Directed by Brad Peyton
Produced by Beau Flynn
John Rickard
Brad Peyton
Hiram Garcia
Screenplay by Ryan Engle
Carlton Cuse
Ryan J. Condal
Adam Sztykiel
Story by Ryan Engle
Music by Andrew Lockington
Cinematography Jaron Presant
Edited by Jim May
Production company New Line Cinema
Flynn Picture Company
Rickard Pictures
Seven Bucks Productions
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date North America: April 20, 2018
Country United States
Language English

Rampage is an American action adventure giant monster film directed by Brad Peyton. It is loosely based on the video game of the same name by Midway Games. The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Åkerman, Joe Manganiello, Jake Lacy, Marley Shelton, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

New Line Cinema released the film on April 20 2018 in 3D and IMAX. On November 14 2016, two petitions were made to allow the bands Amon Amarth and Judas Priest to guest star in the film.[1][2]

Plot[edit | edit source]

An experiment onboard the satellite Athena-1 turns a rat into a ravenous monster. It kills all of the crew members except Dr. Kerry Aktins and compromises the satellite’s hull integrity. Claire Wyden, the owner of Athena-1 and CEO of the biotech company Energyne, informs Aktins that she will not be let into the escape capsule until she retrieves the other samples of the substance which caused the rat’s mutation. She evades the rat monster and departs Athena-1 just before it explodes with three canisters in tow. However, the scratches the creature left on a glass window of the capsule soon cause it to shatter, killing her and sending the canisters hurtling towards the United States.

At a San Diego wildlife preserve, primatologist Davis Okoye leads two students, Connor and Amy, into a gorilla enclosure. When the newest member of the troop, Paavo, rushes a panicked Connor, he is saved by George, an albino gorilla and Davis’s best friend. George then menaces Connor, but only in jest and Davis scolds George with a wink. As he drives home that evening, the canisters arrive on Earth. One canister lands in the gorilla enclosure, spraying George with green gas. A second canister crashes in the wilds of Wyoming near a pack of wolves and one of them is exposed with green gas. Finally, a third canister splashes in a river of the Florida Everglades where it is swallowed by a crocodile.

The next day, Davis finds George in the grizzly bear enclosure, having doubled in size and slaughtered the grizzly. He recovers the canister, certain it’s connected but unsure how. In Chicago, Claire and her brother Brett meet to discuss Energyne’s plunging stock. She is unconcerned about the destruction of Athena-1, caring only about the successful mutation, which proved Project Rampage a success. Thanks to the American Meteorite Society, she knows one of the canisters is in Wyoming, and she dispatches a team of mercenaries led by Burke to retrieve it before anyone can trace it back to Energyne.

The results of George’s bloodwork seem impossible; his growth hormone levels alone should be lethal. Davis refuses to consider euthanizing him, even as animal response and government official start calling the sanctuary for answers. Unexpectedly, Dr. Kate Caldwell arrives to provide some, having heard about the Athena-1 disaster and the strange events at the sanctuary on TV. She claims to be an Energyne geneticist, and explains that the pathogen in the canister is genetically editing George, giving him the characteristics of other animals. Her work is responsible for the speed at which it’s working. George breaks out of his cage and storms through the sanctuary, despite Davis’s efforts to calm him. A sniper firing from a government helicopter knocks George out with tranquilizer darts. In Wyoming, the mercenaries and Burke are attacked by the mutated wolf known as Ralph, who has developed wing membranes, porcupine quills and bulletproof skin. Even their helicopter is unable to stop him, as he destroys it by leaping into the air.

Homeland Security arrests Davis and Kate and brings them aboard the plane transporting George. There, Special Agent Harvey Russell muses on Davis’s time with Army Special Forces and the United Nations’ Special Anti-Poaching Task Force, then reveals that Energyne fired Kate two years ago after she attempted to steal company hard drives. Kate recalls Energyne’s efforts to develop a cure for the pathogen, but admits to a dejected Davis that she doesn’t have the means to administer one herself. Energyne has since completed the cure, R-19, which will halt a mutation’s growth and reduce its aggression. Claire plans to lure Ralph to Chicago using low-frequency radio waves each mutation is designed to respond to, where the military will kill him and Energyne will harvest his DNA. George, still on the plane, will inevitably destroy it, killing Kate and eliminating her as a threat to Energyne. The transmitter is located atop Willis Tower, the tallest building in the city.

