By: John M Jerva

REVIEW: Rogue

STARRING: Megan Fox, Brandon Auret, Greg Kriek, Sisanda Henna, Kenneth Fok, Jessica Sutton, Calli Taylor, and Philip Winchester

DIRECTED BY; MJ Bassett

Megan Fox (Transformers franchise) tackles a thrilling new role as a battle-hardened mercenary in this explosive action saga. As team leader O’Hara, she leads a lively squad of soldiers on a daring mission: rescue hostages from their captors in remote Africa. But as the mission goes awry and the team is stranded, O’Hara’s squad must face a bloody, brutal encounter with a gang of rebels – and the horde of ravenous, enraged lions they encounter.

THE REVIEW: Let me start off by saying that I have loved a lot of films that a lot of people have not. It’s kind of my charm and I’ve taken a lot of flack for it over the years. How many times can I say a lot in one paragraph? I guess a lot. Anyway, I digress but as I was saying, I’m a pretty postive person and I find the good in anything that I watch. Sure there’s been films where even I have said ‘hey that really sucks’ but all films are made by hard working individuals so who am I to bash on their work. I’m just a guy from Ohio who grew up with action films and is an avid lover of them till the day I die. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, I like a lot of bad films. There’s that word again.

With that little rant, I give you the new release Rogue which stars Megan Fox as a battle hardened mercenary, wait a second, did I just say Megan Fox is a battle hardened mercenary? Yep I did and she stars in the film directed by MJ Bassett who also helmed the horror flick Silent Hill: Revelations which I didn’t see but has also directed several episodes of Strike Back which just happens to be one of my most favorite action series of all time so with that I was pretty stoked when I first laid eyes on the trailer for the film and thought it looked pretty decent. Sure it had Fox running around trying to look bad ass but it also stars one Mr. Philip Winchester who is one of my favorite actors who starred in said Strike Back series as Michael Stonebridge so that was a massive selling point right there. Would I have loved to see him as the main lead of the movie? Sure but at least he was dusting off his spec ops skills that he displayed so gloriously for four seasons on Strike Back so count me in. Other than that, I really didn’t know who else starred in the film. As soon as I posted the article for the trailer on my site, the negativity poured in like a firestorm of epic proportions and it still does to this day.

The trailer still looked pretty decent and I was in the minority who thought Fox could actually pull this off and play the role of said battle hardened mercenary named Sam O’Hara who leads a rag tag group of other mercs as they set off on a hostage rescue mission to rescue a high priority prisoner from a group of ruthless militia. Let me backtrack and say that the film opens up with a scene where some poachers get what they deserve as a lioness that they thought was dead was not and proceeded to tear them all a new ass. It really is a great opening as these scumbags get what they deserve and the lioness, now pissed of to no end, escapes into the African wilderness. Now back to O’Hara and her team who while on the mission to rescue a governor’s daughter from a ruthless army, get more than they bargained for when they discover that there are two other girls with the target and when O’Hara, against her better judgement, makes the decision to take all three, things go awry and the team is thrust into one major firefight that is pretty impressive.

The scene lasts around twenty minutes long and it features enough explosions, firepower and headshots to satisfy even the most jaded of action fan. To top it off, we get a pretty awesome jeep chase culminated with the mercs jumping off a huge cliff to avoid being killed by the militia who is hot on their tail. Once they escape, things go from bad to worse as now they have no weapons and they must brave the unforgiven African landscape with bad guys right behind them.

Things slow down in the middle when the group stumbles upon the poachers’ camp from the beginning and discover the dead bodies and discover that something far worse then the militia is hunting them. It’s the classic the hunters become the hunted story line that we have seen many times before but dammit I was having a good time with a film that I knew I shouldn’t have been.

Megan Fox, Sisanda Henna, and Greg Kriek in Rogue (2020)

I have to stress that outside the two Transformers films, I really haven’t seen much of Fox’s other films except for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows and I thought she did alright there too. Now I know I’m in the minority here and I might have to turn in my action film blogger card after I say this but I thought Fox did a rather impressive job in the lead role and you can tell that she and the cast had some pretty good training for the role. Winchester, who plays the role of Joey, always looks the part as he did it for so long on Strike Back so it was great to see him in his Stonebridge element once again. Sadly, Sulliven Stapleton’s Damien Scott didn’t show up to offer his former partner a hand but oh well maybe one day we will get that reunion. Back to Fox as her role of O’Hara was a pleasant surprise and I was sort of grinning as she really showed up for the action set pieces. The rest of the cast is pretty decent as well and aside from some suspect dialogue, they really gelled well with one another.

Why the Fuck Should I Watch: ROGUE (2020)? Movie review. Megan Fox. | Medium

The film does suffer from some pretty sub par CGI and it is unfortunate as if more money had been spent on the lioness, it would have really sold the film. Unfortunately, this animal looks as impressive as the one in Nicolas Cage’s Primal. I sort of liked that film as well although I never did review it. Plus after the rousing opening battle sequence, the film slows down a lot (take a shot every time I say that word) as the mercs hold up in the camp but things heat up as the lioness hunts each of the mercs one by one and it is sort of riveting if I do say so. It’s all rather cliche as you know that everyone except for Fox will ultimately meet their maker but I was vested in it so there’s that. Think The Ghost and the Darkness but instead of Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer, you get Megan Fox. See what I mean? I know I should have hated this film but I just couldn’t do it.

The finale really does make up for the sluggish second act as the militia shows up and attacks the group who are way lesser in numbers then in the beginning and the action includes another fierce firefight along with that pesky lioness striking fom the shadows every so often. The climax is pretty tense and the acting was pretty damn good as well and I found myself having one hell of a time with the film and enjoying every second of it.

Let me just say that the best part of the movie is Winchester and he really dishes out some great comedic relief and he pretty much steals every scene that he is in and he is top tier at the end when injured to a great extent, he still makes his presence known and I was thumping my chest for every second of it. He also has some great banter throughout the film with actor Kenneth Fok who plays Bo Yinn and I for one would love to see a film with just these two characters in it.

Rogue movie trailer has Chicago Justice's Philip Winchester fighting lions

All in all, I know I shouldn’t have enjoyed Rogue but I found myself buying into what it was selling and it pretty much served up one of the most tense and exciting action films of the summer and boy did we need it. I accepted Fox in the role she was playing and having Stonebridge, sorry, Winchester right by her side made it even more entertaining for me and even with the crap CGI, I thought the action was kick ass and the tension was spot on. I know I’m going to gey sued for saying all of this but I felt I made a strong arguement for liking the film and dammit I like to be a leader not a follower so when you read all the other negative reviews on this one, all I’m saying is give this one a chance and you might just like it. After all, the pickings are slim right now so we have to take what we can get but even with that, I enjoyed the hell out of Rogue. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you all again soon for my review of another guilty pleasure called Hard Kill. Yeah, I Know. I’m asking for punishment.

VERDICT: 3.5 Out Of 5 Stars

ACTION-FLIX APPROVED! Yeah that’s right, I said it!

Rogue is now available on Digital and VOD from Lionsgate Home Entertainment

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