[[quoteright:297:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/The_Rock_7214.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:297: "Welcome to The Rock!"]]

->''Call the Pentagon and the San Francisco office. It seems that Alcatraz has just reopened.''
-->-- '''FBI Director James Womack'''

1996 action movie directed by Creator/MichaelBay and starring Creator/NicolasCage, Creator/SeanConnery (playing an aging {{Expy}} of Film/JamesBond) and Creator/EdHarris.

''The Rock'' tells the story of USMC Brigadier-General Francis X. Hummel who, enraged at how his men have been treated by the country that they served, steals 15 rockets of [[DeadlyGas sarin nerve gas]] and holes up on Alcatraz Island (hence the title), threatening to kill most of San Francisco unless the government gives him a buttload of money to help out military widows and orphans.

The administration responds by sending in Stanley Goodspeed (Cage), a chemical warfare expert, and John Mason (Connery), a British secret agent turned Alcatraz fugitive turned full-time convict. Oh, and a [[UsefulNotes/NavySEALS SEAL]] team led by Michael Biehn, but they don't last long...

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!!Includes examples of:
* ActionDuo: Goodspeed and Mason.
* ActionInsuranceGag: During the chase sequence through San Francisco, Mason crashes the stolen Humvee into another car, and yells "I hope you're insured!" out the window at the driver.
* ActionSurvivor: Goodspeed starts like this before becoming a real ActionHero.
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler:General Hummel. His downfall and RedemptionEqualsDeath are treated sympathetically.]]
* TheAlcatraz: The original, naturally. ("The Rock" being its nickname among the prisoners).
* AntiVillain: Hummel ([[SlidingScaleOfAntiVillains Type III -> Type I, with some Type II thrown in]]). He just wants compensation for the families of dead soldiers, and though he is using extreme methods, he very much regrets his men killing the [=SEALs=], and in the end [[spoiler: he was bluffing the entire time. Pity his men weren't.]]
-->'''Hummel''': [[spoiler:I'm not about to kill 80,000 innocent people! Do you think I'm ''out of my fucking mind?'' We bluffed, they called it. The mission is over.]]
* ArtisticLicenseChemistry: The VX gas description is fairly accurate, save for looking green and melting your skin. It's still very lethal otherwise.
* AxCrazy: Frye and Darrow. Frye's eyes look like they're about to pop, and he's chomping at the bit to blow up San Francisco, constantly reminding Hummel of the time to launch the missiles. Darrow on the other hand is rather eager to cut up someone who is holding up a batch of very fragile VX gas capsules.
* BadassBookworm: Stanley Goodspeed. Also Mason, who presumably became one while in prison. At one point he laments that he'd have rather been a poet.
** [[HilariousInHindsight Funny story]], [[FindingForrester that...]]
* BadassGrandpa: John Mason, ex-SAS man and one of the few to escape the Rock.
* BigBad: Gen. Hummel the is the mastermind of the crisis, before [[DragonAscendant his underlings make it worse at the end]].
* BlastOut: When Hummel informs Captains Frye and Darrow plus Gunny Crisp that he plans to [[spoiler:abort the mission]], a Mexican standoff ensues, with Hummel's second-in-command Major Baxter being the only one not participating. When Frye tells him to pick a side, Baxter [[spoiler:opens up on the mutinous officers.]]
* BlatantLies: Goodspeed describing Mason's death. It's pretty obvious at least half of the people he's telling knows he's [=BSing=] them, but they couldn't do anything about it without proof.
* BondOneLiner: Uttered by, appropriately enough, SeanConnery after he throws a knife into a marine's throat (who watched the knife flying towards him while screaming).
--> "You must never hesitate."
* BoxedCrook: John Mason.
* BrickJoke: A morbidly hilarious one: Goodspeed is listening to the EltonJohn song "Rocket Man" early in the film with his girlfriend. This leads to his PreMortemOneLiner.
* CampGay: The hairstylist.
* CasualDangerDialogue: Goodspeed, when he's working:
--> '''Stanley''': I have some bad news, and some really bad news. The bad news is that the gas is corrosive and it's eating our suits. The really bad news is there is enough C-4 explosive and poison gas to blow the whole chamber and everyone in the building, detonation: 2 minutes.
