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Film / Rampage (2018)

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"Hell of a day, huh? Science experiments fallin' from the sky."
Agent Russell

Rampage is a 2018 Science Fiction Giant monster Action movie directed by Brad Peyton (of San Andreas fame), produced by New Line Cinema, distributed by Warner Bros., and adapted from the video game series of the same name.

The plot concerns Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), a primatologist and the head of a Rwanda-based anti-poaching unit noted for his close companionship with George, an albino silverback gorilla he raised from a young age. One night a strange device falls from the sky into George's enclosure, and by the next day the gorilla begins experiencing drastic increases in both size and aggression. Agent Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a member of a nebulous government agency, arrives and takes George into custody, but the now-giant ape crashes the transport jet, as concurrently a grey wolf dubbed Ralph from an animal preserve and an American crocodile dubbed Lizzie from the Everglades undergo similar mutations and the three beasts embark on a cross-country rampage. Okoye teams up with rogue geneticist Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) to find a cure to the mysterious mutagen, not only to end the three monsters' rampage but to save George from being killed by the military.


Plans for a film adaptation of the video-game series began in 2009, following Warner Bros' purchase of Midway Games's franchises. In 2011, New Line Cinema announced they would be developing the movie with John Rickard to direct, although he eventually left when the film became stuck in Development Hell. In 2015, Dwayne Johnson signed on as the film's lead and Brad Peyton was attached as both the director and a producer.

Not to be confused with the other works called Rampage.


Of course Rampage has examples of tropes:

  • A Boy and His X: In this case, a man and his giant albino gorilla. The emotional core of the movie is the strong friendship between Davis and George.
  • Actor Allusion: Possibly in the case of Agent Russel, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. When he enters the scene, he is whistling, much he does as Negan in The Walking Dead. Near the end of the scene, he also says "he is deeply sorry", which he also said during his first appearance in the same show. He also swears frequently, something Negan is well known for doing.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: George has gone from being a brown gorilla to an albino one, partly to differentiate him from King Kong (who just had his own film come out the year before) and partly so that any wounds he receives will be more visible, emphasizing his relative vulnerability and making us worry that he might not survive the movie. Curiously enough, while he has a more exotic color, the other monsters are given more realistic colors with Ralph going from blue to brown and Lizzie going from vibrant green to a duller shade of green; wounds they receive are less noticeable, therefore, making the more villainous monsters seem invulnerable.
  • Adaptation Name Change: The evil Mega-Corp behind the three monsters is named ScumLabs in the games. Here, it’s called Energyne for obvious reasons.
  • Adaptation Species Change:
    • Rather than being humans mutated by random mutagenic materials or by Scumlabs, George, Ralph, and Lizzie are a gorilla, wolf, and crocodile mutated by a rogue genetic experiment.
    • The film changes Lizzie from a Not Zilla to a giant crocodile.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • In the original game, the military could defeat the monsters, albeit with a lot of shots usually from jets and giant robots, with the infantry and lighter vehicles being little more than an extra thing to smash. In this movie, nothing the military does can do the monsters lasting damage thanks to their durability combined with regeneration.
    • Lizzie is the most dangerous and biggest of the three monsters while they were all roughly equal in strength in the games. In addition, Lizzie can get her health damaged by bombs in the games, as while in the movie nothing Davis throws at Lizzie works to take her down.
  • Adaptational Heroism: George. In the games he was perfectly willing to destroy cities and eat civilians just for fun, here, however, his aggression and destructive nature is simply a result of his mutation that he can’t control, and when he gets back to normal he fights against the other monsters to save the city.
  • Adaptational Nonsapience: Besides being changed to standard mutated animals, the monsters have been changed to look less anthropomorphic:
    • George is fully bipedal in the games, but here he knuckle-walks like a regular gorilla.
    • Ralph is a giant werewolf in the games, so naturally he stomps around on his hind legs like a human. Since he's a mutated wolf in this film, he's on all fours.
    • Lizzie is quadrupedal as a regular crocodile, while in the games, she walked on hind legs. This change might have been made to ensure Lizzie doesn't parody Godzilla as much as the games did.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: Ralph in this film has patagium that helps him glide like a flying squirrel and grow launchable quills, which he couldn't do in the games.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The woman in the red dress in the game is just a helpless victim. Claire Wyden, her counterpart in the film is the Big Bad.
    • Ralph and Lizzie also get this too, in a meta sense. In their original versions, they were Villain Protagonists whose destructive acts were encouraged by the game. The movie's versions of them, on the other hand, drop the "protagonist" aspect altogether and turns them into straight-up villains. Their personalities haven't changed, but they're portrayed much less sympathetically in the movie.
  • Affectionate Nickname: How Ralph got his name: footage of him went viral and the internet promptly named him.
  • Africa Is a Country: Invoked by Connor, an idiot, when he wonders aloud whether Blood Diamond is set in the same region of Africa as Uganda (it isn't; Blood Diamond is set in Sierra Leone, which is practically on the other side of the continent from Uganda) but insists that it's all "Mother Africa".
  • A Lizard Named "Liz": The reptilian mutant is named "Lizzie", although this is never stated onscreen. Also, it becomes rather unfitting as she isn't exactly a lizard in this version. Then again, by the end of it she isn't exactly a crocodile either...
