29th Oct2019

‘Rogue Cell’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Bryan G. Thompson, Frances Mitchell, Bob Thompson, Brian Kirwin, Marlon Hargrave, Nick Ventura, Ray Remillard, Phil Duffy, Francesca Wilson, Scott Wilson, Lee Harmon, Humberto Castro, Karlee Perez | Written and Directed by Bryan G. Thompson

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You have to credit anyone who can get the production of a film off the ground. It’s hard work, I know that – the amount of films we report on, or have knowledge about (thanks to eager directors getting in touch) that never get past the announcement stage is astonishing. So to actually put a film together, to organise a shoot, and to get it out there in front of an audience is commendable.

Only sometimes people need to be told when they should stop. It’s one thing to make a movie but it’s another to actually make a watchable movie. Unfortunately Rogue Cell – notwithstanding its AMAZING concept – is not a watchable movie, despite the best efforts of writer/director and star Bryan G. Johnson.

Rogue Cell tells the story of David Shepard, a gun for hire, who works for the Harris Corporation, a defense and intelligence contractor for the US government. While he was away on a mission, his wife, a scientist on top-secret projects at the US National Laboratories, was killed in an explosion. So far so simple right? Well… After his wife’s death Shepard receives a new assignment to kill five people who have been designated as threats to national security. However, shortly after receiving the assignment, he receives a cryptic message from one of his wife’s colleagues that leads him to discover that the five people are linked to the death of his wife. Again, pretty straight forward and pretty mundane (for an action movie) right?

HOWEVER. The five people Shepard is hired to track down are not normal threats. They have, thanks to experiments involving alien DNA from the Roswell crash, supernatural abilities! Yes, you read that right. Supernatural abilities!!

Damn, that right there was a hook enough to get me to take a chance on Rogue Cell. But it wasn’t enough to keep me watching this amateur-hour production that is apparently a feature cobbled together from newly-filmed material and recycled footage from Thompson’s 2014 web series The Cell – which is also why this feels like a series of set-pieces not a cohesive film. A 2014 web series… Web production has come a loooong way since 2014, a long way, and it shows here. The production values are, frankly, terrible – bad lighting, bad audio (the biggest crime here TBH) and bad cinematography. And it all comes together to make a film that is a complete struggle to sit through.

But I did sit through it. Mainly because I wanted to see if that concept, that hook, of a group of supernatural assassins, would pan out. I’m glad I did, for I wouldn’t have seen one of the most bad-ass, yet at the same time terrible, car chase/car fights I’ve ever encountered – with cars equipped with machine guns, sonic blast cannons and more!

[SIDENOTE: This is second film this week I've seen which stars a wrestler in an acting role. In this case it's former WWE Diva Maxine]

It still doesn’t make Rogue Cell a good film though. It’s not even a so bad it’s good film. It’s just bad. Maybe writer/director Bryan G. Thompson should’ve stuck to making web series’.

Rogue Cell is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime now.

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