** Note also his explanation of VX nerve gas to Mason while disarming the rocket.
--> '''Stanley''' (While he's handling the unstable VX capsules): It stops the brain from sending nerve messages down the spinal cord within 30 seconds. Any epidermal exposure or inhalation, and you'll know. A twinge at the small of your back as the poison seizes your nervous system. Your muscles freeze, you can't breathe... you spasm so hard you break your own back and spit your guts out. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking But that's after your skin melts off]].
* ChaseScene: The car chase scene utilizes just about every trope on that list.
* ChekhovsGun:
** The atropine and signal flares.
** The motion sensor one of the marines installs.
** Mason's "special operations gear": kerosene, washers and waterproof matches. The kerosene and matches he uses to set a marine on fire, and the washer is used to break out of an Alcatraz prison cell.
** The single sphere of VX-2.
* ClusterFBomb: The "There is no fucking money" scene.
* ConservationOfNinjitsu: After the [=SEALs=] are gunned down, it's up to Goodspeed and Mason to take down the Marines. Doesn't work out so well for the Marines.
* CoolCar: Ferrari chases Hummer.
* CrazyPrepared: Mason defines this.
* CrucifiedHeroShot - Several when Goodspeed uses the atropine and later deploys the green flares. He even "comes back from the dead" when Mason pulls him out of the water.
* CulturedBadass: [[AltumVidetur "Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes"]] and other quotes. Hummel seems more WickedCultured.
* CurbStompBattle: The battle between the [=SEALs=] and Hummel's forces.
* CurseCutShort: See KilledMidSentence.
* DeadpanSnarker: Mason and Goodspeed.
* DeadlyGas: And they have the decency of using [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VX_(nerve_agent) one that actually exists.]] However, VX is not glowing green, and it's not a blister agent. It's a nerve agent. So no, you don't die with [[PoisonIsCorrosive your face melting off and your clothes smoking.]] Instead, your nerves stop working, resulting in [[AndIMustScream paralysis.]] The rest is accurate, though.
* DeadlyDodging: The fist fight between Mason and a {{Mook}} near the end.
* DeathFakedForYou: [[spoiler:Mason in the end, by Goodspeed.]]
* {{Deconstruction}}: Mason is a pretty cool Film/JamesBond {{Expy}}, isn't he? He's got everything! Played by SeanConnery? Check. {{Badass}} DeadpanSnarker? Check. Prone to one-night stands? Check. Skilled at escaping death through creative means? Check. Left embittered and cynical after being secretly held as a political prisoner for years because the consequences of international espionage finally caught up with him? Uh...
** His sleeping around also ended up with him having a daughter... who hates his guts.
* DiesWideShut
* DieHardOnAnX: This movie could be described as ''Die Hard'' at Alcatraz.
* DiscoDan: Stanley when it comes to music. He prefers vinyl to [[CompactDisc CDs]].
* DisneyVillainDeath: Many of the evil Marines suffer this.
* TheDragon: David Morse's Major Baxter to Ed Harris' General Hummel. [[spoiler: He eventually follows Hummel in his HeelFaceTurn and gets killed along with him]].
** Darrow is also Captain Frye's Dragon.
* DramaticIrony: Some between Hummel and Mason during their first conversation. Hummel accuses Mason of not knowing what it's like to see your government betray the memory of their soldiers. Mason himself has spent half his life in prison (including Alcatraz) because the British disavowed him.
* ElitesAreMoreGlamorous: Marine Corps Force Recon faces off against the Navy [=SEALs=] and a former member of the British Special Air Service. [[AndZoidberg And Goodspeed.]] [[spoiler:ZigZagged--the Recon takes down the SEALS, but are killed by one SAS.]]
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: While Hummel is trying to convince the [=SEALs=] to stand down, Frye impatiently whispers "Let's waste these fuckers."
** Goodspeed using a toy gun on his Rube Goldberg device followed by coolly deactivating a bomb under extreme pressure—he's an eccentric badass.
** Mason mentioning Alcibiades, Sir Walter Raleigh and Solzhenitsyn shows he is a CulturedBadass.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Hummel never shows any regret for what he did, but in the end [[spoiler: he makes it clear it was all a bluff, and he's not about to launch neurotoxins on an unsuspecting city full of innocent people]].
* EveryCarIsAPinto: Mason crashes into a meter maid's vehicle during the car chase and it is still capable of making a fireball that brings down telephone lines. Also, the cable car that is wrecked later in the chase.
* {{Expy}}: John Mason, a character who is Film/JamesBond in all but name. Even shares his background and is played by Sean Connery.
* FallenHero: Hummel is a former USMC General.
