Stars: 2 out of 5
Pros: Acting, special effects, humor early on
Cons: Essentially a war film that tells us a story we already know
The Bottom Line:
Side Star Wars story
Does little for the franchise
Die hard fans only
Star Wars Goes Full on War
When Disney acquired LucasFilm and promised new Star Wars movies, I was among those who were very excited. I’m more excited about the official episodes, but the other movies they planned in the world sounded fun, too. Thanks to the craziness of the holidays, I just now got to see Rogue One, and I was very disappointed by it.
The movie tells us the story of Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones). As a young girl, she watches as the Empire tracks down her father, Galen (Mads Mikkelsen), and kidnaps him, killing her mother in the process. Her father is a great engineer, and the Empire want to use him on a top secret project.
As a young woman, Jyn lives under an alias, trying to hide from the empire. But it’s the rebellion who figures out who she is, freeing her from a prison. They’ve gotten word from a pilot that Galen has a message for them, a message that might be key to defeating the Empire’s new weapon. Jyn is teamed up with Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and the robot K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) to track down her father. Only Cassian has orders of his own. Will they be able to work together to get the plans to the rebels?
I heard almost nothing but praise for this movie since it came out, so I feel like I’m in the minority, but I didn’t like it. There are two problems with this film, the first is that it is a war film. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the action takes place across a bunch of great planets, but it is a war film. I don’t like war films, and this movie reinforced why.
The other problem is that we already know what is going to happen, and it happens. We do learn why there is the famous fatal flaw in the original Death Star, and the cameos by some characters we know are fun, but they don’t support a two hour plus movie.
Not this isn’t the fault of the production itself. This looks like a Star Wars film, filled with fun creatures and strange new alien worlds. The special effects were wonderful. And the acting was great. There was even some fun humor early on before it got dark.
No, my problem with this story is with the script. In fact, it’s the same problem I have with the prequels. We know where the story is going, and it does nothing along the way to surprise us.
Rogue One hasn’t diminished my enthusiasm for Episode VIII later this year, but I will be more cautious about the next extra project that they release.