Photo credit: flickr/adminfast
Put a 40 ft gorilla, wolf and crocodile in the same radius as a malicious (stiletto and red lippy type) CEO and ‘The Rock’ and what do you get? An absolute beast of a film!
This ultimately action-packed ‘video game’ film, Rampage, follows the quest of primatologist (animal expert) Davis Okoye (played by Dwayne Johnson) and his revenge seeking ally Dr. Kate Caldwell (played by Naomie Harris) as they battle to save the United States from three deadly genetic mutants. Mutants that are set on devouring anything and everything.
The action-thriller does nothing to ease in the most sheepish of viewers. Within the first five minutes, we see a terrified astronaut aboard the space station Athena-1 desperately trying to escape a fanged rat (the size of a dog) at the same time as preserving the remaining samples of the successful genetic pathogens left on the spacecraft. But- as all good plots begin- she fails to make it back to earth and in the process, loses possession of the three surviving research canisters.
In the scene that follows, viewers get a touch of relief as the humourous relationship between Davis Okoye and ‘big friendly giant’ George (an albino gorilla) offers moments to chuckle over. Nonetheless, whilst this unlikely bond is enough to entertain viewers for the entire length of the film, director Brad Peyton has other ideas when he hones in on the whereabouts of the surviving canisters.
The villains of the story are Claire and Brett Wyden (played by Malin Akerman and Jake Lacey), directors of Energyne: the company responsible for developing the lethal mutation gene. They’re your typical power-hungry figures who, upon hearing of George’s accelerating growth and aggressiveness (triggered by the radiating canister that crash lands into his enclosure) plunge the US into horrific danger. Determined to get their hands of the newly mutated creatures, they jump to the use of Willis Tower in the centre of Chicago city to lure them to the lab.
One of the most climatic moments of the film sees Davis aboard an aircraft in which George is contained, and he and Dr. Caldwell are captured. The lure is then activated and all aboard the spacecraft are faced with an ultimate test of strength and endurance as they battle to restrain a severely hostile George as he struggles to get himself off of the plane. As expected, Johnson survives the inevitably fatal plane crash alongside Caldwell and government agent Harvey Russell (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and eventually make it to Chicago in an attempt to save the US and, most importantly, their friend, George. Meanwhile, aware of the Wydens’ malicious agenda, Wayne is set on getting into Energyne’s headquarters to retrieve the reversal serum.
But things aren’t as easy as they sound. By this point George has also been joined by a blood-thirsty wolf and crocodile that have grown even bigger in size than him as a result of the pathogen. It is the utter chaos, destruction and massacres at this point across the city which bring the threat of the action into full view. Davis and Caldwell are in a race against time: fighting to get to the serum to revert George back to normal, whilst doing all that they can to prevent the government from causing mass destruction of the city using their most destructive bomb.
I need not to spoil the ending for those of you intent on watching the film, however I will say that the action truly triumphs in the last half hour. This film is everything fans of Jurassic Park, King Kong or simply The Rock’s indestructible strength will want to watch. Likewise, for new viewers it offers a perfect mixture of adrenaline rushes and heart-warming moments between man and man’s ‘atypical’ best friend that you won’t want to miss.