* FlashedBadgeHijack: Stanley does it to hijack a Ferrari during the car chase. [[WatchThePaintJob Which gets destroyed,]] of course.
* FluffyFashionFeathers: Carly wearing a feather trimmed nightgown as she and Stanley are making love.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: In the shower room scene, Hummel is unwilling to shoot the [=SEALs=] [[spoiler: while in contrast Frye and Darrow are eager to do it and take enjoyment in doing so.]]
** Also, the love scene between Goodspeed and his girlfriend is to the sound of [[EltonJohn "Rocket Man"]], which he brings up for the PreMortemOneLiner below.
* ForeignCussWord: The Filipino chef cusses out SeanConnery as he barges through the hotel's kitchens.
* FourStarBadass: Hummel, just a One-Star Badass, but the medals and commendations read about him show that he's a legend in the military.
* GenreSavvy: Hummel threatens [[HostageForMacGuffin to kill a hostage in exchange for the guidance chips]] that Mason and Goodspeed stole. When Goodspeed looks [[MacGuffinDeliveryService as though he might actually give them back]], Mason snatches them and destroys the chips.
* GirlishPigtails: Carla put them on once, since it seems Stanley has a thing for them.
* GiveGeeksAChance: [=FBI=] lab geek Stanley Goodspeed's girlfriend, Carla, is played by model/actress Vanessa Marcil.
* GoMadFromTheIsolation: Notably averted. Though Mason has been in jail for over two decades following his escape, he seems perfectly sane and has no trouble carrying on a conversation (or a car chase for that matter) .
* [[spoiler:GoodAllAlong: Played With. While Hummel uses extremist methods to get revenge for all the lives that were lost under his command, he was never going to launch the rockets and kill innocent people. Sadly, his men don't think the same and attempt to kill him.]]
* GoodCopBadCop: An unusual example. Womack initially gets Paxton to offer the terms of the deal to Mason, and Paxton is aggressive and intimidating, an approach that has little effect upon him. In desperation, Womack urges Goodspeed to talk to him, and as Goodspeed has no interrogation experience he nervously adopts his usual friendly demeanour. Mason seems more amused than anything else.
* GrenadeHotPotato: The bad guy Marines pitch a grenade at Stanley Goodspeed, who grabs it and tosses it back at them. Later on, one of them does it to Mason, except he cooks the grenades so Mason can't do this.
* HeroStoleMyBike: Stanley
-->''Guy'': "''Hey, man, you just fucked up your Ferrari''!"
-->''Stanley'': "''It's not mine. Neither is this.''"
** Mason and the Humvee also qualify. When the vehicle's outraged owner calls the Humvee's phone, Mason responds "I'm only ''borrowing'' it".
* HistoricalInJoke: One of the Marines starts beating up Mason, calls him an "English prick". (The character's from [[UsefulNotes/{{Scotland}} Glasgow]], but ID'd himself as SAS earlier). He takes a few more pokes at Mason, then goes "[[TheIrishQuestion I tell you my old man was Irish?]]"
** The Joint Chiefs also reference Hummel's Vietnam-era missions into China, a long term ConspiracyTheory about the latter days of that war.
** Also, [[spoiler:what Goodspeed reads on the microfilm at the end. WhoShotJFK...?]]
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler: Frye and Darrow]], who were most eager to launch the missiles, are exposed to the lethal substance and launched on one of the rockets respectively.
* HonorBeforeReason: Stanley courageously continuing the mission to stop Hummel '''alone''' in spite of having virtually ''none'' of the combat abilities of Mason, who has just abandoned him.
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: Hummel didn't realize that Frye and Darrow were amoral mercenaries until it was too late.
* IcyBlueEyes: Hummel.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: [[spoiler: Darrow who falls on a sharp fence post after he has been propelled through the window by the rocket fired by Goodspeed.]].
* InsistentTerminology: It's ''stylist'', not barber.
* IronicEcho: "Welcome to the Rock."
* ItAlwaysRainsAtFunerals: Kind of. There's no funeral, but it's pouring when Hummel goes to visit his wife's grave, just prior to his theft of the nerve gas. He's more or less [[TearJerker apologizing]] to her for what he's going to do.
** Played straight with the Marine Honor Guard giving a volley of gunfire for...someone.
* JustPlaneWrong: The Air Force is sent to [[spoiler:bomb Alcatraz to neutralize the nerve gas]] but they're flying F/A-18 Hornets, which are exclusively Navy (and Marine) fighter/ground attack jets. The Air Force would've been flying F-15E Strike Eagles for this role.
