Sunday, April 13, 2008

Rogue (Rogue Crocodile)

Killer Croc

Not another crocodile movie again, you might groan. I did too, as I wonder just how many killer shark and killer crocodile/alligator movies need to be made, before they finally die off. Not too long ago we had Primeval, which was a crocodile movie set in the African continent which had attempted to weave local politics into it. Here, it's set in the Northern Territories of Australia, and with such killer-reptilian movies, the more exaggerated the size and aggression of the animal, the better. So we have a seven metre long crocodile for the characters to contend with.

It's a simple set up, in which Radha Mitchell plays Kate Ryan, a river tour guide who pilots her own boat to ferry tourists down a river to experience the wild life, as well as learning little details such as them not getting themselves attacked by any crocs because their tour boats are larger, or so they would like the tourists to believe. That said, our monster in question took about 30 minutes before deciding to increase the pace and tension of the movie, by knocking up against the boat of our merry bunch when they respond to a distant distress signal.

It takes a while to get things moving because writer-director Greg McIean (Wolf Creek) had dedicated the earlier portion of the movie to get the audience chummy with the characters, before they become fodder for our hungry crocodile. And surprisingly, I have to say that Rogue Crocodile did work, despite it being a crocodile movie done countless of times over, and whose plot development we can see coming from a mile away. What probably worked in its favour, is that there aren't any gung-ho heroes in the story - no cops or natural crocodile dundees, but everyday folk like you and I, and we naturally would root for them as they try to escape their predicament.

And it looks like a typical episode from the television series Lost too. You have a makeshift island where our temporal inhabitants seek refuge from, though the tide's coming through to flood it in time, and with water comes natural territory for the crocodile to wade through. Communication devices aren't working and they're cut off from the rest of the world. So they can only rely on their own ingenuity, plans crafted with time working against them, if only they can get past their occasional bickering on what to do.

There are enough tension filled moments to excite you as this crocodile chomps without remorse, and it doesn't shy away from showing some gory bits, though the number of set action pieces are limited, and involves a little too much thrashing about by the roguish reptile which turns out to be not too smart, relying on plain brawn. Suitable for those lazy Sunday afternoons.

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