‘Let’s go save the world.’
If you’ve not done so already, go ahead and watch the trailer. If you’re in any doubt about what the film is about or whether it’s ‘for you’ the trailer will filter it out on your behalf rather nicely.
The plot of the film is exactly as it appears – primatologist David (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) has a real issue when it comes to trusting humans, but not animals. His best friend George (Jason Liles) is an albino silverback gorilla after all. When a genetic-altering chemical substance falls from the sky and infects George, along with several other creatures, causing them all to grow to enormous size and behave like alpha predators, David is the only man who can save the world from becoming a battlefield of a global disaster. Luckily geneticist Kate (Naomie Harris) is on-hand to help…
And the end result is entirely as you would expect to. It knows exactly what kind of film it is and fully embraces it. It’s trashy, light-hearted and the kind of peril that is interesting to watch but you know full well that whilst the hundreds of thousands of citizens will be in great peril, our protagonists will be fine. This is a throwback to 90s disaster movies but, whilst it does have its funny moments, it doesn’t have enough about it to be all that memorable. Certain elements could have been made even more ridiculous or camp-tastic, they could have committed even further to the premise. There aren’t enough cheesy moments to warrant a drinking game ala Gods of Egypt….
While this may not be a future cult classic it does have enough about it to make it a weekend watch that is well worth watching. The charisma of Johnson alone makes the film worthy of some attention, he’s just so charismatic that it’s gotten to the point where he could seemingly pull out a decent performance from any role. Look at Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle for instance; no -one else could have done as good a job as him with that role.
Harris is more than solid in the supporting role. What’s refreshing about her role is that she’s a woman in a disaster movie that isn’t just a damsel in distress and she’s also a smart woman in a disaster movie that doesn’t need to wear glasses to ‘prove’ it.
The other bright spot of the film is George the gorilla. Liles, he man behind the special effects, makes George feel like a fully fleshed out character. His performance makes the whole concept of his being best friends with Johnson’s character seem rather believable, immensely endearing and regularly very funny indeed.
The end product is slightly long but filled with enough entertaining moments to make this a solid choice for both family watching for those with slightly older kids or for a group of mates armed with a couple of beverages.
Rampage is out now in UK cinemas.