When you have an idea as silly as Rampage there is only one person you phone and that is Dwayne(Don’t Call Me The Rock)Johnson and luckily for us he answered the phone because without captain charisma on board this monster movie would have fallen flat and no overgrown gorilla was going to solve that.
The premise is simple – giant animals destroy a city. Excellent, watchable and above all else, fun. The problem with this monster flick is that it takes a large portion of the proceedings getting to all the smashy smashy and that is where the likable ex wrestler steps in. With plenty of one liners, good natured put downs and heroic daring do the worlds most kick ass primatologist is here to stay!
And suddenly an hour of build up doesn’t seem so bad! Not only content with giving you a charm offensive it throws in Jeffrey Dean Morgan for good measure. While not quite in full on Negan mode the Seattle born actor seems only a second away from grabbing a baseball bat and joining the fray at all times.
Without these two the clichés would start to stick in the throat; a shady government official, a heartless corporation; a military presence that doesn’t listen to the expert, all are present and correct but with everyone seemingly having such a good time they become fun and throw away.
Muddled up in all the quipping and greasiness is the true soul of the movie – George and his keepers relationship. The slow build up means the monkey actually develops a personality and cracks jokes with a dark sense of humour. It might not be what you paid your entry fee for but the bond forged is handled well, without ever slipping over into cheese or sentimental pap.
When the skyscraper destroying action finally kicks off it – like it’s video game brethren – doesn’t last that long but while it does it is explosive, environment unfriendly and deadly viewing. Not so much an anti climax just wishing it could be more because as the city is under siege all other problems slip from the mind.
Conclusion: Doesn’t quite do what it says on the tin but when it does a lot of fun is to be had and with the two leads the casting department can have a pay rise!
Three out of five.