Move over King Kong, there’s a new gorilla in town and he’s shaking things up in Brad Peyton’s blockbuster adventure Rampage. Accompanied by an enormous flying wolf and a giant crocodile, George the gargantuan mutated ape, like his iconic city-destroying cousin, is really a softie at heart, but after ingesting an evil genetic editing serum, he becomes the meanest monster in North America.
Based on a 1980s arcade video game by the same name, this delightfully crazy sci-fi romp follows the style of classic giant creature flicks like Godzilla and Mothra but with a strong dose of humour. Fantastic action visuals create a cartoon-like effect, but as the film is also exceedingly violent, it is not recommended for young children.
Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), a primatologist who leads an anti-poaching division from Rwanda, has formed a bond with an albino silverback gorilla, George – who he rescued as a baby. The company Engyne has created a serum which renders its subjects much larger, stronger, extremely aggressive and with unusual abilities. Space station Apollo 1 carries this drug, but it is destroyed when a resident becomes infected. Capsules of the substance fall to earth, consumed by three animals – George, a crocodile and a wolf – who mutate, grow unendingly to mammoth sizes and viciously tear across America in a wave of destruction and bloodthirsty violence. Can Davis save his beloved George from those who seek to kill him and restore his simian friend to his original state?
The special effects and action sequences in this piece are excellent. The narrative does not take itself seriously, but is just rollicking fun – although also very graphic. The actors do a fine job: Johnson is a strong, charismatic fearless hero type who plays the role of Okoye with intelligence and wit; Naomie Harris as Dr Kate Caldwell – a defamed genetic engineer who educates the former about what is happening to the animals and helps him save the day – is also stellar and very convincing.
This would have been a perfectly camp monster movie for family viewing, except that it seems its creators tried to cover all the box office winner bases by including many horrific casualties and considerable gore. It is, therefore, suitable and fun for older children and teenagers, as well as adults who are kids at heart.
Audiences who enjoy fast-paced, over-the-top adventure flicks and Godzilla/King Kong classics will most certainly love Rampage.
Rampage is released nationwide on 13th April 2018.
Watch the trailer for Rampage here: