Primatologist Davis Okoye shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent gorilla who has been in his care since birth. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry transforms this gentle ape into a raging monster. As these newly created monsters tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer 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.
Directed by: Brad Peyton
. Starring: Dwayne Johnson
, Naomie Harris
, Malin Akerman
, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
, Jake Lacy
, Joe Manganiello
, Marley Shelton
, P.J. Byrne
, Demetrius Grosse
, Jack Quaid
, Breanne Hill
, Matt Gerald
, Will Yun Lee
. Music by: Andrew Lockington
Like many kids of my generation, I spent numerous fond memories playing Rampage. Maneuvering the joystick, I commanded my monster avatars to ramshackle buildings, punch-out windows, and gobble-up helpless pedestrians. The simplicity of the destruction is where the charm was: a gorilla (with a striking resemblance to King Kong), a lizard (also with the deja vu of Godzilla, bridging copyright infringement), and a werewolf (the creator's obviously needed a filler character) ramshackled cities across the United States, evading the pursuit of military forces. After eradicating the city to rubble, you move on to the next location and start the chaos again.
Unfortunately, Hollywood has a proclivity for botching button-mashers adaptations; the film version of Rampage is a joyless mess -- a disaster porn flick that lifts the Midway title and it's monsters, but showcases them in a stale vehicle primed for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to fill his yearly quota of blockbusters.
Johnson is Davis, a primatologist that prefers the company of animals to people. Whenever possible, he shies away from social situations. Already, The Rock is renowned as the people's champion, so this characteristic is a stretch. Within a San Diego wildlife sanctuary, Davis is friends with George (a very original monkey name), an albino ape who was rescued after his parents were butchered for their hands to be turned into someone's ashtray (a direct quote from the movie, I'm not that creative.)
Meanwhile, in space, a flubbed experiment causes a rat to grow exponentially and wreck the cargo bay of a space shuttle. Canisters descend to earth and crash in different locations; one is gobbled by a crocodile; another hisses into the face of a wolf; the space debris conveniently lands in George's sanctuary. The pathogen in the canisters morphs the animals into city levelling monsters. George wakes up and murders a grizzly bear, for no other reason than they frightened each other.
From seemingly out-of-nowhere, Davis is joined by Kate (Naomie Harris), a disgraced genetic researcher who provides informational aid whenever the plot requires. She explains that the doomed space experiment was called CRISPR -- which sounds like a robotic McDonalds' invention that inevitably replaces human employees. The pathogen caused increased size, strength, ability, and -- most troubling -- aggression. Genetic editing combined the growth rate of a whale, speed of a cheetah... you get the idea. CRISPR rapidly changed George's DNA overnight, and he awakens with a super-monkey bod. The monkey doesn't like being cooped up while the silly humans squabble about whatever, and he goes bananas, busting out to do what the movie title implies.
Pursuing the critters are the Wyden siblings, yuppies who run Energyne and want their pathogen back. The duo are obvious Trump spawn -- from their diction to their attire. They create an antenna that emits a bio-sonar frequency, an invention more appropriate for Lex Luthor's scheming in Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. The device drives the monstrosities nuts, causing them to migrate to the tower and stop the racket. The Trump kids assume the police will kill the threat and they can extract their sample. Obviously, in the durpy world of poor planning by ne'er-do-wells, it doesn't go as planned.
Like other recent Warner Bros. genre offerings Kong: Skull Island and Pacific Rim: Uprising, Rampage is a stereotypical disaster movie that fails to leave much of a memorable impact. Sometimes, films are supposed to be mindless romps into escapism. But, how many times are we supposed to enjoy ourselves when precious time escapes us and is invested into such a poor movie. Leave your smarts at the door for this farfetched brawler.
Review by visforhendrix23 from the Internet Movie Database.