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3 ½ Stars: The CROC Movie with Bite!!

  • Jan 29, 2009
Rating:
+3

Rogue- (of an animal) having an abnormally savage or unpredictable disposition, vicious or solitary, as a rogue elephant.

After the huge success of "JAWS", producers have been trying to capitalize on the undersea horror genre. There have been quite a number of underwater horror films about killer crocodiles recently; "Lake Placid", "Primeval" and "Crocodile", among others. "ROGUE" is another horror film about a huge crocodile and while this film may follow the usual stereotypical plot that have plagued the genre for many years, it does have its redeeming moments. It had a very limited theatrical release perhaps because the producers felt that audiences may be a little tired of the "croc on a rampage" storyline?



Pete (Michael Vartan) is a reporter on assignment in the Australian outback. He decides to take a scenic boat tour led by Kate (Radha Mitchell), along with a bunch of other tourists. The folks are enjoying themselves, they take in the sights, swat flies, watch salt water crocs socialize (in a way) with other tourists. During the tour, Kate spots a signal flare and decides to investigate. Once in the secluded site, the group of people realizes that they are in the territory of a monstrous saltwater crocodile that swiftly sinks their boat. The tourists find themselves at the mercy of a huge predator who has a taste for human flesh and the rising waters on a tiny slump of land.

I know what you're thinking, the film must be a rethread of previous monster flicks and there is nothing to see here. Well, the film is written/directed by Greg McLean, also responsible for the torture flick "Wolf Creek". I'm not exactly sure how you felt about that film but I thought "Wolf Creek" wasn't a real effective thriller (good but it wasn't great). "Rogue" does have its flaws but I think Mclean did serve up a solid thriller with his ambitious attempts at intensity and suspense, by not relying on explosions, character stupidity and an overload of blood and gore. 

            A scene from "Rogue."

           A scene from "Rogue."

           

The direction by McLean opted for not giving away too much, too early, and I thought that was a clever move. You don't really see the croc until the 50 minute mark, but the proceedings do give hints of just how big it is by exposing its tail, mouth and just how powerful it is. The film's last act is actually the icing on the cake, when you really see just how HUGELY impressive our antagonist really is. Shades of "JAWS" anyone? The survivors of the attack actually suffer through panic, desperation and fear, but they are not really unlikable characters, just look at them the same way when you visit a new city. You would barely know anything about anyone, so I was able to look past the film‘s lack of character development. The film is successful in generating a feeling of claustrophobia and helplessness, as the tide is rising and there's a gigantic man-eater swimming around, that takes them out one by one; McLean also maintains the tension by focusing on the group of tourists and not just the "hero" of the film.

Now, the film does take a hit on realism. Saltwater Crocodiles (and no matter how big) are cold-blooded reptiles so when the sun's up, they need to bask in the sun otherwise, well, their blood may stop circulating. I do watch enough of Discovery channel to know this, and well, our killer crocodile seems to be an animal on steroids that he does not need to warm himself up? The film's little "main event" takes place in a not so believable area and our croc‘s savagery seem a little too over-the-top. But hey, this is a movie, right? Maybe this is the animal's "rogue" behavior in play? 

                           A scene from "Rogue."

                          A scene from "Rogue."

                    

The film does have the stereotypical characters but thankfully, Mclean manages to fit everything together. "Rogue" isn‘t prefect, but it is a lot better than "Primeval". The film is actually is panic-induced piece, while Pete and Kate try their best to outsmart the huge animal and try to survive. The film does have a fair amount of blood and gore but most of the killings happen off-camera, and the CGI effects are solid enough for the most part. The film does deliver a satisfying man vs. monster encounter and the film's direction is competent enough that the film is easily understood and taken in. Mclean also doesn't portray the croc as mindless killing machine bent on just eating anyone in sight, this monster is cunning and he likes and stays within his territory, anyone who marches in is its food.

"ROGUE" is a film with modest intentions and I appreciated McLean's sense of restraint in his direction. He wisely avoids the flashy explosions, the usual perfunctory resolution in its climax and the film does have a satisfying enough closure. The film is a successful blend of B-movie thrills and chills that is aimed at horror fans. The film does stay true to its limited concept and it does go straight to the conflict. "ROGUE" doesn't reinvent the "monster" genre but it doesn't hurt it either. For a film with a limited budget, it is a satisfying enough diversion.

