Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Rogue (2020)


Streaming Service: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: Rogue (2020)
Genre: Action, Horror, Thriller
Length: 1h 45min
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Grindstone Entertainment Group, Hassell Free Productions, Mannequin Pictures, The Electric Shadow Company, Raven Entertainment, ShowMax, Capstone Pictures, Sales Representatives / ISA, Blue Box International, Capstone Global, Lionsgate Home Entertainment, HULU
Director: M.J. Bassett
Writers: Isabel Bassett, M.J. Bassett, Mark Middlewick
Actors: Megan Fox, Jessica Sutton, Philip Winchester, Adam Deacon, Ashish Gangapersad, Austin Shandu,Brandon Auret, Bainet Yusuf, Buntu Raxabgana, Calliope Jane Taylor, Chrispen Nyathi, Cosmos Sebastian, Greg Kriek, Isabel Bassett, Kenneth Fok, Lee-Anne Liebenberg, Mangaliso Mazibuko, Nkanyiso Bhengu, Sisanda Henna, Tamer Burjaq, Tertius Meintjes

IMDb Blurb: O'Hara is a mercenary leading a squad of soldiers on their mission to rescue hostages in a remote part of Africa. Unfortunately, the mission goes awry and the team is stranded and forced to survive against the local rebels.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’m going to shoot straight from the hip here. I’m a bit on the fence about my experience with Rogue. Was this movie as bad as the audience ratings suggest across polling sites? Not necessarily. At the same time, it wasn’t the best I’ve seen on similar subject matter and in the same genre.

What Rogue does execute well is grade-a popcorn movie action, but it’s sporadic. There were a few issues with the CGI for the lions in a few spots that took me out of the moment occasionally. I mean, of course, these were all digitally rendered CGI lions. Shooting these sort of scenes with real lions would have been far too dangerous for both people and the cats and not feasible. It would have undermined the entire message of the film bringing awareness to lion farming. 

If anything, that was probably what Rogue did the best - raising awareness for both the lion trade and human trafficking.

Aside from under-utilizing the ensemble cast here led by Megan Fox (Till Death, Night Teeth, Big Gold Brick) and Philip Winchester (Strike Back, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, A Week in Paradise), there were a few other issues here and there. There really isn’t a point in getting into them. (Some would also involve spoilers.)

When Rogue first released, I was excited to watch it and did so as soon as I was able to affordably purchase a digital rental. Given the time period between then and now, I re-watched the film again to have a fresh take on it for my review. Unfortunately, I had to watch it twice because I fell asleep the first time. I do feel I need to clarify that with the fact that I tend to be semi-narcoleptic sometimes because of medical conditions so I can’t always blame the show or movie that I’m watching when it happens. It often has nothing to do with how invested I am in what is on the screen. On the flip side of that, I think that a more recent movie, Beast (2022), executed a similar rogue lion story far better - and without needing the mercenary military shoot-em-up action sequences. 

Would I choose to watch Rogue again? Probably not, but not because I hated it. That sentiment comes from a place of “been there, done that.” I have a to-watch wishlist that is ever-growing and a to-read list that will take me until the end of time to accomplish. It’s a matter of time conservation.
I wouldn’t steer anyone away from watching Rogue, however. Though, I’d likely recommend Beast first.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 64%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score –39%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – 3.3/10
IMDB Score – 4.1/10

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 2.5/5

P.S. - There’s an epilogue from the director shown during the credits that mentions the very real lion-farming trade in Africa for awareness along with a plea to stop the practice.

Movie Trailer:

No comments:

Post a Comment