Noob Reviews: Rogue
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is Rogue?
Released in 2020, Rogue is an action thriller in which an elite battle-hardened team of mercenaries are dispatched to Africa to rescue the daughter of a government official. Unfortunately for the group (which is led by Megan Fox). Their rescue mission does not quite go to plan, and they soon find themselves having to fight off local insurgents trying to reclaim their hostage and the previous resident of a lion farm that has managed to escape its cage.
What type of genre is the film?
Rogue falls quite neatly into both the action and thriller genres.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- The official trailer linked from Lionsgate Movies’ YouTube channel -
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
Adam Deacon (Zalamm)
Megan Fox (Samantha O’Hara)
Philip Winchester (Joey Kasinski)
Sisanda Henna (Pata)
For a full cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think of Rogue?
Having seen both the trailer for Rogue and the cast listing, I was very excited to watch the film as I absolutely loved Philip Winchester’s work in the Strike Back series. And I think Megan Fox is quite a good actress, having loved her work in Transformers, Jonah Hex and Jennifer’s Body. Admittedly though, some of her roles I found to be a bit hit and miss. Unfortunately, Rogue was one such role.
When it comes down to the story, Rogue is the latest in a series of films, including Prey and Uncaged that has turned to big cats to be the main antagonists. Although it works well with a human versus nature type vibe, it is not really a unique concept that the film can use as a selling point. Neither are international mercenaries carrying out missions in Africa or hostage rescues. All of these plots have been done before, and it is a real shame as the story writer has tried to pull from many different genres and combine them together neatly. But in reality, it just unfolds as a series of unfortunate events. Added into the mix the fact that there was a real lack of any substantial character arcs. And I found the story to just be playing out in the background and not really worth following too hard in between fight sequences and the odd jump scare.
On another level, the story is not helped by the level of acting either. Often, many of the characters started to become irritating and lack any real personality (like the lead kidnapper Zalamm) relatively quickly. The consistent whining of Megan Fox’s team members about her skill set just got monotonous. And Megan Fox’s own straight-faced lone wolf approach to situations was just screaming try hard and became dull. Don’t get me wrong, she can make a fantastic leading actress, but I never really got that energy from her in Rogue. For me, though, the most unlikeable character has to be the rescue target Asila who only seemed to have a handful of facial expressions and had a tendency to really over-deliver her scenes. I regularly found myself rolling my eyes as it was more a case of ‘oh god, here we go again’ instead of genuinely excited to see what came next. Admittedly there were some exceptions to the mediocre acting, with Philip Winchester (Joey) delivering quite a likeable character with plenty of comedic relief. And I really started to like Brandon Auret’s character Elijah Dekker before his screen time was suddenly cut short.
Regarding the cinematography, the filming locations were gorgeous and although it was pretty sad to read about the reality of existing lion farms at the end of the film. The way the locations team/prop team recreated and brought one to life even at night was fantastic to see as the level of detail was brilliant. The melee fight scenes were executed really well, too, as were the dramatic shots and long-distance shots. My only real issue with the gunfights was the cut and paste blood splatter effect that seemed to appear each time an enemy unit was shot in the head. It might just be me, but I am pretty confident saying they are identical every time.
Overall, Rogue is an effortless watch, something you can just sit back and switch off to. That been said, don’t go in with your hopes too high if you watch Rogue, as many elements fail to deliver. And in all honesty, there are better films out there. Personally, Rogue is not a film I will watch again, but my gripes about actors/actresses and the lack of story may not bother someone else as much - so I encourage you to still check it out yourself as it may suit your personal tastes.
What rating would you give Rogue?
I would rate Rogue as a mediocre 3 out of 5 bananas.
What looked to be a fantastic film with a great cast really fails to deliver anything more than average content. The acting is a bit drab for my taste. The story is full of plot holes and barely has any character development. And the lioness flips between looking like a life-like apex predator and a flat furred CGI import depending on the scene. The film is definitely not the worst big cat action thriller out there but is definitely not the best. If you are looking to scratch that big cat itch, might I suggest checking out Primal, a 2019 film starring Nicholas Cage.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in Rogue and would like to check it out yourself, to form your own opinion - you can find it on Amazon Prime Video, Blu-ray and DVD.