A Colossal Dwayne Johnson Movie Is Destroying On Streaming
Dwayne Johnson's Rampage is in the top ten of HBO Max.
Dwayne Johnson’s 2018 blockbuster Rampage is running amok on streaming, hitting the top ten on HBO Max this past week, as viewers can’t seem to resist the combination of The Rock and giant creatures destroying Chicago. According to FlixPatrol, which measures viewer habits on streaming services, the film has been among HBO Max’s most popular films all year, but has seen a spike in recent weeks. Maybe it’s the Black Adam effect drawing viewers, or maybe viewers dismissed the critics and enjoy the film’s highly entertaining chaos.
The film features Dwayne Johnson as primatologist Davis Okoye, who works with gorillas at a San Diego wildlife sanctuary. He’s particularly close to George, a highly-intelligent albino silverback gorilla who can speak via sign language. George is a gentle giant, but after a scientific experiment on a space station goes awry, the remnants come crashing to earth, where – wouldn’t you know – it crashes into George’s habitat, and a canister within exposes him to a strange gas.
It isn’t long before George begins growing to an enormous size, with fits of uncontrollable rage, and he escapes the facility. To make things worse, canisters of the gas also landed in Wyoming, creating other large, angry creatures out of the local wildlife, and they’re on a collision course with George. Of course, that means Dwayne Johnson is going to do Dwayne Johnson things to stop them, and the action and mayhem quickly get out of control.
The film also stars Naomie Harris (No Time to Die’s Moneypenny) as Dr. Kate Caldwell, a scientist who worked on the genetic experiments now affecting the animals, and she teams up with Dwayne Johnson to stop the threat. Malin Akerman (Watchmen) and Jake Lacy (The Office) star as Claire and Brett Wyden, billionaire siblings who own Energyne, the corporation behind the experiments, and don’t want their secrets out. They send out some ex-military types to retrieve them, and the government soon gets involved as the creatures are drawn to Chicago (thanks to a convenient plot device) for a final showdown.
Justice League’s Deathstroke himself, Joe Manganiello, stars as Burke, an independent operator hunting down the creatures for the Wydens, and a very entertaining Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead) stars as a government agent trying to capture the creatures. Besides the outstanding digital effects (providing lots of angry monkey action), the movie also has a nice sense of humor, especially when Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Dwayne Johnson go head-to-head and start trading barbs.
Released in April of 2018, the film was a box office hit, despite critics who ripped the movie and gave it a 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (viewers are more forgiving, giving it a 72% rating). It grossed over $100 million in the United States and over $428 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. It was just the latest $100 million hit for Dwayne Johnson and director Brad Peyton, who had previously teamed up for Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and San Andreas, and it was recently announced that they would reteam for San Andreas 2.
Rampage is based on the 1980s video game of the same name, and as you might expect, it has very little resemblance to the final film. The only common denominator is the creatures themselves, who punch buildings in the video game until they fall. Players control the creatures in the game, but the movie version needed a human face for the lead, and the larger-than-life Dwayne Johnson is one of the few actors on the planet that could actually share the screen with giant CGI creatures and not look out of place.
Viewers will likely catch a familiar face in the film’s opening moments: Marley Shelton (Scream, Sin City) as the astronaut on the doomed space station where the pathogen is first created. Sadly another familiar face didn’t make the film’s final cut: a scene featuring Alexandra Daddario, Dwayne Johnson’s co-star in San Andreas, was shot but later discarded. She played a scuba instructor who encounters a mutated squid.
Rampage is now available to view on HBO Max, and will tide you over until Dwayne Johnson’s next film, Black Adam, hits theaters on October 21. Another Johnson film, DC’s League of Super-Pets, is also available to watch on HBO Max.