Following Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and San Andreas, Rampage is the closer in director Brad Peyton’s inexplicable thematic trilogy of stuffing The Rock into a helicopter to have him fight off giant beasts and/or city-wide destruction. It’s also the latest video game adaptation to continue the genre’s ongoing streak of not looking particularly good.
Dwayne Johnson stars as Davis Okoye, a man who’s Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey in both expertise and combined mass. He spends his days poring over gorillas, devoting most of his attention to George, an albino ape he himself rescued. One day, a vague canister of green gas sprays George in the face, and it ends up being a different green ape gas than the one in Planet of the Apes. Instead of developing his brain, it just makes him grow. As anyone who’s dumped quarters into a Rampage cabinet could guess, it turns out a wolf and a lizard have been spritzed as well.
Rampage‘s fans are also sure to notice that this re-telling of the game’s incredibly straightforward plot completely discards one of its main pleasures: the distant, furtive glimpses of shamefaced nudity. While the video game did focus on a trio of giant, bipedal animals wreaking havoc on cities, those freaks were always transformed from human specimens; the result was that the ape, lizard, and wolf could be reverted to sad humans doing anything to conceal their naked bodies from nearby office workers and military personnel.
It seems we’ll have to wait for the inevitable reboot before we get the hard-R version, where the shriveling form of a wolf-man gives way to a hangdog man near tears as he desperately covers his own shriveling form. As for this less woefully erotic version, you can see it in theaters April 20.