  • Albinos Are Freaks: It's stressed that albino gorillas like George are extremely rare. George is also portrayed as an unusually smart and large gorilla even before he becomes mutated.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: CRISPR is a real-life gene splicing technique, even if Hollywood Science enhances its powers and the opening crawl regarding it is slightly inaccurate, as duly noted by two experts in that who reviewed the movie.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: At first, everyone thought George and Ralph were bad news. Then Lizzie shows up.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Played with. There's some discussion about how George and Ralph are overriding their instincts to work together while the pair are on their way to Chicago. George, even before the pathogen, seemed to be the most intelligent of the San Diego gorillas.
  • Animal Nemesis: Though it should be noted that Okoye likes animals and is trying to save at least George from the military.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: Claire keeping a lone pet rat is either this or Bad People Abuse Animals, as rats are hypersocial and need companions of their own kind.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Mutagen or not, the three creatures couldn't simply have gotten so big unless they consumed a lot of additional mass (this is only slightly mentioned, as Ralph cannibalizes his fellow wolves and a whole squad of hunters, Lizzie attacks a few boats, and George is shown crying in hunger). Also, while their size is a little more plausible than skyscraper-high kaiju, they are still way too big to support their weight while retaining their original build (they'd have to have much thicker limbs and stockier bodies.)
    • George and Lizzie indeed do have much thicker, more pillar-like limbs to be more able to support their weight, as well as George being quadrupedal to support his weight. Ralph on the other hand, has the skinny build and agility of a normal-sized wolf, even though he is now a hundred times bigger and should display the same lumbering weight that George and Lizzie do.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Lizzie originated from the Everglades in Florida. Since there are no bodies of water connecting the Everglades to Chicago, Illinois and Lizzie went undetected by humans until her arrival, a fan theory arose that Lizzie burrowed underground.
  • Artistic License – Military: Somehow they manage to shove a MOAB into a B-2 Spirit bomber when the actual MOAB is so large it can only be dropped from a C-130 Hercules transport by shoving it out the back hatch. They also overstate it's firepower quite substantially. While the MOAB is large, it creates the equivalent of 11 tons of TNT in explosive force, that is not nearly enough to level most of the city, as described in the movie.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Ralph glides, despite being weighing several tons.
  • Ascended to Carnivorism: George, as a gorilla, was presumably herbivorous before getting exposed to the mutagen. As a giant, he starts eating people, which is how he gets the antidote before the climax.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: While hunting for Ralph, Burke's team encounters a bunch of fleeing deer. One mercenary asks, "What do you think scared them?" before Ralph runs up, grabs him with his jaws and slices him in half. Did he just forget immediately they were going after a giant wolf?
  • Asshole Victim: Claire ends up becoming this, as she is swallowed whole by a pathogen-infected George... while holding the cure that restores his sanity.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Lizzie's armoured hide makes her impervious to nearly anything thrown at her, however she has a distinct weakness in her gills which Okoye takes advantage of by throwing a grenade belt into one. She also has another weakness, her eyes.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Three of 'em.
  • Bad Boss: Claire's Establishing Character Moment, before we even lay eyes on her, she's on the comm refusing to let the sole surviving astronaut on her company's space station (which is in the process of blowing up) evacuate unless she rescues the research material.
    Claire: Let me be clear. Either you come home with my research or you don't come home at all.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: A variation. When Claire worriedly wonders why Kate put the antidote in the former's purse, the latter responds she's "feeding the monster to the gorilla."
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Russell helps Davis and Caldwell escape the US Air Force base by giving them the keys to a Medivac chopper because Davis pulled him out of the plane saving him from an angry, rampaging George.
  • Behemoth Battle: Once the radio signal that brought the beasts to Chicago is shut off, Okoye convinces George to aid in the fight against the other two monsters.
  • Berserk Button: Due to his experience as a baby, George gets extremely aggressive when guns are pointed his way.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: One of the mutations Lizzie gets is a spiked club on the end of her tail.
  • Big Bad: Claire Wyden (played by Malin Åkerman) is the person behind the experiment that transforms George, Ralph, and Lizzie into monsters. After she's killed by George, Lizzie becomes the Final Boss for the climax.
  • Big Damn Heroes: George as he kills Lizzie by impaling her in the eye with the same rebar that she threw him into that went through his chest.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's character, Davis Okoye, signs his name as "Rock." Also an Actor Allusion.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Mostly averted, though played straight when Lizzie chomps off Ralph's head and swallows it whole. There (thankfully for the shocked audience) isn't a geyser of blood spurting from Ralph's neck.
  • Canon Character All Along: Claire Wyden turns out to be the woman in the red dress.
  • Canon Foreigner: Davis Okoye and the rest of the human characters were created specifically for the film.
  • Casting Gag: Joe Manganiello, who has the role of Burke, the leader of the mercenaries sent to hunt Ralph (originally a werewolf-type monster in the arcade/video games), was a werewolf in the series True Blood.
  • Character Tics: Despite his disinterest in people or romance, Davis is very particular about unseemly behavior in front of ladies, whether they're gorillas or humans.
  • Composite Character: George being albino and predominantly white gives him a similar appearance as Harry the Yeti from Rampage: Total Destruction. Similarly, Lizzie being changed to a crocodile means that her gender and name was combined with Crock, a crocodile monster from the same game.
  • Conveniently Empty Building: Downplayed; the military is only convinced that they need to evacuate Chicago once their attempt to stop George and Ralph outside town fails. Thus, while most of the buildings are empty, there are plenty of people who still need to be evacuated.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Claire and Brett indulge in illegal genetic research, intentionally lure the giant animals to Chicago (putting countless lives in danger in the process) just for a chance to recover samples from them after the military saves them the trouble of killing the animals, set up Kate as the fall guy for their own deeds, and later take her prisoner at gunpoint (trying to kill Davis in the process) in order to ensure their research can continue.
