Saturday, 19 May 2018
Rampage (4 Stars)
Today, 19th May 2018, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, married the American actress Meghan Markle. I was presented with a difficult choice: should I sit at home and watch the wedding, or should I go to the cinema and watch a film about a big monkey? Anyone who knows me already knows what I decided. I picked the big monkey.
The film begins in a space station orbiting the Earth which is being used as a laboratory for genetic research. One of the subjects escapes from its cage and wrecks the station. A scientist flees in an escape pod, taking with her canisters containing the bacteria that have been developed. The escape pod burns up on reentry into the atmosphere, and the canisters are scattered across North America. In Florida a crocodile swallows a canister. In Wyoming a grey wolf is infected by a broken canister. The third canister infects George in the San Diego nature Preserve.
Who's George? That's the big monkey. He's an albino gorilla who was saved from poachers by the primatologist Davis Okoye. George is a highly intelligent gorilla who converses with Davis using American Sign Language.
The result of the virus is to make the infected animals grow in size, at the same time becoming stronger, more agile and more aggressive. Energyne, the company responsible for the genetic research, transmits a signal to lure all three of the creatures to their headquarters in Chicago. When they arrive in the city Davis tries to reason with George.
There's a hidden joke for people who understand sign language. Whenever Dwayne Johnson talks to George he speaks aloud while making the signs. Whenever he says "It's me" he makes the sign for "rock". That's amusing.
Is it a good film? That depends on what you want to see. Dwayne Johnson has made enough films for us to know what to expect. Any film that he appears in is infeasible and over-the-top, but it's good entertainment. It's not serious cinema, it's good fun. If you want 90 minutes of wild escapism you won't be disappointed.
Verne Troyer does not appear in "Rampage", but since I'm remembering him this week I thought it would be appropriate to share this photo that was taken with Dwayne Johnson. If I'm not mistaken, Verne is attempting to imitate The People's Eyebrow. Sorry, Verne, you can't do it. Very few people can. It takes years of practice.