I’ve seen a lot of stupid movies in my day, and while “Rampage” may not be the stupidest, it is certainly a contender for that crown.
Of course, being a stupid movie isn’t necessarily bad. This is, after all, a movie based on a video game starring Dwayne Johnson and a trio of giant, mutated animals. If you came into this expecting “Citizen Kane” you were bound to be disappointed. “Rampage” pretty much delivers exactly what it promises in the trailers: big, over-the-top monster madness.
But boy, it sure is stupid.
Dwayne Johnson stars as Davis Okoye, a primate expert who works with gorillas at a California zoo. His best friend is an albino gorilla named George (Jason Liles). Davis isn’t much of a people person.
He’s also former Special Forces, because most good primatologists are. His time in the military will serve him well if he ever has to fly a helicopter, fire heavy artillery, survive a fiery plane crash, and kick ass while nursing a bullet wound to the gut.
All things primatologists deal with on a regular basis.
Meanwhile high above us, an evil corporation is conducting biological experiments in a space station. One of the test subjects escapes and tears havoc through the station, causing it to explode. Everything burns up on reentry except three canisters containing some weird mutagenic gas. One canister lands in the Everglades, where it infects a crocodile; one lands in Wyoming and mutates a wolf; while the third winds up in George’s habitat.
George begins to grow at a rapid rate (For some reason, all George does is grow — the other victims turn into monsters that are barely recognizable as a wolf or a crocodile). Naturally the government becomes involved, in the form of special agent Harvey Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Russell actually turns out to be more of a help than a hindrance — the only unexpected twist in the whole movie.
Now here’s where things get really stupid. Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman) and her idiot brother Brett (Jake Lacy) run the evil corporation that caused all this trouble. Claire wants to recoup some of her investment so she sets off a beacon that will lure the creatures to their corporate office in the heart of Chicago. How she figures that bringing three rampaging monsters into a heavily populated area will get her in good with the authorities is anyone’s guess.
“Rampage” certainly delivers on its title. Once things get rolling it is pretty much nonstop mayhem and destruction with the occasional time out for a humorous moment or a feeble attempt at character development. If you are in the mood to turn off your brain for a couple of hours and watch monsters tear up a city before tearing into each other, then this is the movie for you.