  • Creator Cameo: Brian Colin, who designed the original game, appears running from George.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Naturally any attempts by the humans to stop the monsters. Once the monsters turn on each other, Lizzie swiftly kills Ralph with little effort on her part. George fares only slightly better, considering he has to be repeatedly saved by Okoye.
  • Curse Cut Short: "Mess with him, mess with me, you mother*BOOM*"
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Energyne has developed genetic editing to such a point where they can edit every single cell in a grown organism and implant them with highly complex new functions. Curing any kind of cancer, any and all chronic virus infections, any and all genetic diseases and repairing most types of organ failure would be MUCH easier with this tech than creating these kinds of composite monsters. Immortality treatments and super doping would be harder, but still easy compared to transferring complex traits between species. One really has to wonder what caused Claire and Brett to go into the monster making business, when following Kate's line of research could likely have made them the richest individuals to have ever existed. And probably immortal at that.
  • Darker and Edgier: The original games can best be described as campy, tongue-in-cheek parodies of kaiju movies. This film serves as a more straightforward kaiju flick that takes the idea of giant mutated animals much more seriously, although the end result is still pretty fun and goofy.
  • Dead Star Walking: Joe Manganiello plays a badass mercenary... who is quickly dispatched by Ralph.
  • Death by Adaptation: Ralph and Lizzie are both alive and well in original games, but died in here.
  • Death by Looking Up: As George leaps at Lizzie with a rebar spear, she looks up just in time to get it right through the eye.
  • Defiant to the End: The moment Burke knows he's perfectly screwed because Ralph has killed all of his men and he feels a *Drool* Hello falling on his shoulder, he tightens his grip on his assault rifle and gets ready to turn around and shoot even as he's being eaten. Ralph is much faster on the draw, on in his case bite.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Between Kate and Claire in the climax.
  • Destroy the Product Placement: George tears off a chunk of a Dave & Buster's so he can throw it at U.S. soldiers shooting at him.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Throughout the majority of the movie, everyone (including the villains) thought that the only other creature affected by the pathogen alongside George was Ralph, with only the audience knowing better. As such, the appearance of Lizzie during the climax took everyone by surprise.
    Okoye: Well that sucks.
  • Didn't Think This Through: George attempts to deliver a punch on Lizzie's face, which is a very unwise attack move that backfires because Lizzie captures his arm with her jaws in time, nearly biting it off and leaving George with painful bite marks making him slow down allowing Lizzie to bite him on the legs as well and start flailing him around.
  • Dire Beast: The three monsters pretty much qualify, being bigger, nastier-looking versions of normal animals.
  • Disney Death: George seems to have died from his wounds after his fight with Lizzie... only to flip Davis off to show he's alive.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Colonel Blake. He's a "shoot first, ask questions later" colonel who puts the lives of many Chicago civilians at risk by ordering firepower upon the monsters even though Chicago has not yet been evacuated, making the monsters proceed to attack and cause even more destruction.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Davis takes great issue with George's twisted sense of humor, which includes pretending to be a Killer Gorilla to scare the shit out of a new employee at the Wildlife Sanctuary, repeatedly Flipping the Bird, and pretending he was killed in battle just to see Davis cry.
  • Easily Forgiven: The military and Davis are quick to work with George after the stuff that's putting him in a constant state of angry, hungry rage - even after he's killed several soldiers and civilians who had nothing to do with Energyne's plot.
  • Eaten Alive: As expected, quite a few people are devoured by the beasts. In Claire's case, to ensure George gets the antidote that will stop his rage.
  • Escaped Animal Rampage: George at the zoo goes berserk due to the mutagen giving him uncontrollable rage and rapid growth, sending zoo-goers panicking and running.
  • Expy: Kate Caldwell could be one for Dr. Elizabeth "Betty" Veronica from the games.
  • Eye Scream: George stabs Lizzie in the eye.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Brett, whether due to cowardice or cautiousness or any other reason, absolutely refuses to let Claire “liquidate” Kate for the longest time, and only succumbed to his sister’s insistence on her plan of driving George berserk in order to crash the plane he was on (and kill Davis, Kate, and Russell in the process) when Brett became afraid that there was now a real risk of him going to jail himself.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: The film actually packs a lot of surprisingly gory moments involving humans killed by monsters, with severed body parts and even a bisected torso being shown mostly onscreen.
  • Final Girl: Subverted with the final astronaut in the Action Prologue, Dr. Kerry Adkins, who seems to be the Hero of Another Story, but it's a story that doesn't end well for her.
  • Find the Cure!: Davis Okoye's goal is to find a cure for George's mutation, not only to end the monstrous ape's rampage but to save his friend.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Davis prefers animals to people after many bad experiences with poachers. But by the end of the movie, he has begun to consider Russell and Caldwell his friends.
  • Flipping the Bird: George does it, and it's only his second most offensive hand gesture.
  • The Foreign Subtitle: In Japan it's Rampage: Kyoju Dairantou (Giant Beast Melee). It's pretty clear where they're going marketing-wise. The one from Brazil, adequately, translates to Total Destruction, the last video game in the series.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • We see only a glimpse of Ralph flying during Burke's hunt for him before this ability is fully revealed. At first glance, it would appear as if Ralph was simply in a weird pose as he leapt.
