**/**** Image A Sound A Extras B
starring Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
screenplay by Ryan Engle, Carlton Cuse, Ryan J. Condal and Adam Sztykiel
directed by Brad Peyton
by Walter Chaw Silent Hill is still the best video-game movie, but points awarded to Brad Peyton for taking a flyer at adapting an old side-scrolling punchfest and giving it a standard sub-genre narrative. Rampage is the same kind, if not the same quality, of adaptation as the first Pirates of the Caribbean: an idea that makes no sense on paper that's unexpectedly decent in execution. Anyway, Rampage is the standard eco-horror conceit of evil scientists trying to engineer something evil for the military-industrial complex, which underestimates the controllability (and the evil) of the thing they're trying to make and thus endanger a lot of people/the world with their greed/godless curiosity. On the other side, there's beefy primatologist Davis (Dwayne Johnson, reuniting with San Andreas helmer Peyton) and a disgraced, formerly corrupt scientist named Dr. Kate (Naomie Harris), who enter into an uneasy partnership with government spook Agent Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) to counteract the Frankenstein that's been unleashed. Said Frankenstein being a growth agent or something that causes a wolf, an alligator, and Davis's best friend, George, an albino gorilla, to grow to gargantuan proportions--and become nigh invulnerable, to boot. Fans of the arcade game will note that this is faithful casting; they will also recognize the building-punching and helicopter-biting.