Movie review: Rampage

THIS is an out-and-out popcorn flick based on a video game about monsters levelling a whole city, and a very likeable, near-invincible hero charging to the rescue.

This monster flick begins with a scientist frantically trying to get into the escape pod of a research ship in outer space after the rest of the crew die under mysterious circumstances and their lab rat has turned into a monster.

The escape pod explodes upon entry into earth’s atmosphere but the three canisters with the pathogens remain intact and fall into various parts of the US.

One of them falls into an animal sanctuary in San Diego, the home of George, an albino silverback gorilla which can communicate with sign language.
George touches the capsule and is badly affected by it.

His best pal, primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), tries to find out what is wrong with his once-calm-and-docile friend, who is now not only growing rapidly but also displaying lots of aggression.

A geneticist, Dr Kate Caldwell, shows up (after seeing George on the news) and tells Okoye that George’s abnormalities are caused by genetic editing and a company called Engyne is behind it.

To cut a long story short, a shadowy government organisation sedates George, and puts the gorilla on a plane against Okoye’s advice.

The organisation’s lead agent Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) also tells them about a giant wolf which happens to be running about.

George suddenly wakes up and goes berserk. Okoye, Caldwell and Russell manage to escape using parachutes, while the plane crashes with George in it but the gorilla walks away unscathed.

The heads of Engyne, Claire Wyden (Malin Åkerman) and her bumbling brother Brett (Jake Lacey), initially send their guns for hire to capture the wolf so they can extract the pathogens and sell it to the highest bidder.

When that plan fails, Claire (supposedly the smarter of the two) switches on a low frequency sound wave that will attract the giant creatures to their headquarters in Chicago so that the army can kill the creatures and they can get what they what.

However, as the animals destroy everything in their path and they are soon joined by a giant crocodile, you can guess what happens next.

Lots of things in the movie lack logic but the target audience is not really going to care. This is monster mayhem all the way.