    • Fans of the original arcade and video game are tipped off to what will happen to Claire when she wears the red dress.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • CRISPR is the gene editing tech that made Project Rampage possible. The acronym is not stated in the film.note 
    • OGA on the other hand, as observed by Davis, stands for "Other Government Agency" as a way to avoid identifying themselves and to use and abuse their authority because no one knows to whom they answer.
  • Genre Shift: Though both are quite ridiculous, the film is an over the top action flick, while the games were cartoonier, with abundant slapstick and big helpings of Black Comedy.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: George, Ralph, and Lizzie are mutated into kaiju by a genetic editing mutagen created by Claire Wyden.
  • Genius Bruiser: Davis. He's clearly an extremely knowledgeable primatologist with a ton of practical skills
  • Gentle Gorilla: George prior to his mutation. He returns to this (but as a literal Gentle Giant this time) after he eats the cure to the Unstoppable Rage.
  • Giant Equals Invincible: Zigzagged. While the monsters do repeatedly shrug off every weapon that the humans use against them, they're not actually immune to damage from those weapons. One of the abilities they gain from the mutagen is a Healing Factor that gets progressively stronger as they continuously grow bigger. By the time they reach kaiju size in the climax, their injuries are healing within seconds, allowing them to effectively No-Sell anything short of a MOAB (or each other).
  • Giant Flyer: Ralph's mutations have given him flying squirrel style skin membranes.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: You know, Claire and Brett's plan to bait the monsters to the city might have worked if not for the giant croc they didn't realize was coming. The military was all prepped up to take on Ralph, and Davis is doing everything he can to help George, who's been growing at a lesser rate than Ralph, but nothing is ready for Lizzie.
  • Goodness Equals Beauty: Not exactly beauty, but George is far less monstrous in appearance than Ralph or Lizzie. Ralph has spines and skinflap wings; Lizzie is covered in spikes and tusks and fangs; George is just bigger.
  • Green Gators: Lizzy, depicted as a gigantic mutated American crocodile instead of a Not Zilla, has murky green skin, as opposed to Ralph's grey fur and George's albinistic white fur and pink skin.
  • Grenade Launcher: Okoye takes a grenade launcher, along with a belt of grenades, from an abandoned military Humvee to use against Liz.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: A mercenary on Burke's team (the first one to die) gets bitten into two pieces by Ralph on-screen.
  • Harmless Villain: Brett Wyden is simply incompetent at anything he does, and it's pretty clear from the first scene that his sister Claire is the real brain and brawn behind all their evil schemes. He panics a lot when things don't go his way, doesn't have the courage to pull the trigger once he and Claire have Okoye and Kate at gunpoint, and immediately bails on his sister when the situation gets too hot to handle. Doesn't quite save him from the Karmic Death, though.
  • Hate Sink: Claire Wyden can be this for being manipulative, cruel and cold-hearted. It's bad enough she sets up the monsters so the military will kill them and enable her to dissect the animals' corpses. But it's worse once you learn she fired Caldwell when the latter suspected her research to help cure her ailing brother was being exploited as a weapon. Not to mention she fibs to the FBI that Caldwell is a criminal who stole her company's secrets. And then later, she twists the knife by sarcastically telling Caldwell she's "sorry" about her brother's death. To top off her deplorable deeds, she shoots Okoye in cold blood without batting an eyelash. note 
  • Healing Factor: All of the animals get them when mutated, and survive multiple artillery attacks. The "chill pill" does not cancel this out. There are still injuries that will unequivocally kill them. The rebar on which George was impaled missed his spine and his heart, so the moment the battle was over he began to heal.
  • Hellish Copter: A few choppers are taken down by Ralph jumping at them. The one at Energyne only has its rotor ripped off... but then Davis decides to do a "crash landing" of sorts riding the falling building.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The radio signal Claire transmits. She confidently says it will draw them to her and the animals will do anything to make it stop. The sound department plays a variation on it so the audience gets an idea of how annoying and maddening the sound is.
  • He's Dead, Jim: George pulls a Dying as Yourself after the battle, his massive hand falling to the ground. But he was faking and laughs when Davis grieves.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard:
    • Claire gets eaten by George while Brett gets crushed by falling debris caused by the monsters.
    • Davis is the one who taught George sign language, including the lewd and offensive gestures he makes that embarrass Davis in front of Caldwell.
      Davis: I never should have taught you that.
  • Hope Spot: The sole-surviving astronaut in the opening scene barely manages to escape the mutated lab rat and collect the research cannister her boss forced her to obtain in order for her to be allowed access to the escape pod. Shortly after, the escape pod blows up.
  • Immune to Bullets: Subverted, just like in the games. Normal infantry guns, tanks, APCs and explosives fail to do more than scratch damage to the monsters. Though during the Chicago destruction George and Ralph do dive for cover when an A-10 Thunderbolt II opens up with its primary weapon.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: George is pushed towards a huge rebar from a wrecked building. And later uses that same rebar to impale Lizzie in the head.
  • Incoming Ham: Jake Lacy's Brett Wylden is introduced by spouting Angrish while destroying a model spaceship. And then there's Agent Russell, who arguably counts whenever he enters the scene.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Brett Wyden, who spends the entirety of the movie in a perpetual state of Oh, Crap!. He is far less willing to cross moral boundaries than his sister (whether out of standards or pragmatism) and is in general more interested in saving his own bacon than salvaging Project Rampage.
  • Internal Homage:
    • There is a Rampage arcade game in the Wydens' office. Given that their project is called Project Rampage, there's a good chance that, in-universe, they might have taken the name for it from the game, or perhaps it was simply an Easter egg and not meant to serve any in-universe purpose.
