Rampage

Loosely based on the widely popular 1986 arcade video game of the same name, Rampage is nothing more than your basic Hollywood blockbuster full of cheap thrills and elaborate CGI action sequences with a story that does not really matter. Starring Dwayne Johnson as primatologist Davis Okoye, the flimsy plot revolves around genetically engineered animals who become destructive monsters after being exposed to a genetic experiment created in the labs of an absurdly villainous corporation. Working for a wildlife sanctuary in San Diego after serving in the military and an anti-poaching squad, Davis discovers that something is terribly wrong with his favorite gorilla named George after the animal becomes bigger and stronger overnight. Eventually, he teams up with Dr. Kate Caldwell, played by Naomie Harris, who used to work as a geneticist with the Energyne Corporation owned and operated by two malevolent siblings who are secretly trying to develop biological weapons of mass destruction. The United States government and military led by the mysterious and extremely exaggerated cowboy-like Agent Harvey Russell, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, becomes involved after George exhibits aggressive behavior and goes on a rampage indiscriminately destroying all sorts of buildings. As George becomes increasingly dangerous, the already ridiculous plot thickens with the appearance of a oversized wolf and crocodile also infected with the pathogen. The trio of fearsome monsters ultimately descend on downtown Chicago where Davis and Dr. Caldwell search for the antidote so that the animals are not killed by the gung-ho armed forces. Similar to the video game in which tanks and other war machinery are used to try and destroy the Godzilla-like creatures, much of the film is comprised of overwhelming action sequences intensified by CGI eye candy in which the animals are bombarded with all types of weapons to no avail. Overall, I found it to be exactly what I expected from a movie based on a retro arcade game and led by action superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson; it was a rather dumb story that was a vehicle for over-the-top mayhem perfect for a popcorn flick.

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