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‘…an admirably straight-forward horror/war hybrid that works as a vehicle for Fox…’

So we’re reviewing Megan Fox movies, now, are we? Well, yes, I guess, if they’re good enough, why not? The Transformers star may not be an obvious rallying point for cineastes, fairly quiet since her reunion with producer Michael Bay to play the iconic role of April O’Neil in two forgettable Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies. She returns to the screen as a top soldier in GI Jane mode for MJ Bassett’s Rogue, worth a look as an unpretentious alternative to the parade of award worthies featured during the current entertainment cycle.

Samantha O’Hara (Megan Fox) is the leader of a group of hardened mercenaries; classic extraction melodrama The Wild Geese feels like a useful reference point here, since Bassett’s film follows a similar missed-the-last-chopper storyline by abandoning O’Hara’s crew in Africa. Instead of a politician, the cargo turns out to be two teenage girls who have been kidnapped and rescued by local warlords; one is the daughter of a ‘governor’ although details are sketchy. O’Hara leads her troop to a successful raid on human traffickers, and a daring waterfall escape, but seeking refuge, they come across an abandoned lion farm, abandoned with good reason…

After an all-guns blazing opening, Rogue settles down to a one-location Fox vs lion thriller, almost theatrical at times, and that’s a good thing, with some decent scenes and dialogue for a B-movie co-production between the UK and South Africa. O’Hara has to protect the girls from the warlords, but also stave off the interruptions caused by the seemingly indestructible lioness; yes, it’s a war movie, but it’s a kinda-horror movie too. If you think that tense stand-offs will be interrupted by surprise lion attacks, and vice versa, you’ll be right; an entertaining formula in the manner of Deep Blue Sea, even if the CGI lion is best kept off-screen.

I’m fond of Bassett’s work (Solomon Kane in particular), and Rogue is no exception; an admirably straight-forward horror/war hybrid that works as a vehicle for Fox, who never undresses, sprawls over a motorbike, or plays up to her previous uber-glam image. Rogue is more than a little hokey at times, but manages to maintain narrative tension, and makes for an easy late-night watch on Prime; for Fox, it might just open up a whole new line of work as a kick-ass action star. If nothing else, I have to admit I didn’t know much about the issues involving illegal lion farms in Africa, and MJ Bassett seems keen to use this film to raise awareness as a respecter of wild-life; as a lover of all cats, big and small, I salute her efforts.

Rogue is (born) free on Amazon Prime in the UK at the time of writing.




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  1. Fox seriously messed up her career so it just shows there is always room for redemption. thought i had seen her face in some supermarket straight to DVD stuff on the same shelf as Nic Cage/Bruce Willis..

  2. yeah, after really trying to like the TMNT movies and failing, I gave up on Fox. Maybe if she can springboard this movie into a new career, I’ll try her again.

  3. I guess rebranding yourself as a kick-ass action star is one way to keep working. Kind of wish Charlize Theron hadn’t gone down that route, but it pays. Doesn’t work for everyone though. Fox looks like she can wear it. Keira Knightley in Domino not so much.

    • I’d agree with your examples. Theron has made a real stick of it, although she’d other options. Knightley, not convincing at all in this idiom. I don’t see why Fox shouldn’t be a tough soldier; when you see these people interviewed on the news, they often are pretty glamorous….

  4. it’s a bizarre thing the underground big cat trade. What’s not a surprise is that many of them end up abandoned and in private care facilities- they don’t stay cute tiger cubs for long, and human foresight is wonderfully on display there. There’s one not far from me in North Carolina. Dick Dale probably wasn’t the first to raise kids with lions. Oh wait, Megan Fox! Sounds good!

    • Yup, I thought of Roar too. No lions were harmed here, since they’re all cgi, so we can focus on the dubious nature of lion farming. Don’t use the one near you as an extraction point unless Megan Fox tells you!

    • That formula, with a big stand off between soldiers, then a surprise lion wiping the screen, works pretty well. Bang bang splats are very much in evidence, even if the lion is…well….you wouldn’t want them to use a real one, right?

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