    • Claire's death homages the title screen from the original arcade game, with George grabbing and eating a woman in a red dress.
    • The giant rat in the Action Prologue, as well as Claire's pet rat, could both be taken as references to the giant rat character Larry, from the Atari Lynx version of the original game, and possibly also Curtis, another rat character from Rampage 2.
  • Ironic Echo: As the film begins, Davis works to convince George to welcome Pavo, another gorilla, into his troop. At the end of the film, George gets Davis to admit that Kate is his friend... One of his troop.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Agent Russell, the government agent who's initially presented to be a Smug Snake who is condescending to Okoye and Kate, but after a near-death experience with a rampaging George where Okoye saves him from death, Russell starts warming up to them, and he eventually turns out to be the sole helpful human ally Okoye and Kate have in the climax. It's notable that even before Okoye saves his life, he gives a sincere apology for the situation he is in, and it seems he was telling the truth about being an animal lover given that he saves Claire's pet rat as well.
  • Just Desserts:
    • Claire Wyden is eaten by George.
    • Burke and his team of mercenaries all get eaten or torn apart by Ralph. Ralph's actions were entirely self-defense, they were planning to kill him with gunfire and bring in his corpse for research.
  • Kaiju: George, Ralph, and Lizzie are ordinary animals mutated by a mutagen into colossal rampaging beasts. Granted they aren't quite as big as most examples, being more in the 10-20 meter tall range.
  • Karmic Death:
    • Claire Wyden financed the research that led to the monsters, specifically asking for bellic applications instead of health ones; adequately, she ends up eaten by George.
    • Implied to be the fate of the poachers who killed George's mother, as Davis explains he shot them in retaliation and, unlike the poachers, he didn't miss.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Before she's even introduced proper, Claire commits a Kick the Dog moment when she refuses to let the sole surviving astronaut aboard the doomed space station board the escape pod until she recovers the genetic samples, which eventually leads to her death and the entire plot happening.
    • Claire tells Caldwell she's "sorry" the latter's brother died, knowing full well he might still be alive today if she hadn't fired Caldwell and set her up to go to prison for trying to protect her research from being weaponized.
  • Killer Gorilla: Despite being initially a very tame ape, George becomes both very large and very aggressive thanks to the mutagen. Subverted, in that it's due to Energyne being a Psycho Serum; after being dosed with a cure, George returns to being tame despite still being enormous.
  • "King Kong" Climb: George, Ralph and Lizzie climb up a skyscraper which makes up most of the gameplay in the video games this movie is based on. Lizzie herself makes the skyscraper break in half and tumble down.
  • King Kong Copy: George is a giant gorilla. The film turns him into an albino so that, among other reasons, he doesn't look exactly like Kong.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: Surprisingly, the three monsters fulfill this with George the gorilla being land, Lizzie the gator being sea, and Ralph the winged wolf being sky.
  • Large Ham: Russell, a Smug Man in Black with a Southern accent. Every single line of his gives an opportunity for Jeffrey Dean Morgan to go over-the-top, and he never wastes it.
  • LEGO Genetics: What the Energyne pathogen does to the monsters, by almost randomly adding to them the genes from other animals that add features such as growth rate, strength, agility and accelerated healing.
  • Last of His Kind: Played with. While George is not the only gorilla in the movie or the world, he is a blue-eyed albino, making him rare. In addition, he's the sole survivor of his troop after poachers attacked.
  • Literal Metaphor: The antidote, nicknamed the "chill pill," works on several levels:
    • It cures subjects afflicted with the mutagen of the heightened aggression side-effect, meaning it's a drug that literally calms them down.
    • It's stored in a vat of liquid nitrogen, so it's literally chilled.
    • It's administered orally, like an actual pill, as Claire would later discover.
  • Mauve Shirt:
    • The female astronaut in the opening. Thought she'd survive? No.
    • The mercenary group that Wyden tasked with recovering Ralph. They all have quite a bit of personality and it seems like they will play larger roles in the film. Their main reason to exist is to show that even fully prepared mercenaries with an order to kill don't stand up against Ralph.
  • Mighty Roar: During the attack on Chicago, Ralph perches on a bridge and utters a monstrously deep howl. He roars at a golden retriever who kept barking at him, scaring off the dog. Also, when Lizzie makes her debut, she climbs onto shore, shakes the water off herself, and lets out a 10-second bellow.
  • Militaries Are Useless: Led by an arrogant, pompous colonel who believes in "Shoot first, ask questions later", the military does even more damage than good by shooting and attacking the monsters because it only makes them angry and retaliate, thus causing more destruction than had they been left alone. The military's conventional weapons (firearms, tanks, missiles and rockets) all have no effect on the animals.
  • Miracle-Gro Monster:
    • George is an albino gorilla mutated to gigantic proportions.
    • Rather than a werewolf-like monster, Ralph is a gigantic wolf with porcupine-like quills and gliding membranes.
    • Then there's Lizzie, a crocodile who grows even bigger than both while also getting Spikes of Villainy and gills.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Ralph is a wolf with bat ears, porcupine quills and flying squirrel membranes, while Lizzie is a crocodile with boar tusks, fish gills and gecko toes, as well as pangolin-like armor and a spiked tail club. George is the odd one out, as he's basically just an albino King Kong. Technically speaking though, due to the genetic editing, this trope applies to all three, since they're also imbued with the indeterminate growth of a great white shark, the growth rate of a blue whale, the strength of a rhinoceros beetle, the speed of a cheetah, the tissue regeneration of an African spiny mouse...
