Rampage

Certificate: 12A

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Release date: 2018

3 out of 5

3

The Rock fights mega-sized creatures (a gorilla, wolf and lizard thingie) that are trashing Chicago (the city, not the musical).

That’s all you really need to know to about the plot of Rampage, a silly but enjoyable monster-bashing action movie (loosely based on a thirty-something year old video game) in which our favourite mighty-muscled hero plays a primatologist named Davis who discovers the adorable albino gorilla he looks after has suddenly trebled in size, strength and animosity after accidentally inhaling some secret gene-altering goo.

Akerman and Jake Lacy are the not-quite-evil-enough brother/sister team wanting to develop the genetic liquid and sell it, Harris is the geneticist who invented it as a medical cure rather than a chemical weapon, and Morgan the government agent who turns up when everything goes to hell, but none of them are really that important (though Morgan, in over-the-top mode, is a hoot) when what we’ve paid to see is monsters smashing buildings and Johnson coming to humanity’s rescue. Again.

Sprinkled with humour and daft moments – yes, it makes perfect sense to use a beacon on top of a Chicago skyscraper to draw the people-chomping creatures out into the densely-populated open, and don’t even start thinking about how Davis can still punch a 50ft lizard after he’s been shot in the stomach – this is dumb fun but could have benefitted from being even dumber. Johnson has already proven he’s a deft hand at humour in movies like Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle and Central Intelligence, and while he gets a few one liners, this monster movie would have been far better if the serious bits of the script had been crunched up and spat out by the slick CGI monsters along with the city.

Parents’ Notes

This is a 12A certificate monster movie, aimed at adults and older children.

There are numerous scenes of peril for the main characters that may upset children under the age of 11 and sensitive viewers.

Younger children may also find the monsters – especially the wolf and lizard – very frightening, as they are seen to eat people and the camera does zoom in on their mouths and teeth.

One character is shot, and blood is shown throughout.

Most of the deaths by monster are fast but blood is shown and in an early scene on a space craft eagle-eyed viewers may spot. floating body parts.

There are some rude hand gestures (made by the gorilla!)

Young viewers may also be upset when George the gorilla fights the other two monsters, both of which are bigger than him.

There is also a plane crash, a helicopter crash, and numerous people are killed during the rampage though their deaths are only seen in the background.

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