Brisco (Chris Mulkey), the commanding officer, strides into the tent of his elite multi-national commando team.
“How’s it going?” he wants to know.
“War is hell,” he growls.
Kind of what passes for a joke in the never-ending “Rogue Warfare” combat-as-video-game film series.
But let’s drop in on the second film to see if they’ve improved since the debut of the series.
Nah. Same “s—-y” lines, same tone-deaf line readings. Same silly, archetype characters played by actors in over their heads. Same ridiculous variations on the Tom Clancy/movie-fed myth of the “surgical strike.”
Daniel (Will Yun Lee) was captured in the last “Rogue.” So this one’s about fetching him. To that end, let’s roar into an Iraqi terrorist encampment on dirt bikes and ATVs. Ok, one ATV. This IS a combat movie on a budget.
And once we’ve “ROARED” in? Let’s pick off the baddies, one by one, with a silencer. Because, you know, they didn’t hear the effing BIKES.
Supreme Leader (Essam Ferris) is still doing the Bad Guys Wear Black thing, still barking out speeches to Arabic speakers, of which he isn’t.
“I am leading a REVOLUTION in the front lines of a war!” He ain’t got NO time for “weak minded fools.”
The cohesion of the unit is threatened with dissent. Again.
There are more pretty shots from a chopper, more cover scenes of Humvees thundering through desertscapes.
The president (Stephen Lang), reached at a Camp David (in wooded Maryland) that looks like the California ranch Lang makes payments on with “Rogue” checks, is down with doing whatever it takes to find Daniel.
Our guy Daniel is in chains, going nuts — ranting in an “Inside the Actors Studio” audition, in what looks like a Homeland Security cage that they’re not using for little Central American kids at the moment.
The ineptitude in these movies takes a back seat to the wet dreams they feed rural right wing America.
The Russian (Katie Keene) is hot, and on “our” side and not paying bounties for American scalps.
The soldiers make speeches one minute about “What’s that say about us?” when given the choice of shooting a terror-connected guy they just freed in the back, and summarily execute several others the next minute.
“Bloodshed is the only currency accepted throughout the world,” a terrorist intones, fitting into the worldview these idiotic, poisonous pictures push.
So that’s what we get.
But you dive into these things on the off chance that like Cheech and Chong, they might get better over time — that like Tyler Perry, a polish might find its way into the scripts.
“Rogue Warfare: Death of a Nation” is next. I can’t wait.
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence and language
Cast: Will Yun Lee, Jermaine Love, Rory Markham, Katie Keene, Chris Mulkey and Stephen Lang.
Credits: Directed by Mike Gunther, script by Andrew Emilio DeCesare. A Saban Films release on Netflix.
Running time: 1:43