An unusual little spy yarn
by Martin Hafer
Rogue Agent is a nice little spy film. While it has a few rough spots, it’s original and worth your time. It also shows that you don’t need huge budgets, sets and star-studded casts to have a decent picture.
The film begins with the recruiting of Alex (James Floyd) by some spy for hire agency. These mercenary agents value him, apparently, because Alex has an Obsessive Compulsive Personality. Because of this, he has an overwhelming need to work out details and memorize things. But despite his ability to remember, his first assignment, in Serbia, goes haywire and the four agents working with him are all killed…and Alex is blamed. The agency doesn’t believe his excuses and begin torturing the young man to find out what they think is the truth…and this portion of the film is rather brutal. Fortunately for him, he’s able to escape and Alex spends the rest of the film using his only clue to try to reconstruct the killings. What is this? An audio recording of the murders…and Alex refuses to give up until he’s sorted out all clues.
The film has a few things which didn’t quite work for me. Alex is assisted by a young women during much of the film…yet there seemed to be no reason for her to be helping him. Additionally, they have sex (you don’t really see much) but considering they barely know each other and danger is all around them, this simply makes no sense at all. I wouldn’t have included her character or I would have fleshed her out more for the story. But what I am certain about is that the good easily outweighs the bad. The plot, which is a bit similar to the De Palma film, Blow Out, still is quite original and the notion of an assignment going bad and the lone agent trying to piece together all the audio clues is quite intriguing. Additionally, James Floyd is good in this role as the obsessed agent…and is helped along by a nice performance by Anthony LaPaglia as his boss. The location shooting in Serbia and Montenegro certainly also helped to give the film a nice look of authenticity and the brutal fight scenes near the end are nicely handled. Not at all like a James Bond film, in some ways this one plays out a bit more like the TV cartoon Archer minus all the comedy and bizarreness! Worth your time and a film that seems to get better as it progresses.
Rogue Agent is available on iTunes here