Swanner: Rampage follows Davis Okaya (Dwayne Johnson) who is a Primatologist who has a bond with a rare white gorilla named George. After an explosion of a spacecraft during reentry in the earth’s atmosphere, a scientific experiment ends up in George’s area and he becomes infected with a gas that causes quick development and unmeasured rage. Two other parts of the experiment end up infecting a wolf and an alligator. The experiment was from a company who is illegally developing this as a weapon that could be used later for the military.

Right away, based on the dialog, you realize this film was made to appeal to a younger crowd. There are prat falls and silly one liners that you expect more in a Schwartzenegger film than one from Johnson. Knowing Brad Peyton was directing made me hope for more of what we got from San Andreas, but they went in a different direction. Once I got used to the silliness, I enjoyed the film more. Since we’re being silly, it came as no wonder that the villains were extra evil. Malin Akerman continues to know how to bring the bitch to a role and Jake Lacey plays her dumb brother/hench man.

The rest of the cast is good with Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Walking Dead) playing a good ole boy federal agent that knows Okoye knows what he’s doing, along with Naomie Harris (Moonlight) who plays the doctor who can stop the creatures. The film feels a lot like the old creature movies from the 60’s: lots of disruction and cool monsters. The special effects are good, and watching Chicago get torn apart again is done very well. The scares are here, but they’re never too scary. I’d call this a good family film, but when you have a giant gorilla giving the lead actor the finger through most of the movie…you just never know.

Swanner 2 1/2 stars


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