RAMPAGE

RAMPAGE movie poster
Primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), a loner whose main concern is the albino gorilla George he raised, has his hands full when a corporation's secret genetic experiment on an exploding space station finds its way to Earth. Three crashed canisters turn George, a wolf and a crocodile into gigantic raging monsters. It's up to Okoye, discredited genetic engineer Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) and government agent Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) to save mankind.

Dwayne Johnson, huge monsters, an evil corporation and lots of destruction add up to
mindless matinee entertainment. Loosely based on the video game series, the pace is fast and furious under Brad Peyton's ("San Andreas") direction. Screenwriters Ryan Engle (who also wrote the story), Carlton Cuse, Ryan J. Condal and Adam Sztykiel fill the script with action and silly science in the all-too-familiar plot. There is some fun to be found in humorous one-liners, delivered with a flair by Mr. Johnson. The biggest surprise is George, brought to life by the scene-stealing motion capture performance of Jason Liles. He breathes heart, soul and a sense of humor into the big gorilla, who gets the last word in over his handler with hilarious usage of the middle finger. Per normal for movies in this genre, much of the cast is targeted as creature comfort food. Naomie Harris and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, with an annoying cowboy drawl, gallantly follow Johnson's lead. The evil corporation is represented by Malin Akerman and Jake Lacy as vile siblings Claire and Brett Wyden. Joe Manganiello turns up briefly as the leader of a private military group chasing the ferocious wolf. For those who keep track of movie stars' children, look for Jack Quaid. The son of Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid appears in the film's opening as a student at the zoo. Ultimately, the frenzied confrontations provide the prime reason to see this sci-fi adventure. The special effects range from mediocre to spectacular, but mostly work well on the biggest screen possible. While there's not much to go ape over, "Rampage" still feels like a rock-solid monster hit. (3/5 CAMS)


Rated PG-13 (sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief language, and crude gestures)
Running Time: 107 minutes

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