Review-Lite: Rogue (2020)

Megan Fox in Rogue

There comes a moment in the early on in M.J Bassett’s Rogue where you either resign yourself to the film before you or crumble under the weight of stupidity placed at your feet. Rogue, at least initially, follows an ‘elite’ squad of soldiers led by Sam O’Hara (Megan Fox) who depart on a rescue mission to save the daughter of a high profile politician from human traffickers. When things go sideways they find themselves holed up at a lion farm where they are trapped between their enemies and an extremely pissed off lioness. The titular rogue lion itself, a completely CG creation in a movie lacking in the budget to make it truly convincing proves the lynchpin on not only the films credibility and your enjoyment. Rogue can’t have both, no matter how hard it tries. A closing tag about the dangers of lion farming unnecessarily remind viewers that Rogue is a ‘piece of fiction’ but the true dangers of the issues discussed remain. Rogue, despite a clear lack of trying, doesn’t discuss anything. Between campy fight scene with a laughably realised lion and some questionable casting choices, Rogue only really works when the action breaks out and the jokes are flying and the tepid attempts at tension building go away in favour of mindless running and gunning. Fox clearly appreciates the physical nature of the film, fast paced quips by Philip Winchester, reconnecting with frequent Strike Back director Bassett, get progressively funnier the more injured his character becomes and the insanity of the final shootout speaks to a film that wanted audiences to have more fun than they eventually received. Rogue wants to speak to the suffering of animals, paint humans as the real villains and tell a functional story at the same time. If it had embraced its camp, B movie trappings instead of shying away from them, Rogue could have been a hell of a lot of fun.


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