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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover



Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Åkerman, Jake Lacy, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Joe Manganiello
Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment


Certificate: 12
Release Date: 20 August 2018

Primatologist Davis Okoye shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent, incredibly rare albino silverback gorilla who has been in his care since he rescued the young orphan from poachers. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry mutates this gentle ape into a raging creature of enormous size. To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered animals. As these newly created super creatures tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with discredited geneticist Kate Caldwell to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend...

Rampage is pretty much a by-the-numbers summer blockbuster movie. It's got action, adventure and giant monsters smashing up Chicago.

Those of us of a certain age wouldn't have been able to go into the arcades in the '80s without seeking out the Rampage arcade game. I was a little unsure as to how on earth the producers of the movie were going to spin out a full length movie - the game is pretty sparse on storyline. But they do an impressive job of pulling it off.

The basic story revolves around a corrupt pharmaceuticals company who are testing gene manipulation on animals. The experiments are being conducted in a space station and when one of the rat test subjects mutates and destroys the ship, all the research appears to have been lost. However, several canisters of research material manage to survive the fall to earth - each coming into contact with a different creature and mutating them.

Dwayne Johnson plays Primatologist Davis Okoye who has a special bond with a rare albino silverback gorilla, called George, who Davis rescued from poachers when the gorilla was just a baby. Of course George is one of the creatures that is infected by one of the canisters and Davis must track down his old friend before things get out of hand.

I couldn't help but smile at the introduction to our hero, Davis, which is an obvious homage to the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

Jeffrey Dean Morgan delivers a slightly different take on his portrayal of Negan from The Walking Dead and it was fun to see Joe Manganiello play a character tasked with hunting down Ralph (the wolf), as Manganiello played the werewolf Alcide in True Blood.

While the humour isn't quite as good as it should have been, and some of the dialogue is a little ropey in places, it's the monsters that take centre stage here and for the most part they look incredible. You really do start to feel for poor George.

Extras include Not Just a Game Any More (6 min, 15 sec featurette that looks at the origins of the film and its arcade game source material); Deleted Scenes (10 min, 12 sec which includes a couple of versions of an additional ending scene); Gag Reel (2 min, 43 sec); Rampage: Actors in Action (10 min, 45 sec interviews with the main actors); Trio of Destruction (10 min, 08 sec look at the effects used to bring to life the three monsters); Creatures Attack on Chicago (10 min, 23 sec look at how the Chicago scenes were realised); and Bringing George to Life (11 min, 53 sec look at the actor and computer effects used to breathe life into George).

Overall, not a bad action movie. If you just go with it you'll enjoy it.


Darren Rea

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