Monday, 19 December 2016

OJ's Movie Review - Rogue One

A Star Wars story like no other.

Rogue One is the first Star Wars Anthology film, it isn't an episode, it doesn't follow the lives of a Skywalker. In fact, as you probably know but I'll confirm here just in case: it takes place just before 1977's Episode IV: A New Hope. I've been looking forward to this film for a while because I'm a fan of director Gareth Edwards and this universe in general.
    I'll start by talking about the cast, the majority of which I didn't know. Felicity Jones leads with her character Jyn Erso and from the trailers I didn't particularly like what I saw; the character just didn't seem likable and to an extent that carried over into the film at the beginning, but then as time went on they laid out a plausible reason for her personality and I grew accustomed to it very quickly and it worked for the story; Felicity Jones does great in the role as I've enjoyed her performances before in films such as The Theory of Everything. Diego Luna's Cassian Andor was an interesting character to watch, his internal struggle with the moral gray area he operated in made for some compelling scenes and Diego's performance I thought was great as I've never seen his work before. Some other cast and character highlights were Alan Tudyk's hilarious droid K-2SO, he delivered some great lines, but they weren't cheap jokes or eye rolls, he's no Jar Jar Binks; even though he was the comedic relief he also served a purpose and could defend himself when needed. Donnie Yen's blind Chirrut Îmwue and his partner Baze were a very entertaining and sometimes quite touching duo who had some great action sequences between them.
     On a villain front, I have to say I really enjoyed Ben Mendelsohn as Orson Krennic. He came across as a classic Star Wars baddie but brought something new in his disposition and line delivery. His own arc as well was a compelling one and in the end, after some thought, you start to feel sorry for this guy, especially in the context of the other films. Now of course Darth Vader turns up during the film and that's what a lot of people were excited about (including myself), and so I'll just say that he isn't in it much, which I'm fine with, but I know a lot of people wanted more of him....Although there a specific scene that he's in that people are going talk about for a long time. So in the end, I really enjoyed the cast, perhaps with the exception of Forest Whitaker, who did fine in his role, but his role wasn't really needed; it just felt like we'd missed something, like there was more of a story there but was cut.
  Now talking of story, Rogue One, is somewhat predictable in the main arc because you know what it's about, you've seen what takes place afterward, but finally knowing the specifics and details is a real treat, for the most part. The first third of the film is very choppy, we're suddenly moving from one location to another super quick setting up each character and situation and it's a bit messy. When the plot gets going, though, it really picks up and becomes an entertaining series of events following these characters, that lead to an epic climactic third act. A complaint the film has is that the majority of characters weren't fleshed out enough and so they didn't care about them but I didn't find that at all; sure we didn't really get to know their history and motivations but just with the time we did spend with them, I really felt for these people by the end, and the ending itself made me come away viewing these people in a different way.
   The final scenes of Rogue One is truly one of the most memorable moments I've had in a cinema. From the choices the film-writers make regarding the characters, to the final five minutes before credits roll, I have to say that Disney certainly is in a league of their own. Was the film perfect? No, not at all, there are things I haven't managed to touch on because of spoilers, but there are also amazing things I couldn't mention for the same reason. As a conclusion. I'll say that although it isn't as streamlined or grand as your main saga episodes, it brought something new to the table and it worked.



  1. I agree �� There was plenty of references throughout the film, although one or two were a bit forced (specifically a pair of characters seen in Jedha) which almost breaks the fourth wall. But overall, a solid spin-off, and a great film in its own right.

    1. I just hope the Han Solo film is as good; in Disney we trust in that regard I think.