Review: ‘Rogue One’

Yes, yes, I succumbed and agreed to go see ‘Rogue One’ with my friend. And it was definitely worth it. We are talking Star Wars, if you hadn’t guessed already.

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Short Review:

Everybody dies!

I loved it. Lots of fighting and explosions. Just like the original Star Wars films, this is an easy way to pass a couple of hours without too much brain function. The links between Rogue One and A New Hope added to the enjoyment of the film for me.

Long review:

I wasn’t fond of the prequels (1,2,3); I didn’t like the characters or the aesthetics. I haven’t seen number 7 yet so I can’t compare that but Rogue One was more in line, in terms of character, plot and aesthetics, with the original trilogy (4,5,6) and fills in the background. By filling in those details missing from the original Star Wars – like where the Death Star came from and how the rebel alliance got hold of the plans – it rounds out the story. Certainly they couldn’t have done the effects in the seventies, it’d have looked terrible, but now we get to see the Death Star in all it’s destructive glory.

Only thing that bugged me was the romance subplot. Really? Was it absolutely necessary? The answer to that is no. It made no material difference to the plot, didn’t move it forward in any way or explain anyone’s behaviour. It was put in because the heroine and hero ‘have’ to fall in love *Eyes rolled back so far I can see my own brain*

Sorry about that, it’s just that I’d really like it if people didn’t shove romantic subplots into every story. How hard is it to make the lead characters develop respect for each other and a strong friendship instead of having them fall in love?

Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso was really quite good, though not really the ‘strong female lead’ we had been promised (sorry, I expect ‘strong’ characters to struggle before they succeed) and I enjoyed Diego Luna’s performance as Captain Cassian Andor (just can they not with the romantic subplots, please? I much preferred it when they were sparking off each other because of their different philosophies.) For me the best performance was by Donnie Yen, playing the blind monk of Jedah, Chirrut Imwe. I loved his humour and the new fighting style he invented for the film. His rapport with Jiang Wen’s Baze Malbus was the highlight of the film for me. Mads Mikkelsen’s Galen Erso had limited screen time but as ever Mads did a great job. He died really spectacularly.

I didn’t realise Alan Tudyk played K-2SO until I checked the names of the cast. K-2SO is another in the long line of snarky androids in the Star Wars universe. He was a bit of whimsy in a plot that could have been over heavy and serious.

After we left the film my friend was an emotionally compromised mollusc. I, on the other hand, had enjoyed myself, felt fairly buoyant (my friend blames my medication, I say it was the prospect of a treat for tea – a burger from the Handmade Burger Co.) and now I want to know what the rebellion were doing between Galen Erso being arrested and Jyn Erso turning up to help find the Death Star plans. Seriously, what were they doing for 15 years? I’m told there’s an extended universe, which Disney have pulled the plug on. How am I supposed to find out what the rebels were doing between the end of Revenge of the Sith and the start of Rogue One now? I wasn’t interested before (I blame the questionable quality of the prequels for putting me off Star Wars generally) but I am now.

I give this film a good 4/5. It’s a Sunday afternoon, no brain function film. I enjoyed the plot and the special effects were good.

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