Big Meets Bigger
Rampage is a 2018 American giant monster film directed by Brad Peyton and written by Ryan Engle, Carlton Cuse, Ryan Condal, and Adam Sztykiel from a story by Engle, with visual effects by Colin Strause. Funded by New Line Cinema and produced by Wrigley Pictures, Flynn Picture Company, and Seven Bucks Productions, it is a loose adaptation of Midway's video game franchise of the same name. It stars Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Åkerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Jake Lacy. The film was released to theaters by Warner Bros. on April 13, 2018.
Following a research accident aboard the Athena-1 satellite, canisters containing an experimental pathogen are discharged and crash to Earth, genetically editing the three animals who discover them and transforming them into powerful monsters. Davis Okoye, a former Army Special Forces member currently working as a primatologist at the San Diego Wildlife Sanctuary, attempts to find a cure for the pathogen after it affects George, an albino gorilla who he had rescued and befriended. With the help of Dr. Kate Caldwell and Agent Russell, Okoye traces the origins of the pathogen to the shady Energyne company in Chicago, and must find a way to stop the mutated George along with his fellow monsters Lizzie and Ralph before they or the military destroy the city.
Primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), a man who keeps people at a distance, shares an unshakable and unbreakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent, albino gorilla who has been in his care most of its life. But a mysterious genetic experiment mutates this once gentle ape into a raging creature of enormous size. To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered that a wolf (Ralph) and crocodile (Lizzie) have gone under similar changes. As these newly created apex predators battle each other for supremacy and tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer (Naomie Harris) to secure an antidote and fight his way through the ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe, but also to save the fearsome beast that was once his friend.
An experiment onboard the satellite Athena-1 turns a lab 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 the San Diego Wildlife Sanctuary, primatologist Davis Okoye leads two students, Connor and Amy, into the 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. Davis scolds George with a wink. As he drives home that evening, the canisters arrive on Earth. One lands in the gorilla enclosure, spraying a curious George with green gas. The second disturbs a wolf pack in Wyoming; the third is swallowed by a crocodile in the Florida Everglades.
The next day, Davis finds George in the grizzly bear enclosure, having doubled in size and slaughtered the grizzly in question. 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 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 are attacked by the mutated wolf, who has developed gliding membranes 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 the wolf, now dubbed Ralph, to Chicago using low-frequency radio waves each mutation is designed to respond to, where the military will kill it and Energyne will harvest its 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 steamroll the military’s tanks, Humvees, and helicopters. The situation becomes even worse when the crocodile, Lizzie, emerges from the Chicago River. 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 hold 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, all 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 devours 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 and is crushed by falling debris.
Willis Tower begins to collapse as Ralph joins 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 normal. Davis grabs a discarded grenade launcher from a Humvee to help him combat Ralph and Lizzie. Kate drives off in the Humvee to search for Russell and call off the airstrike. Davis goads Ralph into fighting Lizzie, who uses a death roll to tear the wolf’s head off. Lizzie stalks Davis until George attacks her from behind with a truck. Davis manages to wound her with a belt of grenades, but she recovers and prepares to smash him with her tail club. George takes the hit, and she throws him into a metal spike. As she closes in, Davis uses the armaments of a fallen Apache helicopter to distract her, giving George time to recover and drive the spike through her eye, killing her. Blake sees that George is no longer hostile and aborts the airstrike.
