Rogue (2007)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Rogue</strong> (2007)

(On DVD, August 2010) I have no particular fascination for giant crocodiles, but I’m always interest in a a well-made monster movie.  So it is that Rogue, despite having been released straight-to-DVD in North America after a successful theatrical run in its native Australia, is a surprisingly efficient horror movie pitting humans against one particularly vicious croc.  The first pre-horror section of the film, ironically, may be its best as directory Greg McLean gives us a gorgeously photographed guided tour of Northern Territory nature, complete with so many dangers that our boatful of tourist characters should really start to worry.  Things don’t remain as credible as a series of mishaps shipwrecks our protagonists on a small island in the middle of a giant crocodile’s habitat.  Sam Worthington has a significant early role as a cocky redneck, but it’s Michael Vartan who becomes the thinking man’s action hero as the tide rises and their options grow smaller.  Never mind the obvious objections and plot-holes in stranding characters on an island twenty meters away from relative safety: Crocs seemingly can’t walk on land in this film, and the reward in suspending our disbelief is seeing a few good suspenseful sequences.  It doesn’t work as well late in the film as the action moves to a studio-built lair in time for a straight-up man-against-nature fight.  But Rogue is sufficiently successful by then that it doesn’t matter as much as you’d think: It’s meanly efficient most of the time, and enjoyable for the rest of it.  Tourists heading to the Australian wilderness may think twice before seeing the film and adding to their worries, though.

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