With Detective Knight: Rogue, you know what you’re gonna get. There’s no other reason to sit through a film of this nature than an unconditional love for a genre known for having little to no versatility. This is an action film that feels like a straightforward decision executed by someone who understands he isn’t going to change cinema, but is adamant about following a solid entertainment agenda.
Edward Drake is better known as the guy who works confidently with Bruce Willis in DTV films that are frequently mistaken for being trash, just because they aren’t big, have no complex scripts and approach a morality code through a formula that’s well-known and effective. If something works for you, would you change it?
Drake’s last is Detective Knight: Rogue, and this time he takes his love for heist films to the next level. The first of the Knight trilogy is a straight up action film with enough tension to keep you in line with what Drake wants. Sure, it’s got flaws and the plot is unnecessarily complex, but at least it’s fun enough to make you turn. Again, this is a modern Bruce Willis DTV action flick, and perhaps you’ve seen enough of those to make you guess what kind of film you’re getting.
However, if you’ve been in this universe before, you know Drake’s style of directing calls for something that in indie cinema feels extremely important: Detective Knight: Rogue is yet another opportunity to go for character-driven fast plots, and this is another win for him. Gasoline Alley is a Drake offspring that presented us with an impressive Devon Sawa. In Detective Knight: Rogue, Beau Mirchoff stands out as a good actor whose performance feels in tone with Drake’s film. His partners are Lochlyn Munro, Jimmy Jean-Louis, the always effective Johnny Messner, and the underrated performer Michael Eklund. Easily the best cast in an Edward Drake action vehicle and it’s noticeable.
The story for Detective Knight: Rogue works better if you go blind into it. I will only share that it regards a gang of criminals who mess with the wrong cop when a shootout injures a police agent. A mentally unstable crime lord raises the bet as another job will call for a confrontation where the past comes back to haunt the cop, and the present is heavy enough for one of the bandits to think about getting out of this world.
More than that will just reveal the single storyline the film uses to drive us to the third act, that’s just as predictable as you’d think. Sure, Drake ends the film on a surprisingly bleak note, but he also paves the way for a trilogy that will surely show the best of a director who isn’t willing to sacrifice his vision, even if it seems simplistic for Hollywood moguls.
Detective Knight: Rogue actually looks and sounds great. Sound design is very, very good considering this is as indie as it gets. Taking into account this is the first film produced in New Mexico after “the Rust incident”, the changes look fantastic in action scenes that call for safety above everything. One more reason to celebrate a director that’s often accused of being something he definitely isn’t.