Giant creatures smash things: Rashid Irani reviews Rampage
Remember King Kong, Godzilla and The Wolf Man? Three such mega-monsters share screen space and destruction duty in this overblown creature feature.
Based on a 1980s arcade game of the same name, Rampage sees action star Dwayne Johnson play a primatologist working at a wildlife sanctuary in San Diego. Following a ludicrous set of circumstances, the 6ft-plus man-mountain must not only avert a global catastrophe but also save the life of his former best pal, an albino gorilla gone rogue.
To make matters worse, a couple of other genetically mutated animals — a ginormous alligator and an airborne wolf — have also run amok. The triple threat culminates in a city-level smackdown in Chicago.
This is Johnson’s third outing with director Brad Peyton, after Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and San Andreas, so you know what to expect. The action choreography is pedestrian at best. There are token references to cruelty to animals by way of genetic experimentation.
With the exception of the charismatic Johnson, the human characters are less expressive than the giant ape (a motion-capture performance by Jason Liles).
At the end of its 105-minute runtime, even the most patient viewer is likely to echo the sentiment of the discredited scientist (Naomi Harris), who moans, “I can’t believe I survived this”.