I never played the classic video game and actually hadn’t heard of it prior to seeing the trailer for the film. For me this looked like San Andreas (primarily because of The Rock and mass city destruction), but even better. I love giant monster movies, no matter how brainless they are. I love King Kong so when I saw that this involved a giant gorilla, I was so in. Add to that a massive crocodile, and a flying wolf?? Hyped. After watching it, its not perfect or anything smart but it brings the fun and is a better large scale destruction film than any of the recent Transformers.
The film is about a primatologist (The Rock) who notices that his friendly albino gorilla is infected by a pathogen. This causes the gorilla to go berserk and grow larger. The same occurs with a wolf and a crocodile and soon the trio wreak havoc on the city. Davis, the primatologist must try to take down the corporation behind the destruction and also find an antidote to save his primate friend before the city is destroyed. The film also stars Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Malin Akerman.
The film is dumb no doubt about it. The dialogue sucks and is cheesy at times. Its fun though. Its easy to like George (the gorilla) no matter how un-realisitic things are. The exposure to the pathogen and the chaos caused by the genetically edited animals is fun to watch. The passages in the middle with the generic villains talking about how they want control and all that jazz is stale. There are a lot of cookie cutter moments in the middle that I didn’t care for but the action delivers.
The thing is, its not just mindless action like in Transformers. There is enough going on to follow the simple story so it works on a simple level of entertainment (that cannot be said for the latest Transformers entries). The Rock is also a charismatic enough leading man, and Jeffry Dean Morgan complements well. Its not a perfect movie or a “good movie” but it does enough to be a fun popcorn film. CGI looks ropy at times, but its forgivable. Overall, I liked this more than I thought I would despite its flaws.