(Note: “Disclaimer: There is no editor or proof reader, apology for any typos or discrepancies. If noticed kindly contact the author. Thank you.)
The billing for the latest box office hit action extravaganza Rampage might be “Godzilla meets Might Joe Young” (or his cousin George, as in the jungle, no pun intended) with a bit of Jane Goodall influence that suggests some primitive sci fi invention combined with the continuing curiosity about the species.
After a catastrophic opening with a space shuttle with occupants blowing up and some sensitive research material ostensibly lost the story moves innocently enough with Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson aka “the Rock”) - curious how this name was decided by the screenwriter - an expert in primates leading graduate students into the their habitat cum sanctuary within a zoo setting. He has a personal intuitive connection with George, an albino ape he rescued as an “apling” (sic) from poachers in Africa, communicating via sign language, and some raucous, if not off color, moments ensue.
The missing research breaks through the space barrier and powerful “pathogens” are released that impact several wild animals with diabolic effect.
Trying to mollify what catapulted them to grotesque genetically modified monsters is the challenge Davis and his new “colleague” Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris), a defector from the devious Hydrogen Corporation, take on to save mankind as it were (viz. Chicago) from vicious wolf, a gargantuan amphibious creature and George who has grown to King Kong stature.
It’s an exciting ride across America with extreme mayhem and destruction that’s clearly out of the realm of reality. How do all those surveillance cameras keep track in the most remote locations, however this is a movie inspired by a video game so anything is possible.
Elements of the story touch on fundamental aspects of human nature, if not stereotypes, like the rather surly government agent Harvey Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who changes from adversary to ally, and mercenary corporate villainess Claire Wyden (Malin Ackerman) and her buffoon brother).
As the human protagonist Davis is rather like a “soldier of fortune” turned professor primatologist (sic) who relates more to George and his species than humans, until the cathartic ending when Kate brings out his ability to also relate to humans, and bodes for romance. Even George is aware of that making a rather humorous though lewd gesture.
Caution about some inappropriate language that this writer finds offensive, and extremely destructive action that’s redundant. Not familiar with the talent, they perform adequately. Nothing award worthy about the picture, perhaps the special effects, however the production employed a lot of technicians to produce this latest lively adventure that’s not so thrilling as combustible.
Ironic that I saw the film April 18, the anniversary date of San Francisco 1996 Great Earthquake & Fire that destroyed the City who rebuilt out of the ashes to become better and stronger. That’s the strength of humanity and Davis, et al indicate they’ll make that sort of effort as he regains his connection with humanity through George and Kate. Wondering about a sequel and if George will also find a mate?