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: Ralph's first meal after his transformation includes the other wolves from his pack.
  • Monumental Damage:
    • The Chicago Loop is ravaged, most notably the Willis Tower as its antenna is being used to lure the beasts.
    • Before then, Ralph was hunting tourists visiting Mt. Rushmore.
  • More Deadly Than the Male:
    • Lizzie appears to be much bigger and imposing than either Ralph or George. It's given a nod that her mutation is stronger; Lizzie ate her container. George was sprayed by a container after agitating it, and Ralph was easily scared off after inhaling a small amount of the gas that was leaking out.
    • Between siblings Brett and Claire, Claire is definitely the worse of the pair, since Brett at least had some lines he was unwilling to cross, at least at first.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Trailers show Lizzie to have teeth around her throat in addition to the large tusks she has.
  • Mythology Gag
    • In a strange case of Breaking the Fourth Wall, the Big Bad has a Rampage arcade machine in her office.
    • When George eats Claire, she's wearing a bright red dress which is similar to the one the woman in the Rampage game wears that's worth more than other humans that are eaten. Rather appropriate, George is always the one seen holding her on the boxart.
    • The giant rat seen in the beginning of the movie calls back to Larry, the fourth monster added in the Atari Lynx version of the original game, as well as Curtis, a giant rat featured in Rampage 2: Universal Tour.
    • The monsters collectively succeed in toppling down one large skyscraper in the trailers, much like they would in the video games. It was only because this was the Energyne building transmitting the radio signal that brought them all there in the first place, after they get up from the debris they immediately turn on each other.
    • The monsters turning on each other is a gameplay factor in all the Rampage games — you can either team up, or just kick the shit out of the next player.
    • Energyne is essentially ScumLabs in all but name — bizarre genetic experiments whose leakage results in rampaging monsters, CEOs who are either black holes of evil or idiotic manchildren, and being the target of the monsters' wrath.
    • You can catch a glimpse of George grabbing people out of buildings he's climbing and devouring them, just like in the games.
    • Ralph's ability to glide with flying squirrel-like wings might be a reference to how the monsters in the games were capable of gliding by flapping their arms.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The woman in the red dress is named Claire Wyden.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Lizzie is a crocodile mutated into a gigantic croc-like beast with boar-like tusks on her upper jaw, giving her a resemblance to a Kaprosuchus. She also has external gills on the side of her neck.
    Caldwell: Is there something in the river?
    Okoye: I was just thinking the only thing that's missing right now is a giant crocodile.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • The trailer made the film out to be a serious monster flick. The end result is a lot more over the top, though nowhere near as goofy as the games.
    • The way some of the trailers are cut they seem to hint at Agent Russel being one of the main human antagonists. In fact he turns out to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and one of the protagonists' most useful allies.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Before being exposed to the mutagen, George was practically a retreat of Snowflake.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Subverted repeatedly with every effort to kill the monstrous animals.
  • No OSHA Compliance: In an apparent leaf from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, access to the space station's escape pods can be remotely locked by company executives.
  • No Name Given: While George is the gorilla's name and Russell mentions lunatics on the Internet nicknamed the wolf Ralph, Lizzie is never named. Her toy package however does confirm her name is Lizzie.
  • No-Sell: All the mutated animals can do this against ludicrous amounts of punishment due to their advanced regeneration abilities - but Lizzie plays this especially straight due to her scaly armour. Near the film's end she shrugs off 6 Hellfire anti-tank missiles from Davis' crashed Apache helicopter at near point-blank range.
  • Not Good with People: Okoye is stated to like animals a lot more than people.
    Okoye: Yeah, well, animals get me.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Caldwell, who is never more than a friend for Davis. Though George disagrees, given his gestures regarding her...
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Ralph is only ever referred to by name once, when Russell mentions he's being called that by "weirdos on the internet". For the rest of the film he's only ever referred to as "the wolf". Lizzie herself is never called by her name, and is only called a crocodile in the trailer.
  • Nuke 'em: Averted; Colonel Blake's plan is to use a MOAB (Mother Of All Bombs), which Agent Russell helpfully refers to as "the largest conventional explosive in the arsenal". It's not a nuke, but it would utterly devastate Chicago if used.
  • Oh, Crap!: Out of everyone in the film, Ralph the Wolf gives the biggest one when Davis tricks it to glide right into Lizzie's jaws.
  • Off with His Head!: Ralph is decapitated by Lizzie.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Davis is shot by Claire in the abdomen but is able to do all the action possible with no issues afterwards. At most he does a Hand Wave once Caldwell asks how he didn't die by saying "no vital organ was hit, but please don't jinx it."
  • Ominous Crack: Berserk George rips a steel seat from his lab cage and smashes it against the metal wall, the first sign that it isn't going to hold is we see cracks appear in the roof around the wall's mooring screws.
  • "Open!" Says Me: Davis simply kicks the door in when they need to search the lab. Not one to be shown up, Kate shatters the glass in the next door to get them in.
  • Operation: [Blank]: The formula that turns animals into giant mutant beasts was created by Project Rampage.
  • Pet the Dog: Our first indicator that Agent Russell isn't so bad is that he tells Davis he's truly sorry for what's happening to George.
  • The Prankster: George has a passion for playing pranks on people.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Two military guys are supposed to take Davis and Kate into custody. Davis, determined to save George tells the two of them exactly what he'll do to subdue them if they don't stand down. And they don't stand down.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Feeding the monster to the gorilla!" Cue George grabbing and eating Claire.
