When science shits the bed, I’m the guy they call to change the sheets.
The film begins with the International Space Station destroyed by a giant mutant rat.
No sniggering there in the back row, I’m being serious.
Ex-Special Forces veteran Will Ford (Dwayne Johnson) who is now a security expert for — no, sorry, that was Skyscraper. Lets try this again. Ex-Special Forces veteran Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), who is now a qualified Primatologist spends his time with intelligent sign-language expert George, a silverback gorilla who is endearingly fond of giving everyone the finger but is actually a charming and very friendly ape. Their idyll is shattered when debris from the ISS falls down to Earth and with it three canisters of suspicious green gas. One of them lands in the San Diego Wildlife Sanctuary and infects George, turning him into a violent angry giant ape impervious to bullets and constantly increasing in size. The other two canisters falling across the country infect a wild wolf and a crocodile, with similar results, the former causing all sorts of bloody mayhem, the other slyly avoiding attention as it swims towards the CGI apocalypse ahead.
The canisters are the fruits of a dastardly genetic experiment by Energyne, whose CEO Claire Wyden (an incredibly wasted Malin Akerman) is a real hardass beautiful bitch with a stunning wardrobe (alas, sadly no Silk Spectre outfit) and a bumbling brother for comic relief. Its really a lot like Superman III, this. Eager to get control of her assets, Creepy Corporate Villainess Claire activates a Bat-signal that draws the three giant monsters to her head office in Chicago. Okoye desperately chases after George with Miss Moneypenny (Naomie Harris playing some ex-con geneticist) whilst being aided by swaggering mystery government agent Neagan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, finally revealing what Neagan -it has to be Neagan, he looks and talks and acts exactly like him- got up to prior to the zombie apocalypse of The Walking Dead). “Shit, Rick,” (he did say Rick, or did I imagine that?) “us assholes gotta stick together,” he grins with that familiar TWD gleam in his eyes whilst wondering where he mislaid his baseball bat.
When the three monsters hit Chicago it’s pretty much like some kind of Transformers/ Godzilla movie double-bill condensed to about thirty minutes of CGI carnage, as the monsters rampage through the city smashing military hardware and levelling city blocks, tearing buildings down in a delirious spectacle of eye-candy. Villainess Claire gets fed to George (Ackerman’s relief at being out of the picture looks palpable) and in the process the ape gets cured by the antidote that Claire’s holding at the time. Sweet old George is back! Okoye grabs military hardware scattered around the city ruins and the two pals set upon the remaining two monsters to save the world.
Its probably dafter than I make it sound, but it’s also much more boring than I make it sound. I’m pretty certain the casting has this destined for geek notoriety in years to come, but other than that, we’ve really seen it several times before. Indeed, all this CGI levelling of cities really is getting boring – Rampage is very routine, and surprisingly dull. I suppose the CGI is of a pretty high quality (certainly better than the hokey script deserves, I only hope that the CGI cost more than that script, because if it didn’t, someone got burned) but other than that it’s all fairly embarrassing and wholy inconsequential.
Not that I really expected anything else, to be honest. I’m getting to know what a Dwayne Johnson film is.