Arts&Culture

Dwayne Johnson rules out 2020 USA presidential bid

Dwayne Johnson rules out 2020 USA presidential bid

He plays Davis Okoye, a primatologist at a San Diego zoo who prefers animals to people, particularly George, a hefty-looking albino gorilla. Cut to several canisters landing across the world, one of these unusual items lands in George's enclosure, and something worrisome happens to George. It causes them to grow to an enormous size, act out aggressively and take on the genetic qualities of other animals, like rapid cell regeneration, or exploding porcupine quills, or, you know, flying. "Rampage" is a movie that gets buried in its own top-heavy plot, collapsing itself under that weight just like the Chicago-area buildings do on screen.

That space opening comes back into play when we find out about an experiment based around a new technology called CRISPR, which was pioneered by a geneticist named Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) as a way of helping her dying brother.

Directed by Brad Peyton, who previously made the more coherent quake disaster tale San Andreas with Johnson, this is one of those blockbusters packed full of muscle, military hardware and government agents in black suits, led by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who has a ball as the ball-busting Agent Russell. Brad Peyton directs a script by Ryan J. Condal, Carlton Cuse, Ryan Engle, and Adam Sztykiel.

It seems likely an early version of the script supplanted Chicago with an East Coast port like NY, but since the climax involves the destruction of a tall tower, that might have seemed in poor taste. He relishes every sweet, honey-accented line delivery, but he too, is even upstaged, by the SuperCroc, who makes possibly the most memorable entrance of the year.

There's not a whole lot to Rampage's characters either, though the relationship between Davis and George (portrayed by frequent creature performer Jason Lilies) provides the film with a serviceable emotional core.

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"I try to support that with good storytelling, emotion and rationalisation, as to how someone could do all this stuff, but it's awesome how much people just want to believe it. People want to get on the ride with Dwayne". A tale of three normal-sized animals genetically transformed into city-wrecking behemoths, "Rampage" mixes high levels of testosterone with something that can only be called preposterone, and the combination makes for absurdly good entertainment. The rest of the ensemble is rounded out by familiar faces like Joe Manganiello, P.J. Byrne, and Will Yun Lee, but for the most part they serve as little more than glorified extras. But you can't say the filmmakers didn't meet their mandate. The full schedule of upcoming DC superhero movies can be found here.

With the recent release of the hugely disappointing sequel to Guillermo de Toro's Pacific Rim which left more than a lot to be desired, one could be forgiven for growing exhausted of the whole Kaiju inspired copycats doing the rounds, however Rampage has come just at the right to time to throw a huge spanner in the works for those convinced that this trend has run its course.

Despite a deeply flawed and baggy screenplay, which at one point seems to even forget some of its earlier characters, Rampage nevertheless never leaves you feeling shortchanged or cheated in any way.

Let us know what you thought of the film in the comments section!


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