Rogue

 
Directed by: Greg McLean
Written by:Greg McLean
Starring: Michael Vartan, Radha Mitchell, John Jarratt, Stephen Curry, Sam Worthington
Released: November 8, 2007
Grade: B

I wasn’t expecting much walking into the cinema but Rogue turned out to be pretty decent movie.  You have to understand my reluctance.  An Australian film about a monster crocodile didn’t exactly wet my appetite.  It looked like one of the formulaic, unrealistic thrillers that emanate from Hollywood (only made on a smaller budget).

I should have had faith in the director, Greg McLean.  McLean made one of the scariest films ever made – 2005’s Wolf Creek.  It was the story of three backpackers who were kidnapped by a vicious psychopath in the Australian outback.  Unlike most other Australian flicks, it made an impact in the international marketplace.  It took in more than $16m in the United States, more than any other Australian film in the past 5 years.

Rogue isn’t as good as Wolf Creek but it still provides a few thrills.  The opening half-hour sees us introduced to characters.  They are all aboard a small boat which is taking them on a tour of a river in the Northern Territory.  As the tour guide, Kate (Mitchell) tells them all about the vicious salt-water crocodiles that swim in these waters.  Some are worried but Kate tells them that they have nothing to fear – they won’t attack anything as big as their boat.

Guess what?  She’s wrong.  The boat is smashed from underneath by an extremely large crocodile.  It starts taking on water and they crash into a small rocky island in the middle of the river.  This leaves them stranded.  The boat can’t be fixed, the radio isn’t working and flares were washed away.  They can’t even sit tight and wait to be rescued.  The tide is rising and within a few hours, the island will be completely underwater.  They’re going to have to find a way to get to the river bank without being eaten first.

With the scenario established, it’s now time to see who lives and who dies.  It’s not as predictable as you might think.  The fate of several characters did not pan out as I’d expected.  I say this as positive because when it comes to this type of movie, the most important think is to keep the audience on their toes (that’s if you can overlook the implausible scenario and cheesy dialogue).

There are a few notable actors amongst the cast.  They include Radha Mitchell (Finding Neverland), Sam Worthington (Gettin’ Square) and Michael Vartan (One Hour Photo).  John Jarratt (who starred in Wolf Creek) is almost unrecognisable as one of the tourists aboard the boat.  They won’t be wining any awards for their performances but they will help boost the film’s profile both in Australia and abroad.

Look, you won’t be blown away by this movie but if you like a bit of suspense, there should be just enough to satisfy.