CRISPR, a form of gene editing, was originally created to help cure diseases. It has since been declared illegal, as it has a high potential for misuse. That doesn’t stop Claire (Malin Akerman) and Brett Wyden (Jake Lacy), the brother and sister team who head a company called Energyne, from continuing their experiments. The experiments are carried out in space to avoid any potential oversight. When things go horribly wrong, canisters containing their tests plummet to the Earth.
David Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) is a former soldier, now primatologist. He teaches students how to interact with animals at the San Diego Wildlife Center. David’s favorite animal is an albino gorilla named George. After the Energyne canisters crash to Earth, George comes in contact with one in his enclosure. The experiment inside the container causes George to grew several times his normal size and become uncontrollably aggressive.
George escapes the wildlife center, causing the military to get involved in the situation. Harvey Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who works for a secret government agency, heads up the hunt for George. David and Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris), a former Energyne scientist, sneak off to find George before the military can.
As the hunt for George continues, word arrives that a similarly genetically modified wolf – Ralph, and alligator – Lizzie, have also been discovered. The three mutants are headed to Chicago. David, Kate, and Russell race to save the city before it can be destroyed, hopefully saving George at the same time.
Rampage is based off a video game by the same name that came out in the 80s.
If you were to take Hobbs from The Fast and the Furious franchise, Spencer from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and Raymond Gaines from San Andreas and play the movies on top of each other, focusing only on these characters, you would have Rampage. Dwayne Johnson knows his role, and that is exactly what he does in this movie. He plays the big, tough, good guy who is only looking out for what is right. While not as charming or funny as some of his other roles, he does well in the film. Naomie Harris is the scientist who may be able to find the cure for George and the other animals, if Energyne doesn’t stop her first. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is in the movie, too, conspicuously toting a gun he never uses.
I’ll admit, Rampage was one of my favorite video games as a kid. The sole purpose of the game was to do as much damage to the city as possible while the army tries to stop you. As soldiers and civilians ran around the screen, you could pick them up and eat them. I was curious how all of this would fit into the movie. It was surprising how well they were able to adapt this to the movie. However, if you’re not familiar with the game, the result is some over-the-top, cheesy action movie moments that make little sense. For those of us who played, though, these were delightful moments that called back to our childhood.
While Rampage is not Johnson’s best movie, or even the highest level action movie, the effects are pretty good for the most part, and it sates the need for a big action movie. The movie is clearly directed at those in the Rampage video game playing demographic. The big screen is the ideal place to see the movie to appreciate these giant, mutated creatures. Given the quality of the movie, though, if you wait for the rental, that is completely understandable.