If you’re familiar with the marketing materials for the movie ‘Rampage’, you know that i’s largely about The Rock fighting giant monsters. But he doesn’t just fight giant monsters, he fights giant monsters and has an enormous monkey for a best friend. Hard to see how it could miss.
If you’re a Gen Xer, you may remember the beloved arcade game on which ‘Rampage’ was based. They’ve added some stuff, but the story is the same – giant mutant animals fighting and smashing up a city.
Dwayne Johnson plays his usual: a strong, confident, supremely competent ex-military guy, though in order to align with the fairly minor demands of the plot, they also make him a primatologist. Due to the machinations of some sort of evil bio-tech company, his monkey friend George has been mutated to King-Kong proportions, along with a couple other animals. The Rock and an attractive lady scientist must track the mutant animals to Chicago, whence the evil bio-tech company has summoned them, in defiance of all logic.
‘Rampage’ came out in 2018, and was directed by Brad Peyton, who you may remember from such Dwayne Johnson vehicles as ‘San Andreas’ – a reactionary disaster epic we reviewed earlier in the season – and ‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’ – a low-budget kid’s thriller that is honestly not worth the time it takes to watch. The Rock, in his desire to produce upwards of half-a-dozen feature films a year, has a notable fondness for directors like Peyton and Rawson Marshall Thurber. They may not bring a strong artistic perspective to the project, but they know how to produce content.
The movie also stars Naomie Harris as the attractive lady scientist who is given nothing interesting to do, Malin Akerman and Jake Lacy as the villainous siblings who run the evil bio-tech company and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as a delightfully roguish government agent guy, but Johnson’s real co-star is the giant monkey, who, we must admit, is pretty good.