George appears to die from his injuries as Kate and Russell return to the battlefield—until Davis catches his eye twitching. They ponder where George’s new home will be as he helps the people still trapped in the city.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Brad Peyton
- Written by Ryan Engle, Carlton Cuse, Ryan J. Condal, Adam Sztykiel
- Based on a story by Ryan Engle
- Produced by Brad Peyton, Hiram Garcia
- Executive producers Marcus Viscidi, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Jeff Fierson
- Music by Andrew Lockington
- Cinematography by Jaron Presant
- Edited by Jim May, Bob Ducsay
- Production design by Barry Chusid
- 1st assistant director Richard Goodwin
- Visual effects supervisor Colin Strause
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Dwayne Johnson as Davis Okoye
- Naomie Harris as Dr. Kate Caldwell
- Malin Åkerman as Claire Wyden
- Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Agent Harvey Russell
- Jake Lacy as Brett Wyden
- Joe Manganiello as Burke
- Marley Shelton as Dr. Kerry Aktins
- P.J. Byrne as Nelson
- Demetrius Grosse as Colonel Blake
- Jack Quaid as Connor
- Breanne Hill as Amy
- Matt Gerald as Zammit
- Will Yun Lee as Agent Park
- Urijah Faber as Garrick
- Bruce Blackshear as Taylor
- Jason Liles as George (motion capture)
- Mac Wells as Communications Officer
- Allyssa Brooke as Radar Officer
- Stephen Dunlevy as First MP
- Danny Le Boyer as Second MP
- Alan Boell as Officer
- Adam Sztykiel as C-17 Pilot
- D. James Jones as Captain Evans
- Gary Weeks as Police Captain
- David An as Kaplan
- Arnold Chun as Commanding Officer
- Gregory Hoyt as Pilot
- Suzanne Cotsakos as Co-Pilot
- Ross Philips as Soldier with SAT Phone
- Bernard Dowdell as Air Force Captain
- Robin Meade as HLN Reporter
- Chris Murphy as San Diego Newscaster #1
- Maria Arcega-Dunn as San Diego Newscaster #2
- Jason Sloss as San Diego Reporter
- Shannon Halligan as Reporter on the Ground
- Andy Roesgen as Local Chicago Reporter
- John Crow as Mt. Rushmore Reporter
- Lane Carlock as Zoo Reporter
- Wendy Yang as Willis Tower Reporter
- Vincent Roxburgh as Paavo (motion capture)
- Skye Notary as Female Gorilla 1 (motion capture)
- Willow Notary as Female Gorilla 2 (motion capture)
Weapons, vehicles, races, and organizations
Principal photography on Rampage took place from April 17, 2017, to July 2017. Two weekends in June were dedicated to location shoots in Chicago with helicopters and military vehicles. Brian Colin and Jeff Nauman, the original game's designer and programmer, both visited the set, with Colin going in front of the camera as an evacuee. The production also recreated Chicago streets on the backlot of Atlanta-based Third Rail Studios.
As one of the most prolific celebrities on social media, Dwayne Johnson was instrumental in promoting Rampage, posting updates from the set and continuing to hype the film as its release date approached. Warner Bros. released the first trailer on November 16, 2017; a second trailer followed on February 13, 2018.
- Main article: Rampage/Gallery.
- Main article: Rampage/Soundtrack.
- Rampage: Giant Beast Brawl (ランペイジ 巨獣大乱闘Japan) Ranpeiji: Kyojū Dairantō,
- Rampage: Big Meets Bigger (Sweden, Norway and Netherlands)
- Rampage: Total Destruction (Brazil)
- United Kingdom - April 11, 2018
- Indonesia - April 11, 2018
- Argentina - April 12, 2018
- Australia - April 12, 2018
- Czech Republic - April 12, 2018
- Denmark - April 12, 2018
- Greece - April 12, 2018
- Croatia - April 12, 2018
- Hungary - April 12, 2018
- Italy - April 12, 2018
- South Korea - April 12, 2018
- Netherlands - April 12, 2018
- Philippines - April 12, 2018
- Portugal - April 12, 2018
- Russia - April 12, 2018
- Singapore - April 12, 2018
- Slovakia - April 12, 2018
- Bulgaria - April 13, 2018
- China - April 13, 2018
- Estonia - April 13, 2018
- Finland - April 13, 2018
- Norway - April 13, 2018
- Sweden - April 13, 2018
- Turkey - April 13, 2018
- United States - April 13, 2018
- Brazil - April 19, 2018
- Hong Kong - April 19, 2018
- Spain - April 20, 2018
- India - April 20, 2018
- Sri Lanka - April 20, 2018
- Vietnam - April 20, 2018
- Germany - May 10, 2018
- Poland - May 11, 2018
- Japan - May 18, 2018
- RealD 3D (post-converted)
- Dolby Vision and Atmos
Rampage has a 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 225 reviews. The site's Critical Consensus reads, "Rampage isn't as fun as its source material, but the movie's sheer button-mashing abandon might satisfy audiences in the mood for a brainless blockbuster." Nonetheless, it was the best-reviewed video game adaptation on the site at the time of its release.
