By Omair Alavi
It’s a Wolf, It’s an Ape, It’s a Sea Monster … No, it’s all three in Rampage where Dwayne The Rock Johnson battles against the mightiest beasts and saves the world with one thing that these monsters didn’t bank on – friendship. Rampage is the story of a bond between an ape and his savior and how they defy the odds – including the US Army – to save the world from destruction.
Rampage follows the adventures of Davis Okoye (Dwayne The Rock Johnson) who is a primatologist and practically raised George, an albino gorilla, teaching him the sign language among other things. Unknown to all, a rogue experiment alters George’s genes making him a huge monster who becomes aggressive overnight. The same experiment also affects a Crocodile in the Everglades and a Gray Wolf in Wyoming, resulting in a catastrophe waiting to happen. It’s all up to Davis and his team to save Chicago in time otherwise the Army would have no option left but to nuke the area to restrict the damage to one city only.
The film has Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson back on familiar territory and when action is happening, he is the go-to guy. Along with a super cool Jeffery Dean Morgan and an enthusiastic Naomie Harris as a Government Agent and a Genetic Engineer respectively, they look the part and take the movie along despite the heavy use of Visual Effects and the destruction all around. The bond between the Gorilla and The Rock is ‘rock solid’ because even when it is under the influence, George listens to Davis and that’s something that keeps the audience involved in the flick. Just like the Marvel and DC flicks, the destruction is way too much to handle here but hey, you have to lose some to win some, right?
The film’s screenplay is a little loose because it’s quite predictable – we all know that the one-liners that The Rock delivers would be great but the rest of it is simple and could have been made better with a little more input from the writers. The leverage given to The Rock and his team is laughable as they fly around when fighter planes are destroyed, they move on the ground when nothing is safe and they manage to escape in a damaged helicopter as it happens in James Bond films. However, this film is certainly much better than Brad Peyton – The Rock’s last collaboration San Andreas which had a similar plot but without animals.
The Verdict 3/5
If you are a fan of action films, then Rampage is one for you. Here, the action sequences make the film, not the other way round. Although the story reminds you of disaster films from the 80s and the 90s (Outbreak being one), it is certainly what the audience of 2018 want. There is no bigger action star than The Rock and he proves his worth even when made to act with an even bigger gorilla. With Avengers – Infinity War releasing in a week’s time, the film is likely to prepare you for the bigger picture, pun intended.