George responds as planned, bursting out of another cage and wreaking havoc, though Davis manages to find parachutes for himself, Kate, and Russell before the plane crashes in a cornfield. They find George’s footprints leading away from the wreckage. In Chicago, FBI agents arrive at Energyne to examine its records, while Claire tries to deflect the blame for the monsters’ creation onto Kate to buy herself time.

As Russell contacts his superiors, Davis explains to Kate that he rescued George from poachers when the gorilla was a child, one of many incidents that gave him a dim view of humanity. He plans to set out on his own to help George, but Kate wins him over by shedding more light on her time with Energyne. Initially, her research was meant to help endangered species, then cure her brother's cancer. Once she found out she was also helping Project Rampage create animal weapons, she attempted to destroy it, leading to her arrest. Her brother died while she was in prison. Though they explain Energyne's plan to Colonel Blake at Scott Air Force Base, he isn’t interested in their advice. While the military’s attempt to stop George and Ralph outside Chicago fails, Davis knocks out the MPs escorting them. With Russell's assent, they steal a helicopter and head for Chicago themselves.

Davis and Kate witness a citywide evacuation as George and Ralph destroy the military's tanks, Humvees, and helicopters. The situation becomes even worse when the mutated crocodile known as Lizzie emerges from the Chicago River before she joins George and Ralph, causing more destruction. Out of options, Blake authorizes the use of a Massive Ordnance Airburst, which will wipe out half of the city. At Willis Tower, Davis and Kate obtain three samples of R-19. Claire and Brett, preparing to evacuate by helicopter, notice them on a security camera and confront them at gunpoint. Kate covertly pockets one of the samples while giving Claire the other two. Claire shoots Davis in the chest, though she misses his vital organs, and takes Kate hostage.

As they reach the roof of Willis Tower, the three monsters begin to climb it. George arrives before they can take off, causing Brett to flee as the gorilla disables the helicopter. Davis returns to help Kate administer R-19 to George, calling to him as she slips the sample into Claire’s purse. George swallows Claire before continuing his attack on the transmitters. On the ground floor, Brett meets Russell, who offers him amnesty in exchange for his laptop, which contains the only hard drive the FBI didn’t confiscate, and his pet rat. He watches as Brett rushes outside, but he is crushed by falling debris.

Willis Tower begins to collapse as Ralph and Lizzie join George. Davis and Kate manage to use the damaged helicopter to hover just above the building as it falls. They climb out and find that George has returned to his normal self. Davis grabs a grenade launcher to help George fight Ralph and Lizzie in order to prevent them from doing more destruction while Kate drives off to search for Russell and call off the airstrike. George battles Ralph while Davis tricks the wolf into flying towards Lizzie, who uses a death roll to throttle Ralph around and decapitates him before she swallows his head.

Lizzie turns her attention on Davis and chases him through the city wreckage until George intervenes and attacks her from behind with a vehicle. As George and Lizzie fight, Davis was able to incapacitate the crocodile by throwing a utility belt of grenades into her neck which explode, but Lizzie recovers from the blow and attempts to smash Davis with her tail. George gets in the way and blocks Lizzie's attack, but she instead tosses him against some rebar which impales him, although he survives. As Lizzie closes in and prepares to finish off George, Davis uses the armaments of a fallen helicopter such as gunfire and missiles to distract her in order to save his friend. However, Lizzie survives as she is too invulnerable and eventually corners Davis where he nearly gets himself killed. Suddenly, George leaps into the air with the same rebar that he was impaled on and drives it through Lizzie's head before he shoves it deeper into her brain, finally killing the crocodile and saving Davis.

Blake sees that George is no longer hostile and aborts the airstrike. George appears to die from his wounds as Kate and Russell return to the battlefield while Davis mourns for the loss of his friend. He suddenly catches George's eye twitching and his hand moving, revealing that George was just messing around with Davis by faking his death. Together, George and Davis, along with Kate and Russell, decide to clear the city of debris caused by the three monsters and evacuate civilians while they decide which home they should make for George as he is still a giant.

Cast[edit | edit source]

  • Zack Quaid as Connor, a member of Davis' primatology team.
  • Jason Liles as the motion-capture of George, an albino silverback gorilla and one of the animals affected by a strange chemical that mutates him.

