PLOT- A company called Energyn is using space to experiment with a banned genetic technology called CRISPR. An accident happens, sending the experiments back to earth, infecting three animals: an albino gorilla, a wolf, and an alligator. The animals rapidly grow and show extreme aggression.
Primatologist David Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) is the primary caregiver for the infected gorilla, George, whom he rescued from poachers when George was a baby. With the help of Dr. Kate Caldwell ( Naomie Harris), a former Energyn employee with an axe to grind, David sets out to find a cure for his friend. Claire Wyden ( Malin Akerman) is the head of Energyn and she will do everything in her power to keep control over the technology, even if it means putting lives and cities in danger.
LIKE- Full-disclosure, I would never have know that Rampage is based on an arcade game from the 80's, if my husband had not told me. I missed all of the game references, but according to Dan, they were quite clever.
Rampage is a fun film, because it never takes itself seriously. It's over-the-top and outrageous. I've never seen Sharknado, but it's what I imagine Sharknado and its ilk, to be like. I was downright gleeful as soon as the giant Alligator got into the action. I love that Joe Manganiello was cast as the head of a group hunting the wolf and *Spolier alert* he is eaten by the wolf! It was a great little nod for True Blood fans. I got a kick out of the casting of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as an FBI agent. It was a role that would have gone to Tommy Lee Jones, if Rampage had been made a decade or two earlier.
DISLIKE- It took me a bit to get into the vibe of Rampage and at first, I was a little judgmental. Specifically, the scene where we are introduced to David, as he leads a group of budding primatologists through an exhibit at a zoo in San Diego (given a different name than The San Diego Zoo, but same thing). He takes the group right into the gorilla exhibit, where a young male gorilla is being introduced to the troop. They stand just feet from the gorillas. I've worked at a zoo and this would NEVER happen. In fact, the way they interact with the Gorillas would NEVER happen. They clearly did not consult a primatologist or anyone who has ever worked at a zoo. But then, I realized that it didn't matter. This is a film about a gorilla, wolf, and alligator who destroy downtown Chicago. Although there is a solid message about not messing with mother nature and about conservation, there is little in this film that is based in reality and it's okay.
The other thing I started to get on my high-horse about was a writing issue. Akerman's dialogue is nearly all exposition. Really bad exposition. I cringed at first, but then I laughed. It's clearly done for comedic effect. All of the characters are stereotypes and Claire Wyden is the stereotypical villain.
RECOMMEND- Yes! Rampage is action-packed and full of humor. It's fluff and a hundred percent entertainment. Don't over-think it. It's also a film that should be seen on the big screen, because you want that gorilla, wolf, and alligator to be as enormous as possible!