3 1/2 StarsThere was once a market and demanding audience segment for a sturdy b-movie like Rogue Force. Some of the lesser Brosnan work or even the Louis Gossett Jr flick Keeper of the City, come to mind. Yet, even in the pre digital cloud era of 1998 this type of b-movie was already an endangered species; all but lost today, or at least relegated to television dramas.
Mafia families and other criminal organizations are being systematically murdered by a merciless group of vigilantes. Special agent Matt Cooper (Rooker) teams with a local homicide detective to track and capture the killers. The trail leads to a band of specially trained rouge swat members, led by Jake Macllroy (Patrick). Cooper must stop these homicidal men before they strike again, in a very public place.
Anchored by three solid leads in Michael Rooker, Robert Patrick and Louis Mandylor, Rogue Force is an actors piece and plays at a measured paced not hinted at by the action oriented box art and advertising material. This is Copland meets Magnum Force and that’s not a knock. It’s almost fitting considering that Patrick was featured in the cop ensemble and Rooker has always been a dependable veteran regardless of the film he is appearing in.
In the pre CSI, NCIS days Rouge Force would have made for an outstanding pilot. There is long term possibilities and seasonal arcs for several of the supporting characters. In particular is a burgeoning love interest/professional partnering between Rooker and his attractive female partner. It is shot well and the story unfolds in a very fluid manner all kudos to director Martin Kunert. Although the plot grows a tad murky towards the end, which culminates in a shoot out at city hall. I’m not quite sure I ever fully understood the villains motivation in staging a public execution at a government office. Never-the-less Rogue Force is a better than average corrupt police themed adult thriller, with some solid acting.
Director: Martin Kunert
Stars: Michael Rooker, Robert Patrick, Louis Mandylor