Tagged: Kenneth Fok

Summary:  O’Hara is a mercenary leading a squad of soldiers on their mission to rescue hostages in remote part of Africa. Unfortunately the mission goes wrong and the team are stranded, forced to survive against the local rebels.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: TBA

VOD Release Dates: 2nd December 2020 (Australia), 16th November 2020 (UK), 28th August 2020 (USA)

Country: USA, South Africa, UK

Director: M.J. Bassett

Screenwriter: Isabel Bassett, M.J. Bassett, Mark Middlewick

Cast: Brandon Auret (Elijah Dekker), Isabel Bassett (Tessa), Nkanyiso Bhengu (Butcher), Tamer Burjaq (Masakh), Adam Deacon (Zalaam), Kenneth Fok (Bo Yinn), Megan Fox (Samantha O’Hara), Ashish Gangapersad (Nuru), Sisanda Henna (Pata), Greg Kriek (Mike Barasa), Lee-Anne Liebenberg (TJ), Mangaliso Mazibuko (Bobbie), Tertius Meintjes (Gordie), Chrispen Nyathi (Mifuna), Buntu Raxabgana (Mannie), Cosmos Sebastian (Banjo), Austin Shandu (Alred), Jessica Sutton (Asilia Wilson), Calli Taylor (Chloe), Simon Wanderi (Porter), Philip Winchester (Joey Kasinski), Bainet Yusuf (Maxwell)

Running Time: 105 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)

OUR ROGUE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Rogue Review:

A few years ago if actress Meagan Fox had a film coming out the world knew about it. The talented actress was the face of huge franchises including Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She was so popular in fact that when she left the Transformers franchise there were fans out there saying they would boycott the Bay juggernaut due to the fact they thought she had been unceremoniously and unfairly dumped.

Today Fox’s films seem to come out with very little fanfare at all – a shame when you consider that some of the films that she has been releasing recently are absolute gems. First there was the seriously under-rated Think Like A Dog and now her new action film Rogue has landed on a number of streaming platforms in Phuket. With a lot of ordinary action films being released during the Covid lockdowns it is a refreshing to see a film like Rogue stand above the pack.

Directed by MJ Bassett (Ash vs Evil Dead) Rogue sees Fox star as mercenary leader Samantha O’Hara;  who is sent into East Africa with her team to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a Governor. Once on the ground O’Hara learns that Asilia (Jessica Sutton – The Kissing Booth) is being held captive alongside her best friends, Tessa (Isabel Bassett – Solomon Kane) and Chloe (Calli Taylor – The Courier).

But as O’Hara and her team find themselves in a fight to the death with local warlord Zaleem (Adam Deacon – Righteous Villains) they soon discover that they are also the hunted. Not only does Zallem to have a bigger army than they expected but there is also a rogue lioness patrolling the area who is annoyed that she has been separated from her cubs at an illegal lion farm. Soon she is hunting down O’Hara’s team as well as the rebels they are fighting.

You could probably say that there is nothing ‘new’ in Rogue but what makes this film standout from some of the other action films out there is the way that the story is told. MJ Bassett reveals herself as an under-rated director of the genre, her battle sequences here are equal to anything that we saw in films like Black Hawk Down while her screenplay, which she wrote with her daughter Isobel, does something that so few action films do – give characterisation to even the minor characters.

That small thing totally enhances the rest of the film. The fact that one of O’Hara’s teams was once a member of Zaleem’s militia leads to some brilliant tense moments between himself and the former captives of Zaleem, while even Zaleem is given more characterisation than most action bad guys would be. There are times in this film where he basically pleads his case to O’Hara explaining that the militia are as equally as bad as the Government she works for. Yes, it doesn’t justify anything but it does make for more interesting scenes than just endless shootouts.

Bassett also allows for Rogue to take on an environmental angle as well. Not only does she show the cruelty that exists in the illegal lion farms but also reveals that it is corruption and greed that keeps them running. Yes, the plot almost does label the lioness as one of the ‘villains’ of the film but at the same time there is a clear understanding from O’Hara as to why the lioness is doing what she is doing – she is simply just trying to protect her young.

Sadly amongst all the Covid carnage in cinemas at the moment Rogue has slipped through to go straight to streaming services but this is one action film that certainly shouldn’t be missed. Meagan Fox stars in a role that demands both dramatic and action skills while the story itself is both intriguing and suspenseful. One to certainly hunt down while cinemas are still closed.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Rogue (2020) on IMDb

Other Subculture Rogue Reviews:

You can read our Rogue review in The Phuket News right here – https://www.thephuketnews.com/megan-fox-goes-rogue-80387.php

Trailer:

The Dark Tower

Summary: The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

Year: 2017

Australian Cinema Release Date: 17th August 2017

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Nikolaj Arcel

Screenwriter: Nikolaj Arcel, Akiva Goldsman, Anders Thomas Jensen Stephen King (novel), Jeff Pinkner