Warner Bros. Blu-ray + DVD + Digital copy / Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + Digital copy / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital copy (2018)
- Region: Various
- Discs: 2
- Audio: English, Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese (U.S. edition)
- Subtitles: English, Latin Spanish, Parisian French, Canadian French (U.S. edition)
- Special features: Deleted scenes, gag reel, five featurettes ("Not a Game Anymore," "Rampage - Actors in Action," "Trio of Destruction," "Attack on Chicago," and "Bringing George to Life")
Warner Bros. DVD (2018)
- Region: Various
- Discs: 1
- Audio: English, Canadian French (U.S. edition)
- Subtitles: English, Latin Spanish, Parisian French, Canadian French (U.S. edition)
- Special features: "Not a Game Anymore" featurette
On March 5, 2018, Warner Bros. moved Rampage's release date from April 20 to April 13 to lessen the threat posed by Avengers: Infinity War, which Marvel Studios had just shifted from May 4 to April 27. Instead, it faced stiff competition from A Quiet Place, just managing to open at #1 at the North American box office with $35.8 million. Internationally, it made $115.7 million in its first weekend, including $55 million from China.
- Each of George, Lizzie, and Ralph's designs are substantially altered from their game counterparts. George is now a giant albino gorilla rather than simply a giant brown bipedal ape, a way to make him more distinct from King Kong and other giant gorillas as well as a more unique animal in-universe. Lizzie is a gigantic crocodile with frills on the side of her head, tusks on her mouth, and pointed spikes covering her back, while in the games she is simply a giant green bipedal lizard with a single row of spikes running down her back. Ralph is no longer bipedal and walks on all fours like a real wolf, and is gray like he was in the original video game, rather than blue like in Rampage: World Tour and Total Destruction. Ralph now also possesses fleshy membranes between his fore and hind limbs which allow him to glide, similar to a flying squirrel or Varan.
- The monsters' origins are also changed from the games. George, Lizzie, and Ralph are now genetically manipulated animals rather than humans transformed into giant monsters through the experiments of Scum Labs.
- While George and Ralph's names are both spoken in the film, Lizzie's name is never mentioned onscreen and is only given through press materials and merchandise.
- A Rampage arcade cabinet is present in Claire Wyden's office. While this may be a simple Easter egg, it is possible that the Rampage video game actually exists in-universe and inspired the names of both Ralph and Project Rampage.
- The escaped genetically-edited test subject for Project Rampage that destroys the Athena-1 at the beginning of the film is a rat. This may be referencing Larry, a rat monster who appeared exclusively in the Atari Lynx version of the original Rampage game.
- George's motion capture actor Jason Liles received instruction for the role from Terry Notary, who performed motion capture for King Kong in Kong: Skull Island. Liles himself would go on to appear in the next entry in the Monsterverse, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, performing motion capture for both King Ghidorah's middle head and Rodan.
- Toys for this film were produced by Lanard, who also created a toy line for Kong: Skull Island, another giant monster film distributed by Warner Bros., in 2017.
- This film's Japanese poster was illustrated by Kouji Tajima, who also created the official artwork for the Godzilla Store.
- Rampage received a digital prequel comic from DC Comics.
This is a list of references for Rampage. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: 
- Official site
- Instagram page
- Facebook page
- Twitter page
- Official site for Lanard's toy line
- The Rampage prequel comic
- Production notes