The Rock can make anything better.
Take last year’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. No one expected that movie to be good at all — a remake of a Robin Williams movie that was over 20 years old starring Jack Black and Kevin Hart. However, it ended up being one of the big surprises of 2017 and was a really fun movie.
Sure, that wasn’t just because of The Rock — or was it?
Seriously, Baywatch kind of sucked but there was something about the chemistry between The Rock and Zac Efron that made some of it watchable. He saved the Fast and Furious franchise and helped Michael Bay make a movie that was great for something other than explosions (Pain and Gain).
Honestly, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the Most Electrifying Man in Hollywood. Hell, I bet that Skyscraper movie isn’t as lame as it looks thanks to Johnson.
With that said, Johnson was able to elevate Rampage — a movie that is an adaptation of an old arcade game — into something better than the script deserves. The movie has a giant gorilla that flips off The Rock the first time we meet him. It has some of the most cringe-worthy dialogue in movies. It has an ending that feels like a giant cheat and makes absolutely no sense — at all.
Yet, somehow, it was still semi-enjoyable.
Is that a positive recommendation?
Dwayne Johnson plays Davis Okoye, a primatologist who used to be a black ops soldier who has a lot of redactions in his history (of course he does). He left the military and decided to kill poachers instead and he gets along better with animals than humans (of course he does).
He has three associates who he works at a wildlife preserve that we meet early on and then they disappear because they don’t matter to the story.
Actually, I skipped ahead. The movie starts with a scene from the movie Life where the mutated creature in the spacecraft kills the entire crew before one escapes with three samples from their scientific work. Too bad her shuttle explodes and the samples crash to Earth.
Why were they in space? Because the scientific research was not for the betterment of humanity but to weaponize animals (of course it was). The three samples are found first by animals (of course it was) — a crocodile, a wolf and Davis’ best friend — an albino gorilla named George.
This causes all three to grow exponentially, get really aggressive and also develop the traits of other animals (although that is kind of random since George doesn’t get any special traits while the wolf gets bat wings). The evil corporation responsible for this sets off a sonar to lure the three giant monsters to Chicago because one of the traits for the mutation is a bat’s senses (of course it is).
This company — brilliantly called Energyne (of course it is) — figures that the monsters will get there and they will let the military kill them before getting samples from them to make their weaponized serum to sell. However, they also happen to have a scientist they had jailed when she tried to destroy the research who just so happened to have just gotten out of jail and shows up to help David (of course she did).
Is that getting old yet? If so, you should understand how contrived this entire script it.
Yet, somehow thanks to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and to a lesser extent Negan himself, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, this movie somehow works on a mindnumbing base level.
The monsters attack Chicago and David, Kate and Harvey have to figure out how to stop them before the U.S. Government nukes Chicago (of course they will).
I have to admit, the way they got George the Gorilla back on their side was kind of brilliantly disgusting.
The monster design was also pretty cool, especially the disgusting look of the mutated crocodile. However, the giant fight in Chicago was nowhere near as cool as the trailers made it look, but that was more due to the frantic camera movement and fast-paced editing.
And, did I mention the ending was a huge cheat and was in no way deserved? I mean, the last shot of the rescue mission made zero sense after what just happened.
But, like I said, The Rock can save any movie. This is nowhere near the same zip code as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and the movie will fall apart as soon as it arrives on home video, but it is worth a matinee if nothing better is showing.
I mean, it has The Rock in it. And it is better than Doom.