There’s super-sized monkey business in this all-action video game adaptation.
Powered by Dwayne Johnson’s goofy charm and astonishing ability to keep a straight face amid preposterous carnage, it combines live action with giant CGI creatures and a knowing sense of ridiculous which it takes to mammoth excess.
An evil corporation have developed a pathogen which mutates animals into huge proportions and equally big anger management issues.
So it’s up to Johnson’s special forces gamekeeper turned ape expert to stop the infected monsters and save the life of a rare albino gorilla.
In an interesting inversion of longstanding Hollywood convention he teams up with Naomie Harris’ geneticist, which means we have two non-white actors saving a white ‘guy’ who is a noble savage.
The point is never laboured so it doesn’t get in the way of the audience having a good time.
Harris offers droll commentary on the frequent alpha-male posturing between Johnson and Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s mysterious government agent.
There’s a cheery disregard of physics, biology and science in general, in favour of giant lab rats in outer space, enormous wolves attacking military helicopters and huge crocodiles crushing downtown Chicago.
Functional dialogue exists only to link one scene of CGI mayhem to the next.
Director Brad Peyton was also responsible for Johnson’s previous adventure films, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, and San Andreas. And this reinforces the Fast Furious actor’s brand as the go-to-guy for outlandish blockbuster adventure.
Based on the 1986 arcade game, this follows hot on the heels of Johnson’s mega-smash game-based Jumanji sequel.
But where that film cleverly generated gags using the structure and language of video games, Rampage ignores the gaming aspect completely.
This enjoyable numbskull nonsense has the tone and tempo of a Saturday morning cartoon, though due to some of it’s gorier violence it’s probably not for the under-tens.