Recommended timidly, rent it first [3 ½ Stars]

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December 14, 2011
I enjoyed this one as well.
December 14, 2011
I am a sucker for monster movies and I love crocodiles....I may re-write my not-so good review of Primeval one day.
 
January 29, 2009
I'll see it when I can catch it for free, Woop. I'm still a fan of ALLIGATOR with its John Sayles script and touches of humor. An alligator in Chicago? you say. Well, they did just fish a 3 and 1/2 footer out of the river not long ago. It was pretty active too. I still don't think one could get through the winter no matter how much of a mutant it was. But back to this flick. I didn't like WOLF CREEEK that much either so it isn't a big selling point for this flick. I could buy it a bit easier if these gators and crocs stored their kills underwater to tenderize like their real life counterparts, but they seem to like to eat 'em on the spot. Well, that's a mutant for ya.
August 30, 2010
Hm. so did you see this one yet?
August 30, 2010
Yeah I did see this several months ago. It's pretty average. I knew from the begining how it would end. Like you say knowing anything at all about crocs can kill the movie for you. I guess that would mean it didn't do very well on its home ground. Crocs can get themselves almost 2/3 of the way out of the water. Of course this water wouldn't have been deep enough for a croc of this size to do that, but he could very easily have just taken them out of the trees. It was okay but it wasn't anything to write home about. I still would rather watch ALLIGATOR--that did take the time to give us interesting character.
 
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More Rogue reviews
review by . March 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**1/2 out of ****     After reading a lot of generally positive reviews stating that "Rogue" was the "best giant crocodile movie ever", I just had to see the thing. For one, I saw it in hopes of it being better than director Greg McLean's first feature, "Wolf Creek". I also saw it because I'm a sucker for potentially intense movies starring convincing giant crocs. I was not disappointed. "Rogue" is probably the best giant crocodile movie since whatever movie started the whole …
review by . October 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
REAL FUN CROC FLICK
      ROUGE      There have been many Alligator and Croc flicks made and for the most part they are not really great. Luckily this film is one of the better ones in the group to choose from and is written and directed by Wolf Creek filmmaker Greg McLean. Now that may make you want to see it or not depending on how you liked that film. To me I judged this on its own and came to like it, it really is one of the better ones from these types of flicks. It is not …
Quick Tip by . October 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
A fun monster type flick that I did enjoy, and is one of the best of its kind. I do recommend watching this if you get the chance.
review by . September 08, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Since I liked the director's previous Australian horror, Wolf Creek, I figured that this should be watchable as well but basically I'm just a huge sucker for creature features! Anything monstrous that eats annoying characters is cool in my book and I'm always on a look out for horror movies with giant crocs or werewolves or anything mean with a bite.    The main reason why I enjoyed the movie was the care that was given to it in the beginning, other than a poor native cow loosing …
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Wiki

  • Rogue
  • Opened November 8, 2007 | Runtime:1 hr. 32 min.
  • R
    language and some creature violence
  • Pete McKell, a cynical American travel writer, joins a disparate group of holiday-makers on a river cruise through the waters of Kakadu National Park. After an uneventful day cruising the river, the tour captain Kate is reluctantly persuaded to steer their boat into unexplored territory. They discover a secluded lake but terror strikes when their craft receives a powerful blow from beneath the murky depths and begins to sink. With little choice, she beaches the vessel on the closest dry land--a tiny mud island. With a rising tide and only half an hour of daylight left, fear grips the group as they realize they are trapped in the lair of a 'rogue' crocodile, governed only by its need to hunt and kill.
  • Cast: Radha Mitchell, Michael Vartan, John Jarratt, Heather Mitchell, Sam Worthington
  • Director: Greg McLean
  • Genres: Natural HorrorHorror
  •  
  •                              Roguebrings Australian filmmaker Greg McLean, whose previous effort was the harrowing thrillerWolf Creek, back to the horror fold with an effective and well-crafted monster movie that pits a boatful of tourists against the title beast: a king-size crocodile with an insatiable appetite. McLean wisely follows the paradigm outlined byJawsand other notable giant ...
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