** The cockpit mock-up was originally made for the F/A-18s in ''Film/IndependenceDay'' and then repainted for The Rock. The rest of the F/A-18 footage is mostly StockFootage that matches up with the set they used.
* KillItWithFire: [[spoiler: The Thermite Plasma, designed specifically to burn hot enough to render VX harmless]].
* KilledMidSentence: Random marine: ''"I said shut the fu--''" (Mason snaps his neck).
* KnightTemplar: Averted as Hummel, although a very sympathetic villain, [[spoiler: had never intended to launch the missiles]].
* LargeHam: Nic Cage (unsurprisingly), Gregory Sporleder, Ed Harris, and Tony Todd.
* LastStand: We hear the radio chatter of Hummel's Marines fighting one over the opening credits. Help doesn't arrive.
* MalevolentArchitecture: The way John Mason gets in[=/=]out of the cistern room (under the furnaces with belching fire and turning gears). Mason: "I memorized the timing. I just hope it hasn't been changed..."
* MeaningfulName: The etymology of Stanley Goodspeed's last name.
** Francis Hummel's surname. Hummel is the German term for [[spoiler:Bumblebee]], who are well-known to be by far less [[spoiler:aggressive and dangerous]] compared to other types of [[spoiler: bees or wasps]], despite being [[spoiler:[[BigBad quite big]].]]
** Mason, rock, get it?
* MinecartMadness
* MisplacedNamesPoster: According to the poster, [[SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou Nic Cage is about to shoot you]].
* MonsterSobStory: Hummel's reason for taking Alcatraz hostage is to force the government to pay back families of soldiers killed under his command.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong
-->'''Anderson:''' We all have shipmates we remember. Some were shit on and pissed on by the Pentagon, but that doesn't give you the right to mutiny!
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Hummel actually says this [[spoiler: before dying]]. The general didn't realize until it was too late that [[spoiler: some of his men were only in it for the money and not the cause. Oops.]]
* UsefulNotes/NavySeals: Several real SEALS were brought in to perform the underwater and infiltration scenes, and were given bit parts in the movie.
* NeckSnap: Done by Mason to save Goodspeed, after [[spoiler:Mason seemingly ditches him.]]
* NeverFoundTheBody: Of course they didn't. [[spoiler: Mason wasn't anywhere near the explosion that allegedly vaporized him. Goodspeed just reported that so that Mason could escape.]]
-->'''President:''' ''Vaporized?'' Bodies can ''do'' that?
* NeverHurtAnInnocent: [[spoiler:The general was bluffing. His men aren't.]]
* TheNineties: After Mason is released from prison, Goodspeed suggests that he get a haircut because he looks like a 20 year old {{Grunge}} musician from Seattle.
* NonLethalWarfare: The Recon Marines neutralize the naval arsenal without killing any guards, not wanting to kill fellow Marines. Of course they were still brutally effective without bullets. [[spoiler: The reinforcements brought to Alcatraz don't have any qualms like that.]]
** Justified because the reinforcements are mercenaries brought in to fill up the necessary manpower to occupy and defend Alcatraz than real Marines and supporters of Hummel.
* NotWhatISignedOnFor: [[spoiler:Hummel has no intention of actually going through with his threatened chemical attack if his demands aren't met. He finds out at the end that his associates feel differently. More specifically, they felt that there was no going back -- when his bluff is called, he folds but they decide to stay all in]].
* NotWithTheSafetyOnYouWont
-->'''Goodspeed''': You wanna play tough with me? Okay, FBI! Freeze sucker! I'll fire.
-->'''Mason''': No you won't.
-->'''Goodspeed''': Throw down.
-->'''Mason''': You're not the sort.
-->'''Goodspeed''': Let's find out.
-->'''Mason''': I could, you no. Besides your safety's on.
-->[Mason snatches the gun]
* NothingPersonal
-->'''Crisp''': Killing marines is one thing. Is this for real?
-->'''Frye''': Hey, it's just business.
* OperationGameOfDoom: Disarming the nerve gas rockets - the capsules are VERY fragile, one brush can mean one shattering and dropping.
* OrbitalShot: When Stanley works to disarm the bomb in his first scene.
** Stanley getting up from the wrecked Ferrari, after it looks like Mason got away.
* OutrunTheFireball: When the Marines fireflush the drains.
* TheParagonAlwaysRebels: Hummel.
