Over the years, since Die Hard became such a hit in 1988, we’ve seen countless rip-offs that are just set in a different location but are still pretty much the same film. We’ve had Die Hard on a plane, Die Hard in the White House, Die Hard on a battleship… the list is endless. But do you know the one Die Hard rip-off that’s never been made until now? Die Hard in a supermarket. And that’s exactly what the filmmakers have done here with Rogue Hostage.
After his adventures in space in Fast & Furious 9, Tyrese Gibson is now firmly back on Earth and plays leading man Kyle Snowden, an ex-marine turned Child Protection Services worker now suffering from PTSD. Gibson finds himself in a grocery store owned by his stepfather (played by John Malkovich) with his daughter, along with a group of innocent civilians when armed militants storm the building, holding them hostage. Kyle Snowden is forced to become the action hero and take matters into his own hands to save the innocent hostages and to take down the masked terrorists.
Of all the Die Hard rip-offs, Rogue Hostage’s supermarket setting is certainly an interesting choice. There’s a reason why there aren’t many other action thrillers set there and that’s because it’s just not a good location to build a strong plot around. Why would the bad guys be raiding a supermarket? It’s completely understandable why terrorists would want to hijack Air Force One or a billionaire’s skyscraper but why a supermarket? The film offers a flimsy motive of wanting John Malkovich’s store owner to admit to some crimes he’s committed in the past but even so, it’s a pretty weak and insubstantial reason to raid a grocery store and without a particularly strong motive everything else that follows feels a bit flat.
The plot really crumbles as it goes on with all the characters making stupid decisions making them all really unlikeable. Even Tyrese’s leading action hero that’s a child protection worker and is the one that’s trying to save all the hostages isn’t particularly likeable. And when you’ve not got a reason to root for the hero, then you’ve got a bit of a problem.
But the plot and the characters aren’t really the most important part in a film like this and if the action’s entertaining then you can see past the story issues. Only the action isn’t very good either. In some places the action scenes are edited really franticly and very choppy to the point where you can’t tell what’s going on easily and in other places it feels too slow and not exciting or entertaining in the slightest. And it takes a while too before you really get into the action. Rogue Hostage makes you wait about half an hour before anything too exciting happens- not that much of what follows is actually that exciting either- and sadly you’re sat watching these actors deliver a bad script badly.
Rogue Hostage unfortunately is a mess of a film that bears no entertainment value with a plot that makes little sense, action scenes that are barely watchable and no thrills whatsoever. By the time the film’s 95 minutes are up you’re beginning to wonder if you’re the rogue hostage that the title is referring to for having wasted an hour and a half of your life.
Rogue Hostage is released on DVD and digital 26 July 2021.