Extra Credit: Five Human-Animal Team-Ups to Stream After ‘Rampage’
In the weekly column Extra Credit, Charles Bramesco recommends supplemental viewing for moviegoers whose interests have been piqued by a given week’s big new release.
They say dog is man’s best friend, but Dwayne Johnson is no mere man. No, The Rock‘s best friend is ape — a gargantuan albino gorilla named George, to be specific. In this weekend’s new jumping-off-of-giant-stuff adventure Rampage, Johnson portrays a primatologist (just go with it) alarmed to learn that his beloved pal George has grown in size and spiraled into a rabid, destructive frenzy. The power of love snaps George out of it, and together Dr. The Rock and Mega-Ape must stop a wolf and crocodile who have also mutated and now want to eat America. As movies where giant animals duel other giant animals go, this one sounds even more sublimely silly than usual.
Rampage takes a popcorn-flavored approach to a cinematic tradition with a diverse body of precedents — the human-animal team-up. In the studio days of yore, to make a main character sympathetic, you either gave him a love interest, a little kid to look after, or a dog. The bond between human and beast is purer than any other, immune to the jealousy, pettiness and betrayal that mars so many dynamics between people. Below, peruse a sampling of films available to stream now that pair a human lead with a costar from the animal kingdom. Cry havoc and let slip the dogs (or horses, or donkeys, or rats) of war!