Implausible. Certainly. Impossible. Sometimes. Able to maintain tension. Absolutely. Great acting. Not even close. Entertaining. Always. Described by a critic as a “brainless blockbuster, ” I would have to agree. Much of it takes you back to movies like King Kong and Godzilla. Even though you have a good idea what to expect, sometimes you just need to sit back and watch the goofiness. At times, I thought the computer graphics were dated back in the 1980’s, at other times they were magnificent. At a cost of $115 million, it is projected to make $27 million this weekend. Like Steven Spielberg, doubt The Rock at your peril. Jumanji wasn’t expected to do much either. People just like Dwayne Johnson. And, the movie releases next Friday are really weak.
Despite laws to the contrary, the evil corporation does genetic mutation testing on animals in outer space. An “accident” causes the formula to jettison to earth where it affects a gorilla (George), a wolf Ralph), and a crocodile (Lizzie). All three grow in size, strength, violence, and agility exponentially. As a young gorilla, George was rescued by Davis Okoye, a primatologist working as the head of an anti-poaching unit. He and George are able to communicate by signing. After he is infected, George is to be put down by the OGA (Other Government Agency), designed to clean up the “messes” of scientists. The CEO of the evil corporation wants at least one animal alive so she can weaponize the DNA to make zillions of dollars. Eventually, all converge on Chicago.
Dwayne Johnson is Davis Okoye. The movie will rest on his shoulders, but the script doesn’t utilize his humor nearly as much as it should. His sidekick is Naomie Harris (Moonlight) who plays Dr. Caldwell, the scientist who formerly worked for the evil corporation. After a slow start, Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead) nearly steals the spotlight from The Rock. He plays Harvey Russell, the OGA big-shot. Malin Ackerman and Jake Lacy are the sister-brother in charge of the evil corp. Malin is particularly nasty, Jake is particularly annoying.
Should you go see this movie? If you like big monsters tearing down large cities, this is right up your alley. If you like pictures that get Academy Award nominations, remember this is an April movie whose opening was moved forward by one week to avoid competition with Avengers: Infinity War. This movie is in the middle. Good enough to be better than TV offerings but not worth $9.00. This movie will be much better on your home screen where the popcorn is cheaper and the beer is colder. Of course, what do I know? My review of Jumanji (12/23/17) was lukewarm, too. Still, this one seems more like Baywatch than Jumanji. Whatever the case, The Rock is back again in Skyscraper on my birthday, July 13.