By Dr. Janelle Vermaak
Rampage is the type of film where you place your suspension of disbelief squarely at the door of the cinema in order to be transported into the world of this fun, fast-paced action adventure.
The primary storyline in Rampage focusses on primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) and geneticist Dr Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) who have to prevent three genetically altered animals from destroying Chicago.
The two opening scenes of the film offer an explanation for the cause of the genetic mutations that infect the three animals, and enable the audience to develop an understanding of the relationship between Davis and his gorilla, George. While the film relies heavily on action scenes, there is breathing space between these in order to develop the characters and enable a reasonable level of empathy from the audience. It is clear that this film does not take itself too seriously and this is refreshing amid similar films that demand the audience’s attention at all times. Dwayne Johnson is known for playing characters that have a sense of humour and he provides numerous humorous moments in the film that bring comic relief between intense action scenes.
Mention must be made of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s portrayal of Agent Harvey Russell, an ambiguous character who provides a number of surprises and twists in the film. Malin Akerman portrays the villainess, Claire Wyden, with effective evilness and is a character the audience can love to hate. The CGI in Rampage is superb and believable, and the audience is drawn into a world where three larger-than-life creatures run amok and cause chaos in Chicago and surrounds.
If you enjoyed films such as King Kong (Jackson, 2004), Pacific Rim (Jackson, 2013), Godzilla (Edwards, 2014), and Kong Skull Island (Vogt-Roberts, 2017), then Rampage is right up your alley.