This latest blockbuster is more than just mindless action

Not every star is as adaptable as a chameleon when it comes to character acting, but do some actors actually enjoy being typecast in cinema?

film_3There are some actors that spend their entire career portraying the same types of characters over and over again. There’s perennial action hero Tom Cruise, the comic relief of Will Ferrell, the eccentric female in Helena Bonham Carter and the wise old man in Morgan Freeman. But is this pigeonholing a blessing or a burden?

For wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson – better known as The Rock – his life on screen is all about being the muscle-bound action star. But, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, this is something that the California-born star relishes.

“It’s awesome, man,” he said in a recent interview with Nerdist. “I still feel like I’m a big kid at heart.

“At the end of the day, I feel like we’ve got the best job in the world: We love what we do, we’re here in Hollywood. I never take it for granted.”

film_6It appears the 45-year-old has no problem with being portrayed as an all-out action star, as his recent outings in San Andreas, Baywatch and The Fate of the Furious have proved. So we shouldn’t be expecting too many surprises from him on screen anytime soon.

In his latest film, Rampage, Dwayne is taking on what has largely been a challenging genre for film: the video game adaptation – but he’s no stranger to these after appearing in Doom in 2005 and the recent Jumanji reboot, too.

This time, however, the video game in question requires quite a lot of adapting. The arcade game of the same name, released in 1986, was based around giant animals who had to overcome an onslaught of military attacks, so it’s fair to say the writers had to take a lot of liberties with the script.

film_4The film follows the story of primatologist Davis Okoye (Johnson) who tries to save the life of his best friend, an intelligent gorilla who, due to a genetic experiment gone wrong, transforms into a raging supersized beast, wreaking havoc on the city of Chicago and causing the military to take action to neutralise the threat.

While it seems that Dwayne would be attracted to the role as another chance to flex his biceps, instead it was something very different that inspired him to sign up for Rampage.

“I think there are layers to it. I’m an animal lover. I have a lot of dogs and horses up in Virginia, and I keep fish…. So the idea with the first part about it was what great relationship with an animal in my life that I could apply to it,” he said in an interview.

“Also amidst the calamity, amidst science going wrong in the wrong hands, it still comes down to this core relationship, and that’s one of the reasons that really attracted me to begin with, to the movie and to the script.

“Because the element and the anchor of the relationship between man and his best friend, and his best friend happens to be an albino gorilla, that was the final anchor that sealed the deal for me.”

Also starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman and Joe Manganiello

Directed by: Brad Peyton

Rating: PG15

Running time: 110 mins

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WORDS Colin Armstrong


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