There are the genuinely good movies, there are also the bad movies. Then there are the movies that are not high art but put all their effort and conviction into the stupid concept and make something bold and weird, then there are the “so bad their good” movies that are such colossal failures they become entertaining again. This movie is more of the bold and weird one, though the needle does waver between the two. It’s big, it’s loud and has no shame in itself and really does try and be as good as it can be without trying to make itself seem deep or complex. That’s pretty nice to have once in a while.
So this is our setup. We start in space where a satellite is crashing, all the crew is dead except one, the survivor must gather special research formulas, also on-board is a test subject that was a rat but has become something else. The survivor gets out but the pod still breaks up and the formulas fall to Earth.
We now in a Gorilla wildlife reserve that houses an albino named George and his keeper is Davis. Said formulas from space crash and come into contact with George, a wolf, and a crocodile. It then warps them and makes them grow to extreme size.
As has been proven many times before and is still evidence here Dwane Johnson is a man with charisma. This movie would be so much less without him. He brings Davis Okoye to life with conviction and confidence in what he does. When he comes face to face with these large animals and knows to keep clam you believe it. He utilizes his physicality and voice to become a smooth, cool hero. But he’s not a boring, serious hero either, he smiles and has banter.
The people behind this evil organization are Claire Wyden (Malin Åkerman) and Brett Wyden (Jake Lacy). They are the worst part of the movie. Their scenes are comprised of heavily expression dialogue and cliche villain lines. Claire is the serious one with a plan and ios decisive, while she is contrasted by her numbskull of a brother that needs everything explained to him, so she can really explain things to us. They are evil for evil’s sake and bring nothing interesting to the movie. However, on a personal observation, I got an Eric Trump vibe from Jake Lacy’s performance, no idea whether it was intentional or not. They need these giant animals to come to them because the formula is in their blood, so they activate a signal on top of their skyscraper that attracts them. Thus begins their rampage, through the trees, the quarries and eventually a city.
Eventually, Jefferey Dean Morgan swander’s in as Harvey Russell, an agent from an agency that he chooses not to name, possibly because it’s new and super secret or another reason. He has a Texas twang to his voice and is dressed with a belt buckle with a cow on it and a pistol with a pearl handle, already you know that this is a cowboy in a government job. This is a case of you being able to tell when an actor is having immense fun in the role they’re in. He probably is the one that made me laugh the most.
There are some truly bizarre sights in the movie and you know they cost a lot of money and many hours to bring to life through the process of C.G.I. Texturing has become second nature in talking about it now, we can see all the wrinkles in the face and every hair, this time I noticed little specs of dirt in the fur too. What is the important element to focus on now is how it’s used. In the early scenes, you will be much more convinced of the gorillas being there when the other animals start getting bigger and bigger, less so. But they are meant to seem artificial because this movie is entirely artificial. What they do get right is inserting character into the creatures, most of it goes to George but the others are distinct enough as well.
This does not reach the heights of Pacific Rim, Kong: Skull Island or Big Trouble in Little China which had truly bonkers concepts but brought them to life with genuine skill and conviction. As a big, dumb blockbuster it has more going for it than others.