Monsters[edit | edit source]

  • GeorgeA mutated albino western lowland gorilla, serving as the primary deuteragonist and anti-hero of the movie. He is based off his original incarnation from the classic arcade game of the same name. As an infant, he was saved by his friend, a primatologist named Davis Okoye and lives his entire life in a sanctuary as he grows up. One day, a mysterious genetic experiment mutates him into a giant savage creature which makes George aggressive, dangerous and vicious as well as giving him superhuman abilities such as enhanced strength, speed, agility, stamina, durability and the ability to heal rapidly from any physical injury. In the climax, George is returned to his normal personality thanks to a cure, but still remains as a giant. He, aided by Davis, starts to fight Lizzie and Ralph in combat, although he is injured in the battle and apparently dies from his wounds. However, it reveals that George, due to his healing factor, was faking his death before he and Davis decide to clean the city of debris and evacuate civilians.
  • RalphA mutated wolf, serving as one of the final antagonists alongside Lizzie. He is based off his original incarnation from the classic arcade game of the same name. Once a normal wolf living in the wilds of Wyoming, he is exposed by a genetic-altering chemical which mutates him into a large canine-like beast. Due to the mutation, Ralph gains monstrous characteristics such as developing porcupine quills all over his back and tail that he can use as projectiles to shoot at victims, bat-like ears, opposable thumbs with slightly sharp claws on his front paws, bulletproof skin and wing membranes over his limbs to help him glide like a flying squirrel. In the climax, Ralph starts to engage George in a fight, but is tricked by Davis into gliding towards Lizzie, who easily kills Ralph by using a death roll to decapitate him and swallow his head.
  • LizzieA mutated crocodile, serving as one of the final antagonists alongside Ralph. She is based off her original incarnation from the classic arcade game of the same name. Once a normal crocodile living in a lake of the Florida Everglades, she is exposed by a genetic-altering chemical which mutates her into a gigantic crocodilian-like monster. Due to the mutation, Lizzie gains monstrous characteristics such as developing spines all over her back, two large tusks on her upper jaw, multiple rows of teeth, a spike-covered tongue, fish-like gills on her neck, a neck frill that peels opens, spikes on the end of her tail which form a mace, armoured skin and large gecko-like feet. In the climax, although she is too indestructible to fight due to her massive size and having survived explosives thrown in her neck as well as having missiles launched at her by Davis, Lizzie is finally killed by George after he impales her through the head with a metal bar.

Production[edit | edit source]

Warner Bros. acquired the film adaptation rights to the 1986 arcade game Rampage in 2009, as part of their acquisition of Midway Games for $33 million. The project was announced in November 2011, with John Rickard set as a producer. Rickard would state he decided to work on the movie by searching the list of titles Warner earned the adapting rights, and upon finding Rampage, remembering playing the arcade. In June 2015, Deadline Hollywood reported that Dwayne Johnson was set to star, re-teaming with New Line and producer Beau Flynn, while the studio was looking for a director to start production in mid-2016. Johnson mentioned that he loved the game as a kid, playing the arcade in a pool hall and later owning it on the Nintendo Entertainment System. During the search for a script, writers offered many takes, including a faithful one to the game where the monsters were mutated humans, before the producers settled on the one by Ryan Engle, who aimed to make a "love letter to the monster movies I grew up watching", such as Jaws and Jurassic Park, while making it clear that the animals were not the heroes.

In July 2015, it was reported that New Line was in talks with Brad Peyton to direct and produce. Peyton later stated that the film would "be a lot more emotional, a lot scarier and a lot more real than you'd expect." Between January and July 2017, the rest of the supporting cast was assembled.

Filming[edit | edit source]

Principal photography on the film began on April 17, 2017, in Chicago, Illinois. The film also shot in Atlanta, Georgia. Easter eggs to the original game were featured, as Energyne's offices have a Rampage arcade, George eats a person who he pulls out of a building he punched, and Claire is devoured while wearing a red dress, just as the woman featured in the arcade's opening screen.

Visual effects[edit | edit source]

The visual effects were primarily provided by Weta Digital. Effects supervisor Erik Winquist and a small crew traveled to Chicago to create a model of the Chicago Loop that would be destroyed in the climactic battle, learning the building materials and architecture styles. Up to 15,000 photographs were taken with 3D scanners, while motion cameras covered downtown Chicago. As reference for the building destruction, the artists studied both the World Trade Center attacks and implosions of buildings affected by the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake in Weta's hometown of Wellington. One of the more challenging aspects for Weta was figuring out how the weight and mass of the monsters would affect the city environment and destruction.

