tower, powered by a wicked billionaire (Malin Akerman). The point of the radio signal? Again, does it really matter?
Not while the Rock is armed and trying to stop giant mutant monsters from tearing down skyscrapers and tossing traffic around, it doesn’t. Plot points? Meh. Just embrace the ridiculousness.