I fired this one up fully expecting a cheezy and unpleasantly gory horror flick. That’s not what I got. Instead, this one proved to be an effective ‘man vs nature’ adventure movie. All the trappings of a horror were in place, but weren’t exploited to that end. A mixed group of tourists on a Australian croc sighting tour in jungle territory incur the wrath of a massive adult crocodile while responding to a distress flare. What ensues is a race against time as their island sanctuary is threatened by rising tides and the homicidal boldness of the crafty croc itself. The attacks themselves are actually handled with a surprisingly deft touch, all fury and speed…with less splashing red than I was expecting. The characters are pretty one dimensional, but they do serve the story well. The majority of the film takes place at night, leaving the details of the marauding reptile mostly to the imagination. And when we are finally graced with full body shots, MOST of the CG works. It’s when the croc goes into villainous ‘action’ mode that the lesser budget becomes apparent. But, by and large, it doesn’t detract from the ‘escapist’ quality of the flick. Sam Worthington turns up as a redneck ‘good ole boy’ and he puts in a decent, charismatic performance. I suspect being able to use his natural Aussie accent helped stave off some of the ‘wood’ we’ve seen in later cinematic offerings. Overall, if you’re looking for a serviceable and suspenseful adventure film, you could do a lot worse than Rogue.
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