Directed by Brad Peyton, Rampage centres around genetically engineered animals that wreak havoc on the city of Chicago and the population alike when a rogue experiment ‘monstrifies’ a wolf, an alligator and George, an albino gorilla, as a result of a lethal mutagenic substance falling from space. Primatologist Davis Okeye (Dwayne Johnson), who is George’s caretaker at a local animal care centre, is joined by discredited geneticist Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.
Look. I am a massive Dwayne Johnson fan. He has won me over time and time again, making sure that performances are always entertaining – no matter the role. This, probably, still has to do with the fact that we constantly will underestimate him, being a former WWE star “The Rock”. I suppose it is fair to say I’m never expecting an Oscar winning moment from Johnson. But does that really matter? Not really. If he doesn’t disappoint, he doesn’t disappoint.
I am also a sci-fi fan. So, I like watching special effects pushed to whatever boundary. I’ve said this before, but if mind numbing entertainment is about big budgets and non-stop action, then why would anyone complain? The actors are convincing, the story is sound, and it’s a lot of fun to watch. I must take a moment to also commend anyone who can turn an 8-bit arcade game with very little work (see video below), into any type of watchable story. Also, if you are gaming fan, both Rampage the arcade game and Rampage World Tour are a pretty awesome way to pass time bashing buildings and eating people, if that’s your thing.
It’s simple. Here’s the plot again.
Space goo falls from destroyed space station. 3 animals become really, really, really big and mean. They trash place. Kill a bunch of people. The Rock is there to save the day with his oversized Gorilla companion. The End. This is not supposed to tickle your cerebral cortex.
THE STUFF YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE KNOWN
• At the wrap up party for Rampage, director, Brad Peyton gifted Dwayne Johnson a vintage Rampage arcade machine.
• The Actors Starring as Davis’ Primatology team actually have backgrounds in primate behaviour.
• American sign language plays a giant role in the film.
• Dwayne Johnson and producers Beau Flynn & Hiram Garcia worked with actual gorillas.
• The director and producer team have ‘tangoed; before – working together on Journey 2 the Mysterious Island and San Andreas.
THE CHERRY ON TOP
The DVD release includes the featurette “Not Just a Game Anymore”. Rampage video game animator Brian Colin gives you some insight into the design of the game, which was rather revolutionary in its multiplayer mode, and also the fact that you were playing as the monster and not the hero (for once). Small nuggets – like fashioning certain avatars off’ his wife – are great for nostalgic fanboys and fangirls out there. The light-hearted tone from the game is translated into the feel of the film. Ryan Engle snatched the honours of having his screenplay turned into a mega movie monster blockbuster, influenced by films like Jaws and Jurassic Park. Watch this featurette for all the Easter eggs!
Rampage is available now on DVD from Next Entertainment. For other movie reviews, check them out and like their page on Facebook.