WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?
From the director of “Wolf Creek” comes this terrifying look at nature’s perfect killing machine. When a group of tourists stumble into the remote Australian river territory of an enormous crocodile, the deadly creature traps them on a tiny mud island with the tide quickly rising and darkness descending. As the hungry predator closes in, they must fight for survival against all odds.
THE HUGHES VERDICT
Ever since a young man named Steven decided to do a little tale about 3 men, a boat and a giant fish, the creature feature as been dead in the water. Jaws is quite rightfully known as the ultimate scare thrill fest involving a demented animal that any film that tries to do a similar version is either compared to the shark flick or not even considered good enough. That is why apart from Deep Blue Sea, there has been zilch shark movies hitting the mainstream until of course when one day some bright spark with ideas above their stations will decide now is the time to re-make Jaws and before people sigh and say “that will never happen”…it will…I am telling you. it will.
We have had “other creatures”….for instance we have had Piranha pts 1, 2 and the re-make……80’s cult Alligator and its sequel…and many more, including this years awful Mega Shark (yes a shark movie!) Vs Giant Octopus, which thanks to Internet hype by the crazy guys who love that shite, it got a limited release. Another film out last year Dark Water was also a minor hit, involving a Crocodile targeting holidaymakers, its uncanny how that film shares so much likeness for this and more disturbing, how that and the Mega Shark fiasco managed to get a Cinema run when we have had to wait for nearly a year and a half for this to hit our shores and when it did, it went straight to DVD.
Rogue is far superior to all the creature films I have mentioned apart from one obvious one. In fact I will go close as saying its the most impressive I have seen for such a long time. How the heck did this not get a cinema release is beyond me.
Following like for like with his debut horror Wolf Creek, director Gregg Mclean lavishes this tale with beautiful scenery that seduces you with the imagery but unlike his outback film, this does not take an age to get going. Things settle quickly as we follow a Tourist boat who answer a flare distress call only to end up being targeted by a giant of a Croc that has to be seen to be believed.
In fact one of my main grumbles we could have is that we do not get enough time to get know the Croc bait. We are hurriedly introduced to them before they set sale so any feelings we try to have for the likeable characters fail to develop. What does set this apart is the usual cliche of characters usually associated with these films. They are just normal people with normal jobs who are having a normal holiday. In fact thinking about it now maybe I am being too harsh in criticising the way we fail to bond with them. I mean I bang on about cliches and all that, but Mclean who also wrote the screen-play does not insult our intelligence…he makes us make our own mind up about them, for example there is a touching scene when we see one of the tourists come on board and when asked how he has two tickets he simply replies “No its just me”. A while later we see him put ashes into the water…….there is no need for back-story, no usual “This is what happened”….its left to us to make our own minds and its all the more better for it.
What Rogue fails on is the pace…. When there is tension, I guarantee you will be chewing the nails of your hand no more so than the set-piece ending. But you wish that there were more scenes like that. The Crocodile which was based on a true life case in the 70’s is so impressive that you wish that you get to see more of it. The set-pieces that exist are great but a far and few between and you wish that Mclean left the shackles off and just went for the juggler.
As this is a mighty fine film which could have been a five starrer without question. Comparisons to Jaws are inevitable and this is up there with one of the best. But where that shark bite had the right balance between scares. tension…and humour….this fails on all the main ingredients which is a shame as when it rocks my word it totally rocks as seen by the climax which will have you gripped to your chair and that’s the overriding problem as when its good its even better than what Jaws offered, honestly I know that’s a bold statement, but it does…look at the climax!!!! but when the credits start to roll in front of your eyes, you get a lasting impression of “Is that all!” when all you want is more blinking scenes of that damn Crocodile eating people.
The one small detail that did make me laugh is while some of us have had to wait nearly 2 years to see this, it was a shock to see how young Sam Worthington looked especially as he has beefed up a lot now looking at his role in Terminator!
OVERALL: The best Croc film yet, with some stunning set-pieces that will have you breathless, let down by an uneven pace and a wish that there was an extra half an hour of Croc eating