  • Primal Chest-Pound: George makes one before going to battle with Lizzie and Ralph.
  • Primate Versus Reptile: The movie climaxes in a battle between George and Lizzie.
  • Private Military Contractors: The mercenary team led by Burke, who are hired to take out Ralph.
  • Product Placement:
    • Davis sends Kate for help in a Hummer.
    • One of the screens Claire is using to monitor the situation with the rampaging monsters is a Twitter feed on their platform, Tweet Deck.
    • At least once Brett is seen munching away on a Kellogg's Pop Tart.
    • A Dave & Buster's gets conspicuously destroyed by George once he's inside Chicago. As gratitude for featuring their brand in the film, Dave & Buster's promoted this film and even installed a Rampage game in their locations; it's not the old Rampage game, it's a new one with the monsters designed to look as they appear in the movie.
    • One of the military personnel in the Colonel's office is seen wearing a headset with a very visible Bose logo.
  • Psycho Serum: The mutagen that the animals are sprayed with not only causes them to grow to gigantic sizes, but makes them extremely aggressive.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Russell seems like a Smug Snake, but when the chips are down he proves to be one of Davis' most valuable allies.
    • Colonel Blake is a downplayed example: while we may not agree with his every decision and he butts heads with the heroes a few times, he's still written as a basically good-hearted guy who is just trying to protect the city. When George calms down after taking the "chill pill", Blake accepts that the big ape is no longer a threat.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When under the aggressive effects of the mutagen, the animal's eyes turn red and after George is given the "chill pill" his eyes turn blue again.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Once the 'chill pill' makes its effect on George, he becomes Davis' friend again and helps take on the threat of the other monsters, proving to still be just as fierce a fighter as when he was still a rampager.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Lizzie is easily the largest of the three, and turns out to be most vicious and hard to kill.
  • Retired Badass: Davis, who was ex-Special Forces before becoming a primatologist.
  • Right Behind Me: Ralph to Burke, right before the wolf devours him.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The MOAB was possibly included because of a previous event in April 2017 making in gain public attention.
  • Roar Before Beating:
    • George on the plane after he breaks free makes a roar and then goes to fight Russell and his men.
    • Lizzie makes her grand entry with two shrieks. The first was possibly her gasping for air after having been in the water for so long, the second is when a US Army soldier fires an RPG warhead at her.
    • In the giant monster battle at the end, George and Lizzie exchange roars before punches.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Larry the Rat (from the Atari Lynx version of the 1986 video game) makes a cameo at the beginning.
  • Rule of Three: Davis mentions things that are inappropriate in front of ladies:
    • Davis admonishes the intern zookeeper that discussing poaching is rude in front of ladies. The other intern, who is a woman, says she's not offended, but Davis indicates the gorillas.
    • When the military tries to stop him from stealing a helicopter, Davis warns them to avoid the macho posturing or one will get choked so hard he'll urinate himself in front of the lady (Kate).
    • Lastly, when George asks if Caldwell is one of Davis' troop, he asks, rather crudely, if that means they'll be mating. Davis protests, "Not in front of the lady!"
  • Sand In My Eyes: Davis sheds some Manly Tears when he thinks George is dead...only for the giant gorilla to give Davis the finger and pop back up to laugh at him for crying. Davis claims it's from all the debris and dust around them.
  • Savage Wolves: Ralph is a "30-foot wolf" mutated by exposure to the genetic editing mutagen, acquiring porcupine-like quills and flying squirrel-like gliding membranes. He's capable of leaping high enough to take down helicopters, and takes on George in a fight.
  • Scenery Gorn: The movie starts with a space station being destroyed due to a mutated rat. The last third goes the route of the game, where three beasts wreck Chicago.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: We've seen live action movies with giant apes and crocodiles before, but this movie is a rare example of a kaiju-sized wolf. There was Fenris from Thor: Ragnarok, but he is still dwarfed by Ralph.
  • Shout-Out: Several, mostly to other kaiju films from the '50s to '70s.
    • Ralph's gliding ability closely recalls Varan, the Unbelievable.
    • Lizzie resembles Godzilla's old colleague Anguirus in several scenes, and Godzilla's botanical foe Biollante.
    • Possibly unintentionally but George, a giant ape, Flipping the Bird resembles the titular monster from A*P*E, a King Kong knock off, infamously doing the same.
    • Kong: Skull Island
      • A shot in the finale where George leaps up behind Lizzie and whacks her head with a chunk of rubble is very similar to a scene in the film where Kong dunks a boulder on the Alpha Skullcrawler's face.
      • Lizzie also has teeth in her throat, much like the Skullcrawlers in that film.
    • Russell sees a lot of holes in Okoye's records and calls him an "international man of mystery".
    • When asking Agent Russell to reveal which government agency he's with, Kate sarcastically adds, "Justice League".
  • Shown Their Work: Even as giant rampaging monsters, the behaviors and movements of George, Lizzie and Ralph are actually rather realistic for their species. When Ralph is caught in Lizzie's jaws, she does a death roll to tear his head off, something real crocodilians do to rip body parts off their food.
  • Silly Simian: George, when not under the effect of the mutagen, is not only quite friendly, but also a bit of a prankster; he flips off Davis more than once just for laughs.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Claire Wyden is absent from the first trailer.
  • Smug Snake: Both Claire Wyden, in contrast to her panicking brother, and Agent Russell, who uses his authority to be shady and full of himself (although he is helpful when he needs to be and expresses condolences when he sees Davis is distressed by his capturing of George).
