- Katherine McLaughlin
- 11 April 2018
Dwayne Johnson stars in a splendidly silly video game adaptation that runs out of steam
'When sciences shits the bed, I'm the guy they call to change the sheets,' exclaims an enthusiastic Jeffrey Dean Morgan in his role as a Homeland Security agent with yee-haw cowboy qualities. This fitfully entertaining adaptation of the classic video game directed by Brad Peyton and starring Dwayne Johnson, in their third collaboration (following San Andreas and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island), perks up drastically with Morgan's appearance.
Splendidly silly in places, with its fondness for giant monster movies obvious, this popcorn extravaganza swerves haphazardly between knowing humour and a heartfelt warning about the plague of capitalism, occasionally forgetting the fun.
The team of screenwriters are aware of the rules of the massive monster sub-genre, with greedy corporate fat cats the true villains of the film. The Energyne company, having manipulated scientist Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) out of the formula for a possible cure for cancer, have a problem on their hands when a pathogen crash-lands on Earth after one of their space stations explodes, infecting random animals across the USA.
Albino gorilla George, the best friend of primatologist Davis Okoye (Johnson), smells the suspicious green gas and suddenly turns aggressive. Across the States, an alligator and a wolf that the internet dubs 'Ralph' are also infected and they head towards a radio signal in Federal Plaza, Chicago – a perfect location for them to battle it out and turn all the iconic architecture into rubble. It is of course up to Okoye to save the world, a task he is hilariously thanked for at the end.
The film uses a Wikipedia-style site to explain the splicing process in a genuinely amusing touch. Although some of the other jokes don't land, with crass humour overtaking endearing stupidity and the overly long, CGI-heavy finale running out of steam, Rampage throws out some tasty morsels for fans of the game.
General release from Fri 13 Apr.