* PetTheDog: Before the attack, Hummel tries to convince a school tour group to get back on the ferryboats to San Francisco.
* PoisonIsCorrosive: VX-2 is both a neurotoxin and ''powerful'' blister agent.
* PrecisionFStrike: Goodspeed, who rarely curses in the movie ("Cut me some ''friggin''' slack!") throws one out [[spoiler:as he force-feeds a deadly poison capsule to Captain Frye.]]
* PreMortemOneLiner
-->'''Goodspeed''': [handling VX gas] You know how this shit works?
-->'''Darrow''': [pulls his combat knife] You know how this shit works?
-->'''Goodspeed''': Listen, I think we got started off on the wrong foot. Stan Goodspeed, FBI. Uh--Let's talk music. Do you like the EltonJohn song, "Rocket Man"?
-->'''Darrow''': I don't like soft-ass shit.
-->'''Goodspeed''': Oh, you--oh, oh. Oh. Well, I only bring it up because, uh, it's you. You're the Rocket Man.
-->[Goodspeed fires a rocket at him]
-->'''Goodspeed''': [calling after him] [[BondOneLiner How do ya like how THAT shit works?]]
** Also, Goodspeed force-feeding a mook with a VX gas ball: "Eat that, you fuck!"
* PrisonRape: Not a problem these days. Mason must be losing his sex appeal.
** Alluded to figuratively in the Alcatraz shower room: "We are so fucked!"
** "Possible penetration point in the shower room."
* PsychoForHire: Captains Frye and Darrow, while members of Hummel's task force, slip into this trope [[spoiler: when they discover that Hummel is cancelling the ransom demand.]]
* QuoteToQuoteCombat: Mason to Hummel:
--> '''Hummel:''' "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." ThomasJefferson.\\
'''Mason:''' "Patriotism is a virtue of the vicious," according to Creator/OscarWilde.
---> ''[[IResembleThatRemark Then, Hummel clubs Mason.]]''
---> ''Mason:'' Thank you for proving my point.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Paxton.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler: Hummel and his former friend Baxter get killed by the ruthless Marines, once they decided to not fire the rockets on civilians.]].
* RedshirtArmy: The SEAL team. A real SEAL Team no less. Dennis Chalker and Harry Humphries were two of half a dozen SEALS who advised and performed some of the scenes in the film, with Snake actually landing a part. [[spoiler: They only really end up in this situation because they're outnumbered and pinned down in an inferior tactical situation...]]
* RightManInTheWrongPlace: Stanley Goodspeed.
* RousingSpeech: Mason sort of gives one to Goodspeed.
-->'''Goodspeed:''' I'll do my best.
-->'''Mason:''' Your ''best''? Losers are always whining about their best, winners go home and fuck the prom queen.
-->'''Goodspeed:''' Carla was the prom queen.
-->'''Mason''': Yeah?
-->'''Goodspeed''': *DramaticGunCock* Yeah.
* [[SacrificialLion Sacrificial Lions]]: [[spoiler: The [=SEAL=] team Mason and Goodspeed accompany to Alcatraz.]]
* SanFrancisco: See ChaseScene above. Nearly every landmark is menaced by a missile or raced by in a Ferrari. Nearly every San Francisco stereotype is present too.
* ScaryBlackMan: The knife-wielding Captain Darrow (played by Creator/TonyTodd which makes him more frightening).
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: [[ChangedMyMindKid But Mason comes back]].
-->"Last time I swam these waters, I was your age. So I'm fucked either way."
* SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou: TropeNamer.
* SemperFi: Although being the bad guys, the Marines (and a few possible ex-Rangers, and some mercenaries) take out a Navy SEAL team, albeit under the fact they had superior firepower and a much more elevated position.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Goodspeed and Mason.
* ShotToTheHeart: Stanley does the self-administered version to counter the effects of poison gas.
* SicklyGreenGlow: The VX in the missiles is depicted as green glass balls (whether the green is from the balls or the gas - [[TechnicolorScience which in real life is colorless]] - is unclear).
* SignatureStyle: Bay's usual [[DutchAngle Dutch Angles]] are in full effect, especially when the F/A-18s make their bombing run. His fondness for montage, slow motion and orbital shots is also obvious.
* SmugSnake: Womack, all the way, even when he's protesting that it's a "different bureau" than in Hoover's day.
* SociopathicSoldier: Frye and Darrow.
* StartOfDarkness: Hummel's men being refused evacuation after Desert Storm.
