Did you guys see? The Rock has a new movie out. It’s called Rampage. It’s based on an mid-’80s arcade game—though you’d never know that—and, like most Dwayne Johnson movies, it involves The Rock wearing an impossibly tight T-shirt over his muscle-wall frame. Things blow up; the ones that don’t get smashed to pieces. Tactical gear figures prominently in it.
The short version of the plot: An evil corporation called Energyne, in order to avoid pesky regulations that would otherwise prevent them from doing their evil Energyne-y business, is doing gene-editing experiments in space aboard an orbiting space station. When a heavily modified rat goes berserk (I think), the space station blows up. One scientist escapes with canisters containing a pathogen that could edit genes (again, I think), and jumps in a pod headed for Earth. But the pod incinerates when it entered Earth’s atmosphere. Phew! Wait, no: The canisters miraculously make it to the surface, and are discovered by a wolf, a crocodile, and an albino silverback gorilla who happens to be a friend of the Rock’s. (His name is George.) Overnight, the animals all turn into alpha predators overnight.
But that’s just the incredibly confusing first 20-odd minutes! After that, the geneticist responsible for the CRISPR technology that fell from the sky—Kate, played by Moonlight’s Naomie Harris—shows up at the animal habitat where The Rock works. (He has a different name in the movie, which always seems pointless. His true name is always The Rock.) She is followed, in short order, by a government task force that wants answers. Meanwhile, the creepy, batshit brother-and-sister duo behind Energyne (Malin Akerman and Jake Lacy) is trying to beckon their failed science experiments home with a signal emitted from the top of the
Sears Willis Sears Willis Tower. They’re bent on recovering their research, even if it means half of Chicago dies in the process.
All caught up? Good. So, that’s what I was able to understand about Rampage. What follows is everything I didn’t. At least, not fully. These questions will contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the New Rock Movie and still want to be surprised, stop reading. Not that anything that happens in this film will be an actual surprise. (Also, these questions will not go into the wonderfully insane performance of Lacy, whose neurotic CFO Brett Wyden might be the best/worst thing he’s ever done—even better than when he played the guy who didn’t understand lesbians in Carol. I have no idea what he was going for in this movie, but man, he went there. James Spader might finally have an heir.) Anyway, here are the 14 questions I had while watching Rampage, which I actually thought was fun. Don’t @ me.
14 Unanswered Questions in the Movie Rampage
- Those canisters managed to survive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, but then just pop open when touched by average-sized mammals?
- This is a question for my colleagues on the science desk, but could an animal just inhale something that would alter their DNA?
- Also, if this stuff is just airborne, how did it only infect these three animals? Surely some nearby ants or hummingbirds got a whiff, right?
- Joe Manganiello was heavily featured in the trailer for this. Why does he only have, like, four lines?
- At one point, task force leader Harvey Russell (Jeffrey Dean Baker) says, “When science shits the bed, I’m the one they call to change the sheets.” I know that’s not a question. This is, though: can I use that line? And when would it be appropriate?
- Wait, no: when would it not be appropriate?
- Is it just me, or is Malin Akerman’s wig veeeeeeeery precariously placed?
- So the gene-editing pathogen also gives the infected animals some bat DNA so they have sonar. That makes sense. But then how does sending out radio waves call the animals to the source of the signal? Is that how echolocation works? Do bats go nuts every time Rush Limbaugh goes on-air?
- When The Rock gets shot, the bullet misses his vital organs. That’s great, but … why isn’t he bleeding more? Did he inhale something that edited his blood-clotting gene?
- When the plot gets going, the gorilla starts out bigger than the wolf; the science there checks out. But then how does the wolf wind up bigger than the gorilla?
- Crap, Malin Akerman is taking the wig very close to an in-use helicopter! Will it survive?
- Is there a direct water route from the Gulf of Mexico to Chicago? How did that crocodile swim there from the Louisiana bayou? Did it hitchhike? Is there some sort of scooter-rental infrastructure between the gulf states and the midwest?
- These animals seem mostly bent on destroying things, not necessarily on wiping out humanity. Why, then, does George eat Malin Akerman? Is it for fiber? And if so, couldn’t he have just eaten the wig?
- Wait, these animals aren’t bleeding, either. Did they get some of the Rock’s genes? Can I get some of the Rock’s genes?
- Am I taking this too seriously?