Rampage is a science fiction movie directed by Brad Peyton, and is loosely based on the video game series of the same name by Midway Games. It is the third collaboration between Peyton and Johnson, following Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012) and San Andreas (2015). I really didn’t expect much from this film — the trailers looked like a children’s movie as well as the same old thing we’ve come to ignore. I have much to say about Rampage and it isn’t all good. Basically, Rampage is about a primatologist who must team up with an albino gorilla to stop two other animals from destroying Chicago.
Rampage starts with Athena-1, a research space station owned by a gene manipulation company called Energyne, which is destroyed after a laboratory rat mutates and wreaks havoc. Dr. Kerry Atkins (Marley Shelton), the lone surviving crew member, is ordered by CEO Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman), to retrieve research canisters containing a pathogen. The escape pod eventually imploded, causing debris to spread across various locations in the US; a canister in the Everglades is consumed by an American crocodile as well as exposure of a pathogen to a gray wolf in a forest in Wyoming.
Primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), a former US Army Special Forces soldier and member of an anti-poaching unit, works at the San Diego Wildlife Sanctuary, a wildlife preserve. He befriends a rare albino gorilla named George, whom he saved from poachers. Davis communicates with George using sign language and gestures, and George shows Davis that he has a sense of humor. At night, one of the canisters crash-lands in George’s habitat, exposing him to the pathogen. George grows considerably larger and more aggressive over a short time. Davis is contacted by Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris), a genetic engineer, who explains that the pathogen was developed by Energyne to rewrite genes on a massive scale.
Dr. Caldwell was hoping to advance CRISPR research as a potential cure for disease but discovered that Energyne planned to use it as a biological weapon. Meanwhile, Claire and her brother, Brett (Jake Lacy), fired Dr. Caldwell and sent her to prison on false charges for attempting to expose them. The exposed animals go on a
I think you get the gest of this film, as I am stopping here to talk a little about the quality of Rampage. The plot is simple and lends itself to a younger audience but the acting was seriously flawed. Claire and her brother Brett tried hard but just couldn’t pull off the whole villain thing. Their lines were so corny that I felt as though I watching a Saturday morning adventure project for kids. The special effects were pretty descent but not the best I’ve seen. Adding to the corny dialogue was their attempt to come off gangster like, which they never pulled off. Also, there are some questions about the logic or lack of. Dwayne Johnson is making movies so fast, that I’m afraid he’s going to acquire a rep for grade B films with bad acting. I’m truly a fan but lately, I’ve been disappointed with “The Rock” and Disney. The mutated animals reek havoc, making Rampage somewhat exciting but ridiculous. See this one on DVD/Blu-Ray, you’ll probably be happier with your choice.