  • The Sociopath: Claire Wyden is a pathological liar, has no remorse for her actions, and displays a chilling lack of empathy towards the people she hurts in pursuit of her goals.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Lizzie has bony spikes covering most of her back and tail, while Ralph has quills like a porcupine which he can shoot as projectiles.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Evidence that you've been conducting illegal research means the FBI comes knocking with a search warrant.
    • Unlike most depictions of "miracle cures", George's antidote doesn't take effect in an instant. He rampages on for a few moments, knocking down the Willis Tower, before he ultimately calms down.
    • The three monsters' growth is justified in the large quantities of food they eat: they gain additional mass through the serum's effect of increased hunger, as Ralph doubles in size after devouring busloads of tourists at Mount Rushmore, while Lizzie attacks several boats before being attracted by Claire's signal. George, the smallest of the three, didn't grow as much as he was confined for most of the film and doesn't consume as much food (he does grow exponentially after escaping from the crashed plane and devouring a squad of soldiers.
    • People aren't going to just leave helicopter keys in the ignition.
  • Takes One to Kill One: By the time of the climax, the giant monsters have grown so large and their Healing Factor is so potent that attacks from each other are the only things capable of doing any lasting damage to them. Anything less than that is just a minor annoyance to them.
  • Teeth Flying: Lizzie loses some teeth after biting George's arm and George forcefully pulls his arm out.
  • Tempting Fate: When Agent Russell takes George, he dismisses Okoye's warning with the smug assurance that his team can handle the giant ape. When George wakes up he promptly causes the plane transporting him to crash.
  • Title Drop: Claire and Brett refer to their evil scheme as "Project Rampage" a few times.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Part of the reason Davis had to adopt George, rather than leaving him out in the wild. As an albino gorilla - especially rare and valuable to poachers - he wouldn't stand a chance. Likewise, when Agent Russell's crew carry George away, Davis is terrified of this happening again.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Davis's reaction to seeing Lizzie for the first time is "Well, that sucks."
  • Tom the Dark Lord: Just like in the game, the giant monsters have the fairly innocuous names of George, Ralph, and Lizzie.
  • Tragic Monster: George, normally a good-natured if somewhat mischievous creature, becomes violent and dangerous as the pathogen alters his brain chemistry. Davis' motivation for most of the movie is to somehow save and cure him. To a lesser extent it also applies to Ralph and Lizzie who were simply animals mind their own business when they where infected with the mutagen like George.
  • Trampled Underfoot: Comes with the territory of a giant monster movie. Lizzie has the biggest feet of the three and stays on the ground more, so she does the most smashing of humans underfoot.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The trailers make it seem that George chased the new zookeeper and pretended to attack him, when in the actual film he in fact saved him from another, rowdy (and normally-colored) gorilla.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • There is a shot of George rearing up on the helicopter atop the Willis Tower, which immediately precedes him devouring Claire.
    • Lizzie herself, who actually isn't seen in full until the climax. Of course, the suspense is completely lost on what she looks like, as the trailers (and toys) already overused her screentime and revealed her design.
    • Ralph being able to fly.
  • Troll: George likes to get a rise out of people, such as scaring an intern and playing dead.
  • Villainous Valor: Burke and the other mercenaries are implied to be little more than killers for hire, but they still show great courage and discipline in their fight against Ralph. Not that it helps.
  • The World's Expert on Getting Killed: Burke and his team of mercenaries are mentioned to have had plenty of experience in the field, well-equipped, and have had to clean up several of Energyne's messes. Ralph quickly dispatches all of them.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Early in the movie, as George starts growing, he breaks into the grizzly bear habitat in the zoo and kills its inhabitant.
    • Ralph inflicts this effect on the mercenaries lead by Burke. Claire talks them up as a bunch of really tough badasses, but they don't stand a chance.
    • Ralph himself is killed off by Lizzie well before the climax, and she takes over the role as the main antagonist, trying to eat Okoye and kill George.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Contrary to George, who is treated as a sympathetic character, Ralph and Lizzie are portrayed as bloodthirsty monsters, and their spikier, more mutated appearances reflect this. As such, while the nicer-looking George is eventually redeemed, the other two more hideous creatures are killed in the end.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Literally with Claire’s pet black rat. We see Russell hand its cage over to a soldier in exchange for a satellite phone and we never learn what happened to it afterwards, though presumably the soldier did take care of it, considering it was directly given to him by a commanding officer.
    • Davis's primatology team (Nelson, Connor, and Amy), who appear pretty prominently for the first 20 or so minutes, disappear altogether as soon as George is captured by the government.
  • Where's the Fun in That?: Davis is given the keys to the medivac chopper by Russell. Although Davis appreciates it, he admits his desire to have knocked out Russell as well just like with those 2 security guards.
    Caldwell: You know there are other ways of dealing with people, right?
    Davis: I do know that, yeah, but that's no fun.
  • White Shirt of Death: A variant; part of the reason George is made an albino where he wasn't in the games is so that his wounds will show up more visibly, making him seem more vulnerable.
  • Women Are Wiser: The case with Corrupt Corporate Executive siblings Claire and Brett. They're equally evil and ruthless, but she's a lot smarter and more practical.
  • Would Hit a Girl: George nearly crushes Claire with his fist then swallows her whole.
  • You Monster!: Caldwell to Claire, before George eats her.
    Claire: What the hell are you doing?!
    Caldwell: Feeding the monster to the gorilla!


Video Example(s):


George Escapes

George's cage starts to come apart at the seams.

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Main / OminousCrack

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