Rogue (2007) Directed by Greg McLean. With Radha Mitchell, Michael Vartan, Sam Worthington, Mia Wasikowska, Caroline Brazier and Stephen Curry.
Are you a fan of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic, Jaws? Does it frustrate you that the quality of the average b-movie creature-feature tends to amount to little more than an enticing poster? If you answered with an emphatic yes to both of those questions, it brings me great pleasure to introduce you to writer-director Greg McLean’s giant crocodile movie, Rogue.
In terms of plot, one glance at the above poster tells you all you need to know, but what sets the film apart is its restraint in saving itself by building tension, while affording a little time to develop characters we might actually want to root for. Unlike many similar themed films, Rogue (for want of a better title), boasts a good cast. There’s a pre-Avatar Sam Worthington, a perfectly stubbled Michael Vartan and a pleasant Radha Mitchell, all of whom provide a degree of reassuring star quality.
Like Mclean’s previous film, Wolf Creek , the awe-inspiring Australian environment plays a a crucial role in setting the scene. There is something inherently other-worldly about this great and vast land, and once again, McLean succeeds in making it feel a suitably hostile place.
The real icing on the cake here is the success of the visual effects. While CG in these films often disappoints, the killer croc is beautifully animated and has a pleasing heft. McLean is a clever director, and although he’s dealing with very basic subject matter, he fully understands how to squeeze the most out of it. Lots of straight up fun. 4/5