by Evan ODell 3/3/09
(2007) Directed by Greg Mclean. Written by Greg Mclean. Starring Radha Mitchell, Michael Vartan, Sam Worthington, Caroline Brazier, Stephen Curry, Celia Ireland, Gordon Mitchel, and John Jarratt.
This film is written, directed, and produced by Greg Mclean, whose previous effort was Wolf Creek, which I genuinely loved. It was to me, perhaps the most faithful movie in spirit to the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre but with better production value and cinematography. So it was with great anticipation that I awaited the release of Rogue.
Rogue continued the great production value and cinematography. The cinematography by Will Gibson captures some stunning Australian vistas. Sadly, this was Gibson's last film before his death. Winner of Australian Film Institute Award for Best Visual Effects.
Any giant, ferocious animal movie is inevitably going to get compared to Jaws, which set the benchmark. No other giant animal film comes close to Jaws in terms of suspense. Based in part on the true story of Sweetheart, a giant Australian crocodile that attacked boats in the late 1970s. I think it was a real travesty that the crappy crocodile film, PRIMEVAL, got a theatrical release and Rogue didn't. Rogue is far more entertaining and didn't have to resort to a misleading advertising campaign which makes you think it is a story about a human serial killer. To me, this was better than Lake Placid and Eaten Alive.
I saw Hatchet a short time before I saw Rogue. They both center around a water cruise, a sinking boat, and a monstrous entity stalking the survivors. Unlike Hatchet, the characters in Rogue are believable. Their selfish motivations, while despicable, are realistic.
Pete McKell (Michael Vartan) is a travel writer on assignment to the Northern Territory, Australia. He joins captain Kate Ryan's (Radha Mitchell) boat cruise for tourists. After an unpleasant encounter with a couple locals, Kate is ready to head back. When Everett (Robert Taylor) spots a signal flair, she says they are duty bound to investigate and takes the boat into a "sacred" branch of the river. They soon spot a capsized boat and their tour boat is dealt a critical blow from underneath. Kate runs the boat aground on a tiny island before it can sink. One of the tourists points out that they're on a tidal river and when the tide comes in, the island will no longer exist. With any luck, the people will determine a method of escape before they are all croc food.