Ending the work week with a killer crocodile movie. Aside from Monday, this has been a pretty good week of movie watching for me. Now I had an interesting time with this DVD when I bought it. See, I picked this up at a Blockbuster during it’s out of business sell because I always need another killer crocodile movie to watch. Unfortunately, the disk I had was scratched up to the point that the end of the movie was unwatchable. So I wound up going to MovieStop and purchasing a copy there. However, that movie was also messed up but, unlike Blockbuster, I could return it and get another copy. So after three attempts at purchasing this movie, let’s see if it was worth it as I watch today’s movie, Rogue (2007).
The plot: In Australia’s Northern Territory, American Pete McKell arrives in a small town as part of his job as a travel journalist. After talking to his boss, where Pete complains about the airline losing his bags so he can’t finish his article, Pete boards a crocodile watching tour run by Kate Ryan, a wildlife researcher that works in Kakadu National Park. As they observe the crocodiles, Kate starts telling the group details about the saltwater crocodile but when some of the group get nervous, she assures them that the crocodiles won’t attack anything bigger than them. Suddenly a couple of locals, Neil and Collin, buzz the cruise in their own boat before pulling up next to it, and Neil partially stands on the boat in order to talk to Kate, as they have a history. After Pete and another passenger, Everett, ask Neil to leave, Kate starts to throttle forward, causing Collin so suddenly jerk his boat to the side and dumping Neil into the river and Kate and the tour group laugh as he is forced to swim over to his boat. After a couple more hours on the river, Kate is preparing to head back when Preston notices a flare in the distance. After several other members of the group see a second one, Kate tries to radio her base but is unable to reach them due to their being in a canyon so, despite the protests of some of the group, she tells the group that they have to investigate the flare and off assistance if needed. Kate steers the boat towards the location of the flare and they start looking but don’t see any signs of people. Just before they turn back and head for home, Kate spies a boat that has recently been sunk when suddenly, something large strikes their boat, causing it to start leaking. Kate steers the boat towards a nearby island and everybody disembarks but several of the group begin arguing and complaining about what happened. Kate grabs some of the survival bags from the boat and looks for the radio but she doesn’t get a signal from the hand held or the boat. One of the passengers, Russell, realizes that they are on a tidal island and that it will be underwater soon. He starts getting belligerent and wants to swim to the main land but Kate and Everett stop him. As they get a signal from the radio, they head back to shore but Everett is suddenly grabbed and dragged underwater while nobody is looking. Everyone is in shock at what happened and Kate heads back to the boat to look for some flares but they have floated off into the middle of the river. Neil and Collin show up and buzz the group but when they notice they are in trouble, they turn around and start to head towards them when their boat is knocked into the air and crashes back into the water. Neil surfaces and swims to the island but as he looks around, there is no sign of Collin. Realizing that they are in the territory of a large crocodile and they won’t last long when the tide comes in, Neil ties some ropes together and swims across to the other side, then ties the rope to a tree to serve as a suspension bridge, so they can make their way across. Mary Ellen, Everett’s wife, is the first person to attempt to cross but she ends up panicking and freezes half way. Allen, who is there with his sick wife Gwen and their daughter, Sherry, gets impatient and has Sherry climb onto the rope and he follows her, then starts yelling at Mary Ellen to move. Pete and Kate yell at Neil to try and help Mary Ellen move but when Neil goes to grab the flashlight that he dropped, he is killed by the crocodile. As the tree Neil tied the rope too falls into the water, Mary Ellen, Sherry, and Russell all swim back to the island but as Allen apologizes to Kate for his actions, he is suddenly grabbed by the crocodile and flung into the river and it then grabs him and drags him away. As everyone is in shock at what happened and fearing for the worst, Pete goes on the boat for the first aid kit and notices the anchor. Grabbing the anchor, Pete says that he plans on hooking the crocodile, giving