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The Rock takes on gorilla, crocodile, flying wolf
What's in with Justin
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has to take on some pretty tough characters in "Rampage." - photo by Studio photo

"Rampage" has the enjoyable goofiness that I looked for and missed in both "Tomb Raider" and "Pacific Rim Uprising." Generally, movies based on video games have zero plot or character development and it’s all about relentless action.

True, the same could be said for this movie, but I liked it because it was the kind of fun I was looking for.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is perfectly primed as a primatologist working in San Diego who takes care of a gorilla named George that he saved from poachers. A disaster in outer space results in canisters of pathogens landing in the zoo where George lives. The pathogens make the ape grow in size and strength above normal limits.

Naomie Harris costars as an engineer, who teams up with The Rock to get George to safety. But, as usual, with a movie like this, it isn’t long before the government sticks its hand in the cookie jar. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays an agent who’s been assigned to capture George, but The Rock and Harris will have none of it.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Malin Akerman costars as a CEO who may have connections to the pathogen, especially since it causes things such as a crocodile and a wolf to mutate as well.

Gorillas and crocodiles and wolves, oh my!

Johnson continues his action hero persona and it works for him in this video game-based movie that knows what it is and doesn’t try to be anything more. That might be good or bad depending on your point of view. Harris and Morgan also turn in some decent performances, without winking too much at the camera.

The action sequences are just as loud and overblown as you’d expect. But there’s also a surprising amount of imagination to them, especially during one crucial moment when a character meets her. It ends in one of the most over-the-top ways possible. It’s quite hilarious stuff.

If you go into it with a knowing spirit, you’ll be rewarded with an undeniable sense of unrelenting cheesiness. Again, it depends on your point of view. If you go for any other reason, why did you come in the first place?

Grade: B

Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, action, and destruction, brief language and crude gestures.

This review is dedicated to the memories of Milodean Davis, Alma Mitcham, and Larry Fowler.

Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.

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