Possible spoilers ahead!!
Dwayne Johnson stars as Davis Okoye, a primatologist working at a San Diego wildlife preserve who prefers the company of animals after his years in the military. Davis now spends his days training new recruits and caring for the park’s gorillas. The star attraction is George, a rare albino silverback gorilla whom Davis rescued as an infant. Since rescuing George from poachers, Davis has taught him sign language, and how to take care of his fellow gorillas.
Everything changes one night when George is exposed to a strange chemical from a canister that crashed down at the preserve. The substance causes him to grow rapidly and act violent. Hoping to help his friend before the government kills him, Davis finds an unexpected ally in genetic engineer Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris). Caldwell claims to know what’s happened to George and how to cure his condition. However, before the two can do anything to help, George escapes and draws the attention of not only the authorities, but the people at the Energyne corporation.
Run by Claire Wyden (Malin Åkerman) and her brother Brett (Jake Lacy), Energyne has been funding a secret operation in space known as “Project: Rampage.” The experiments went wrong, causing the Energyne space station’s destruction, and the cannisters to crash land on earth. In other words, there’s more to this than Davis and Kate thought, and now its up to them and government agent Harvey Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan ) to stop the rampage.
I guess if nothing else, “Rampage” proves once and for all that Dwayne Johnson can sell any movie. “Rampage” is not a masterpiece, nor will it go down in history as The Rock’s best film. There are plenty of issues with this movie, for instance: other than Davis Okoye, the rest of the characters are one-dimensional, and get little to no background stories or arcs. The acting is over the top at times, especially from Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The villains act like cartoon villains, and I never felt like they were a credible threat.
The talented Naomie Harris mostly exists to react to what ever Dwayne Johnson’s does or say. Occasionally she’ll say something to keep moving the plot forward, but is she relevant to the story? Nah, not really. But I suppose the Rock needs a proper sidekick in these situations. Still, Naomie Harris deserved better matirial to work with.
As I mentioned earlier, Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s government agent Harvey Russell is one over the top character. But Morgan pulls it off with some nice jokes and plenty of charisma. The cast is rounded out by a couple of familiar faces like Joe Manganiello, P.J. Byrne, and Will Yun Lee. But none of them are in the film long, and none of them do anything to advance the plot.
However, somehow, someway, “Rampage” is still a fun disaster film. If you can process a sci-fi film about The Rock battling giant monsters, then you’ll have a lot of fun watching this movie. The People’s Champion does his usual tough but lovable guy routine, and even delivers a few cheese one liners along the way.
Whether “Rampage” has anything to with the 1980’s video game is another story. I don’t recall ever playing the video game when I was a kid. I was a little busy with my other toys, but I’m guessing the was not like the movie. No matter though, since the big attraction here is the Most Electrifying Man in sports entertainment.
In the end, “Rampage” is all about giant animals destroying Chicago and a little bit about the relationship between Davis and George. But I suppose people don’t watch these kind of movies for the plot. We just want to see The Rock kicking ass and taking names. And that’s exactly what “Rampage” delivers on.
“Rampage” score: C