them enough time to swim to shore. Realizing that it is their only chance, the others agree and want to use Kevin, Kate’s dog, as bait but Kate refuses to let them. As Gwen yells at Kate for refusing to sacrifice Kevin for their well being, Simon pulls some dead ducks from the shoreline that they can use as bait. After setting the trap, Pete chooses to stay behind and man the hook and Kate leaves Kevin with him while she leads the others across the river. When the crocodile takes the bait, Pete yells out to the others and Kate has them start swimming across, with Russell helping Gwen across. As Pete prepares to go, the line suddenly goes slack and he warns Kate, who is the last one to swim across. Kate yells at the others to run and after they do, Pete, holding onto Kevin’s leash, starts swimming towards her, just as the crocodile grabs her and drags her away. Pete tries looking for Kate but when he finds no sign of her, he tries to locate the others when Kevin suddenly runs off. When Pete runs after him, he ends up falling down into the crocodile’s lair, where he finds Neil’s body floating in the water. Pete sees Kevin sitting near Kate’s body and when he goes to check on her, he discovers that she is alive, though badly wounded. Suddenly, Kevin runs back up to the entrance to the lair and as Pete grabs Kate’s body, he hears Kevin yelp in pain before a crunching sound is heard. Pete manages to hide with Kate as the crocodile makes it’s way into the lair, swallowing what’s left of Kevin before appearing to fall asleep. Grabbing Kate, Pete quietly tries to make his way out of the lair, checking on the crocodile every now and then. When Pete notices the crocodile has disappeared, he barely has enough time to get out of the way as it lunges out of the water at him. Taking shelter beneath the roots of a large tree, Pete tries to lure the crocodile away from Kate, forcing it to chase after him. He tries to fend it off with a large branch but the crocodile bites it and snaps it in two. Pete hides between some rocks but the crocodile lunges after him and as Pete tries pushing it’s head away from him, it bites off two of his fingers. Pete is able to grab a bone shard and jab it into the crocodile’s eye, driving it away from him but it simply swims over to block the entrance to the lair as it watches him. When Kate suddenly groans in pain, the crocodile turns it’s attention towards her and tries to get her. Pete throws a rock at it to lure it away from Kate, then grabs the branch, which now has a pointed tip, and braces it against the rock as the crocodile approaches him. The crocodile leaps out of the water to attack Pete and ends up spearing itself in the head with the branch, killing it. Pete crawls out from the crocodile’s body and, after grabbing Kate, makes his way out of the lair. After catching his breath, Pete starts carrying through the marsh until he comes across the rescue party that had found the others. After getting his wounds tended too, Pete approaches the stretcher that Kate is on and after a brief bit of small talk, Kate thanks him for saving her life before she is airlifted away to the hospital. As the credits roll, the screen focuses on the wall of the bar Pete entered at the beginning of the movie, where a news article of Pete killing the crocodile is pinned to the wall.
Rogue (2007) met with high praise from the critics, holding a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics all felt that the movie was well shot while praising the location for adding to the tension in the film. The crocodile in the movie was based on a the true story of Sweetheart, a 5.1 meter saltwater crocodile that was responsible for attacks on numerous boats during a 5 year period but never killed anyone. Though it received plenty of critical acclaim, the movie was a failure at the box office, earning $4.6 million off of a $26.9 million budget.
This is one of the better killer crocodile movies that I have seen, and I have seen quite a few. The acting was pretty good, with Michael Vartan (Pete) and Radha Mitchell (Kate) doing great jobs in their roles, while all of the supporting cast were equally good portraying the various emotions and stresses that the group was suffering. The story was really good and did a good job in expressing the desperation and panic that the group was in, ratcheting up the tension in the film right up to the very end. The special effects were pretty good and the crocodile itself, aside from the large size, was pretty realistic looking, though the end scene of Pete killing the crocodile was a little weak compared to the rest of the film. A well done movie that is worth watching.
Rating: 4 out of 5