HOLLYWOOD—Ok, I have seen a ton of silly films in my life-time and my one rule when I enter the movie theater is to be entertained. I have to point this out because it’s no secret: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has appeared in some movies that defy reality. As much as I was entertained by the disaster flick “San Andreas” some of the stuff that transpired in that flick, just could never happen in real life. So Johnson’s latest action-adventure, “Rampage” is another one of those flicks that will indeed have audiences talking.
Why? Well there are some things that are just out of the norm that as a viewer you chuckle watching as it unfolds on the big screen. Johnson stars as primatologist Davis Okoye, who has nurtured a relationship with a unique albino gorilla, known as George. I almost synthesized the relationship similar to Chris Pratt’s character to that velociraptor in “Jurassic World.” Yet, again “Rampage” is a movie that sees the consequences of medicine and experimentation with animals that should not be toyed with.
The opening sequence for the movie I found fantastic with the audience being teased exactly transpires inside Energyne, a company that is experimenting with animals. I thoroughly enjoyed Malin Akerman as Claire Wyden, who proves when one is consumed with power they tend to do unethical things to get what they want.
Let me point this out very clearly, the idea of Jeffrey Dean Morgan from “The Walking Dead” being the big bad villain is a major ploy people. Yes, I was slightly hoodwinked because the trailer and TV spots give the inclination that he might be a villainous character, but that is not the case. He portrays Harvey Russell, an agent who works alongside Davis to control a situation that gets way out of hand. Also joining Harvey and Davis in the battle to neutralize George and two other oversized animals is Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris), who once worked at Energyne.
The biggest issue I had with “Rampage” is it lacks originality on so many fronts that I’m stunned no one has compared it to “Godzilla.” I mean this feels like a distinct copy and paste of the most recent “Godzilla” remake that hit theaters a few years back. The one caveat being that “Rampage” is way and I mean way more entertaining than that movie. In addition, we don’t have a large dinosaur like creature in the mix. However, we do have a massive gorilla, a massive wolf and a very large crocodile.
Davis is able to tame George, who is then weaponized to go to battle with Ralph, and Lizzie who are unleashing mayhem on Chicago. The CGI and special effects are impressive, exciting to watch and as a viewer you easily find yourself immersed in this silly film. Why? The movie doesn’t attempt to present itself as serious or something that could actually transpire in real-life. Well, let me take that back, with science I won’t say anything is impossible, but the more you tinker with things the less you know about the impact.
“Rampage” works because it’s the typical blockbuster that is over the top, with characters you love to hate, you love to love and a premise that is so unbelievable, you find yourself actually so enamored with what is transpiring on the big screen it becomes nearly impossible to take your eyes away from the screen. If you want to be entertained and have a good time, look no further than “Rampage,” but note you’re not watching anything that is going to change your lives.