Serial Escalation/Film

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  • The Speed Racer movie. All of it.
  • The Terry Gilliam short film The Crimson Permanent Assurance takes this trope from the standard eleven and turns it all the way up to Aleph-Omega. It answers that simple question: How epic can accounting possibly be? Answer: more epic than you can take. But not twice. Then you just drop a bridge on the whole thing.
  • The film Shoot Em Up. How many people can Smith kill in this next fight scene? What crazy Indy Ploy is he going to pull off to kill said people? What can he do that doesn't involve killing people in some seriously awesome and mind blowing way?
  • The Australian Made for TV Movie Scorched. How bad are things going to get? How many more main characters are they going to kill off? Exactly how much of Sydney is now on fire, anyway?
  • Terminator: How much more damage will the next model take before it goes down?
  • Half of The Dark Knight is The Joker trying to continually top himself in just how brazen and strange his actions are, and Batman trying to keep up with him.
  • The hilarious and rarely-seen Vincenzo Natali film Nothing takes this to the very extreme as the two main characters gain the ability to wish the universe into nothingness, including themselves, leading to a finale where all that's left is the two characters' heads and a turtle on an infinite expanse of white light. also, it stars the guy who plays Rodney McKay.
  • Holy crap, where to begin with Tokyo Gore Police? Damn near every scene in the movie tries to top the one before it in terms of sheer gore and ridiculousness. Hell, it starts with a chainsaw duel, and only gets better from there - one guy gets his hands cut off And the person who does it puts up an umbrella, a teenager eats bugs out of a pencil box for no reason, and creative use of stimulants gives the Big Bad the ability to use the bleeding stumps of his legs as rockets!
  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. The director and animators basically adopted "Serial Escalation" as their entire philosophy when devising the fight scenes, starting with a swordfight on motorcycles and just escalating from there. This is what happens the important characters in a movie are all Charles Atlas superheroes in a Role Playing Game Verse.
    • Even more so in Advent Children Complete. Just compare the original fight against Sephiroth to the updated version. One is clearly more then the other.
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen takes everything from the first movie and brings it Up to Eleven. Number of robots? Size of the robots? Explosions and destruction of buildings? Jokes? Gratuitous shots of hot women? Also, pirate robots... ghost robots... zombie robots... robot Jesus... we've got it all!
  • How many more lightsabers can we fit into the next Star Wars movie? If having one bad guy dual-wield was a great plan, why not have the next bad guy be a multi-armed cyborg with four of them?
    • Star Destroyers? Those are hu-*Death Star*. OK, nothing is ever going to be bigger than th-*Death Star II* SWEET JESUS!
  • The Blues Brothers: How many police cars will crash in the next chase scene?
  • Final Destination series: How many more objects can fall off a shelf or table and accidentally flip a switch to activate/deactivate some machinery? How many more car doors will mysteriously fail to open from the inside when characters are trying to get out? How many more leaking or failing machines can the creators insert into the films? How many more elaborate can these accidents be contrived? How much more gory can the deaths get?
  • The Big Hit. The closing hero-on-villain battle scenes in this all-too-rarely-seen Mark Wahlberg/Avery Brooks comedy action thriller have hero and villain staging improbable escape after improbable escape from various certain-death situations. The scene comes as close as any film ever has to reaching the heights of a live-action Road Runner cartoon.
  • Quick Change. After witnessing a faux-medieval event in a poor Hispanic neighborhood with two men jousting on bicycles with rakes, Loomis sums up the mood perfectly.