Reviewed by Victor Rebikoff.
Director: Brad Peyton, Warner Bros., M 107 Minutes
Rarely does a Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson movie disappoint and his latest endeavour is one that most fans should really delight in seeing following the successful reboot last year of ‘Jumanji-Welcome to the Jungle.’
In this entertaining action adventure Johnson plays primatologist Davis Okaye, a dedicated enthusiast of primates with an endearing relationship with George, an extraordinarily intelligent albino gorilla in his care since rescuing it from poachers years earlier.
But their remarkable relationship is soon interrupted following a genetic experiment in space suddenly gone wrong, plunging a number of canisters containing pathogen onto the forested surroundings near the wildlife sanctuary housing George.
Once this chemical product is consumed it transforms the gorilla and other animals including a wolf and a crocodile, into giant monsters.
It so happens that the experimental spacecraft belonged to the corrupt Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman –‘Misconduct’) abetted by her useless brother Brett (Jake Lacy –‘Carol’) with the aim of making money from animals that have been genetically engineered.
George is now the size of King Kong and running amok as Davis – hoping to get an antidote – is forced to seek the assistance of Dr Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris –‘Spectre’) a discredited genetic-engineer after being fired by Claire’s company.
Davis’s efforts are later hampered and helped by the intervention of Harvey Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan –‘Solace’) an amiable government agent with a Texan drawl, before heading to Chicago to save the city from George and the other rampaging animals.
Having previously directed Johnson in ‘San Andreas’, filmmaker Peyton has had a lot of fun making this popcorn movie that is fully laden with charm and humour expressed by the charismatic actor, especially his antics with the computer-generated gorilla.
Apart from his buddy relationship with George, it is Johnson stealing most of the scenes using his good guy personality to great effect – not only with the monsters but in his interaction with co-stars Harris and Dean Morgan
Vic’s Verdict: 3 ½ Stars