Given Weta had plenty of experience creating animated apes in Universal studio's 2005 remake film King Kong and Disney/20th Century Fox's Planet of the Apes reboot series in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and its sequels Dawn (2014) and War (2017), it helped the studio create George "in a much shorter time than it may have 10 years ago," according to Winquist. Motion capture coach Terry Notary even took a break from Avengers: Infinity War, which was also filmed in Atlanta, to help Jason Liles in his performance as George. On the other hand, the lack of motion capture for Ralph and Lizzie let the animators go loose with how these monsters were portrayed, such as "a wolf that has porcupine spines and wings" or "a crocodile that has spikes, a tail club and a neck frill". Other VFX companies like Hydraulx, Scanline VFX and UPP contributed to the film.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Unlike the story within the original games and its sequel, Rampage (2018) focuses on altering the size and behavioral traits animals rather than mutating humans into giant animal-like monsters.
    • This possibly being that, if the developers would stick to the original story, it is a less interesting concept of "people turning into giant monsters and wreck the city inexplicably" and even considered it 'cliche'. 
    • Another concept is keeping the whole film interesting but keeping the whole getup of "Rampage" at the same time.
    • The decision to make George an albino ape and Lizzie a crocodile is clearly similar between the recent resurgence of Godzilla and King Kong in their shared film series Monsterverse.
  • In the story, the main original three monsters are chosen by popularity, as well as being the first introduced in the very first game: (George the Albino gorilla, Ralph the Timber wolf and Lizzie the Crocodile).
    • In the film, Lizzie is the only monster whose species is written differently. Rather than being a lizard, she is a crocodile.
      • This is because the developers wanted a more realistic animal for Lizzie to be rather than an iguana or a monitor lizard.
      • Lizzie is officially classified as the biggest monster in the film.
    • Unlike his previous reincarnates, Ralph is written as quadrupled, feral, famined and ragged.
      • This is likely making Ralph more terrifying and realistic in scientific terms.
      • Unlike Lizzie's concept, the developers decided that Ralph is a wolf so he can't climb (even though it is Ralph's signature move), but instead chose to give him those skin-like flaps for gliding in exchange for his climbing abilities.
      • Also it was quite clear that the directors believed mutating Ralph and Lizzie to be bipedal would be seriously pushing it and considered too corny for today's cinema.
    • In the film, George is the only animal among the three whose physical details and features were not altered besides the size. Still looking like a normal albino silverback gorilla.
      • In Ralph's case, his genes made him develop quills and skin-like flaps.
      • While Lizzie has sported inhumane numbers of teeth and tusks, as well as a neck frill and is literally covered in spikes and sports a tail club like an Ankylosaurus.
      • George is considered dirty-minded, when Okoye even mentioned he has a "twisted sense of humor".
      • Originally, George was supposed to die at the end of the film, but it was The Rock himself, as a producer, who insisted on changing that.
  • The Italian title of the movie is "Rampage - Furia Animale" (translated in Rampage - Animal Fury).
  • Brad Peyton, the director of the film, stated that the mutated rat at the beginning was not Larry. However, if there will be a sequel, he will use a rat with that name.

References from the original games[edit | edit source]

  • George arrives to Chicago via a cargo plane, this could be a reference to the bonus stage in Rampage World Tour where the lead characters dodge misses and collect items while riding miniature planes, the end of each bonus stage would take them to a new location.
  • Lizzie and Ralph are shown to eat several people during the destruction of Chicago sequence, referencing the ability to do so in the games.
  • Both Rampage and Rampage World Tour arcade cabinets appear in Claire's office.

Changes from the final film[edit | edit source]

  • Davis' "The only thing that is missing right now is a giant crocodile." line is removed in the final cut.
    • Likewise, Caldwell's "There is something in the river" line is changed.
  • A scene of George rampaging in the first two Official trailers has Ralph and a sign of Dave & Busters on one of the building pieces added and the sparks on the crashed debris is omitted in the final film.
  • A scene of Lizzie resurfacing has the smoke omitted in the final cut. 

External Links[edit | edit source]

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