* TheStarscream: [[spoiler: Captain Frye who becomes the real BigBad after he and his accomplices killed Hummel and his longtime friend Baxter]].
* StressVomit: Stanley Goodspeed throws up when he's recruited to be part of the rescue mission, and told the full risks of going in.
* StuffBlowingUp: The Marines throw a couple bombs in the sewers to flush out any more intruders. One of the thermite plasma missiles is launched just before the abort order comes in.
* TelevisionGeography: [[spoiler:One of the nerve gas missiles is fired towards "a football game", apparently heading for the Oakland Coliseum. When the camera shows the missile seconds away from its target, the stadium shown is actually Candlestick Park in San Francisco.]]
** The car chase is all over the place geographically. For example, at one point, a police report says they are heading west on California Street....but in the very next shot, not only is it obvious that they are not on California Street, but they are also headed ''east'' towards Coit Tower.
** The FBI mobile command center is shown to be situated at a warehouse on Pier 39. In reality Pier 39 is a heavily developed shopping center and tourist trap in Fisherman's Wharf.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: Frye and Darrow.
* TitleDrop: Since the movie is named after a common nickname for Alcatraz, the term gets mentioned a few times.
* TookALevelInBadass: Goodspeed started as a mild mannered lab rat who never swore. He ends the film by [[spoiler:force-feeding the remaining merc VX gas, stabbing himself in the heart with the anti-VX agent, and manages to gather enough strength to avert the firebombing of Alcatraz.]]
* TragicVillain: Hummel's not even a real villain, he's just seeking reparations for the men betrayed by their government after trying every official channel.
* TranquillizerDart: In the opening scene, the mercenaries use tranq darts on the soldiers guarding the chemical weapons depot. All of them fall unconscious immediately.
* TrappedInContainment: First to showcase the nasty effects of VX on a poor rebel, and the second that introduces us to Goodspeed's skills.
* UnbuiltTrope: This is the movie that established Creator/MichaelBay as a major power in Hollywood, and (though his second movie overall) his first large-scale military thriller. It also comes off as a {{deconstruction}} of almost everything that his films are famous for: the main antagonists are [[WesternTerrorists American terrorists]] [[WellIntentionedExtremist with a largely sympathetic cause]] (with the movie making it clear that the secret-obsessed {{Corrupt Bureaucrat}}s who motivated them are the true villains), [[AmericaSavesTheDay a lone British SAS officer ends up saving the day after a platoon of American SEALs are all gunned down]], and the movie spends almost as much of its running time criticizing America's treatment of its soldiers as it does on flashy action scenes.
* UncomfortableElevatorMoment: Possibly the king of all examples, given that one person on there has just beaten a bunch of people senseless and escaped from prison. The other? "[[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial I certainly didn't see you throw that man off the roof.]] All I need to know is ''Did you like your haircut?''"
* {{Unperson}}: Mason. Even Goodspeed's FBI buddy has a hard time locating him in the Bureau of Prisons database. [[spoiler:At the end of the movie John Mason effectively fakes his own death, putting him beyond the reach of just about everybody.]]
* VomitIndiscretionShot: Stanley runs to a sink and pukes after being told he was to be part of the mission.
-->"My stomach's doing hula hoops around my ass."
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Hummel, driven to extremes to get compensation for the families of soldiers killed on secret missions. By virtue of his rank and the gravity of the threat posed by his scheme to San Francisco [[spoiler:(even if he didn't mean to carry it out, his men certainly did)]], Hummel is also arguably a [[GeneralRipper Ripper]]. Even his opponents admit that if they've alienated a great man like Hummel, they've done something wrong.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Hummel was driven to madness by his government's betrayal [[spoiler: although he was bluffing all along and didn't mean to kill anyone.]]
* WesternTerrorists: All-American heroes, no less.
* WhoShotJFK: Mason is in jail because he stole microfilm containing, among other secrets, the answer to this question. Which is strange, since he stole it in ''1962''.
* WouldntHurtAChild: Before taking the tourists and tour guide hostage, Hummel asks a group of elementary students to inform their class to evacuate Alcatraz. [[spoiler: This was also seen when a rocket meant for San Francisco was destroyed mid-way without hitting its target through it’s unclear if he had a [[HeelFaceTurn change of heart]], considering children would’ve been among the killed]].
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Mason [[DefiedTrope refused to give back the microfilm]] because [[GenreSavvy he knew]] the government would "suicide" him.
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