Cast: Michael Barbieri (Timmy), Idris Elba (Roland), Kenneth Fok (Johnny), Jackie Earle Haley (Sayre), Nicholas Hamilton (Lucas Hanson, Dennis Haysbert (Steven), Eva Kaminsky (Jill), Caludia Kim (Arra), Fran Kranz (Pimli), Abbey Lee (Tirana), Matthew McConaughey (Walter), Robbie McLean (Toby), Nicholas Pauling (Lon), Leeanda Reddy (Dr. Weizak), Tom Taylor (Jake), Matthew Thomson (Jonah), Lemogang Tshipa (Phedon), Robert Whitehead (Cantab), Kathryn Winnick (Laurie), Jose Zuniga (Dr. Hotchkiss)

Runtime: 95 mins

Classification: M

OUR THE DARK TOWER REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths:

 

Whew… I feel like I have dodged a bullet. Reading reviews before I went into to see The Dark Tower meant I was preparing myself for an abysmal nightmare of a film – one that some critics had labeled the ‘worst film based on a Stephen King novel ever’. So imagine my surprise when I sat down and ended up finding myself watching a fun, intriguing, albeit brief, supernatural action film.

The Dark Tower sees a story that took King seven novels to tell told in a film that clocks in at just over an hour and a half. It begins with New York being rocked by earthquakes that have experts confused. Meanwhile, young Jake (Tom Taylor – Doctor Foster, Legends) is having terrible nightmares in which he sees a Dark Tower and dark characters including a Gunslinger and a man in dark jacket. Jake’s mother, Laurie (Kathryn Winnick – Vikings, Love & Other Drugs) is convinced that the dreams are the result of the trauma of Jake’s father dying while on duty as a firefighter and seeks medical advice for him.

However, soon the jigsaw pieces start falling into place for Jake. The earthquakes are being caused by the man in the black jacket… aka Walter (Matthew McConaughey – Interstellar, Dallas Buyers Club) using children’s minds in horrific experiments to try and bring down The Dark Tower – a tower that prevents the darkness of other worlds taking over our own dimension. The only man who can stop Walter is the last known gunslinger, Roland (Idris Elba – Prometheus, Zootopia) who is haunted by the fact that Walter has killed everybody that has ever meant anything to him.

Walter then realises that with Jake’s psychic ability he has the one mind that can bring down the Dark Tower so he orders all his minions to go after Jake who has found Roland… cue the music for the battle to end all battles.

When you put everything into perspective director Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair, Truth About Men) and his screenwriters have actually done a pretty good job at making The Dark Tower work. Putting seven novels worth of work into one relatively short feature film has taken a mountain or work. You could have been forgiven if this had been stretched out into a trilogy or at least a film that went well over the two-hour mark. But somehow Arcel and team have managed to tell the story without making it feel incomplete or leaving the audience not understanding the world that we find ourselves in. Somehow the fact that some of the beings that surround Walter aren’t fully explained means we get to see the story from the point of view of Jake a little more… and it least Arcel doesn’t fall into the trap of filling the film with scenes and scenes of exposition.

Visually The Dark Tower looks great. Darkened scenes of man versus monster are stark reminders of films like Harry Potter while the harshness of a lot of the scenery in most scenes brings back memories of films like Priest or The Book Of Eli. Even the CGI effects work pretty well, more than enough to draw the audience into the world at hand, and while some films suffer when they try to mix the supernatural with a modern day city there is no such issue here with the scenes of modern day New York flowing well with the rest of the film, and thankfully they steered away from a battle that involved the entire city falling from the sky or the like. Really the last battle in this film just needed to be between Jake, Roland and Walter and that was what delivered, now why couldn’t we have had something like that in Wonder Woman?

The films two leads also seem to be enhanced the short nature of the film. Matthew McConaughey seems to have a lot of fun playing Walter and whether it be a scene where he is torturing poor Kathryn Winnick or messing with the mind of Roland he seems to embrace the evilness of his character while remaining smooth and charming… much like Jack Nicholson did years earlier in The Witches of Eastwick. Idris Elba is also fantastic as the cowboy inspired gunslinger. He is perfectly cast in a role that demands his action/stunt ability but also at times needs him to step up in a dramatic, gut-wrenching scene. Likewise, he is well supported by young Tom Taylor whose emotional portrayal of Jake shows that he is an actor to watch in the future.

Don’t be fooled The Dark Tower is not the mess that everybody is saying that it is. With its dark storyline that doesn’t hold back to spare the audience’s emotions and great special effects, this is just one of those supernatural thrillers that you can sit back and enjoy while you munch on popcorn. The only weakness that really annoyed me was that I could have easily spent another half an hour in this universe, but still, this is an enjoyable film with a nice graphic novel feel to it.

 

Stars(3)

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating:  The Dark Tower (2017) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment The Dark Tower Reviews: You can listen to Dave Griffiths’ The Dark Tower review that aired on That’s Entertainment in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane on The Talking Lifestyle network on 17/08/2017 right here.

Trailer: