Thursday, December 22, 2016
Star Wars: Rogue One Review
SPOILERS! WARNING! SPOILERS!
Disney owned Lucasfilm kicks off the very first stand alone Star Wars movie, and by The Force was it awesome, and dare I say damn near perfect. Now why not perfect? Well, the very first point on my very small list of nit-picks is that the actual finished movie we saw in theaters is almost a completely different tone of narrative then the trailers we've been watching for the last 8 months lead us to think we were going to see. The most jarring issue being footage and lines seen and heard in the trailers, but not in the released movie giving the appearance of either a re-edit after re-shoots or parts filmed specifically for the trailers to build anticipation, to which I say hopefully we'll get an extended cut on Blu-Ray in a few months.
Granted, yes it happens all the time, stuff seen and heard in trailers doesn't always make it in to the final cut of movies these days, but the trailer's ensemble of bits gave a sense of a young woman finally finding her place in the galaxy in an alliance of underdogs against an imposing regime, but the actual story is darker and bumpier. She doesn't immediately want to help the Rebellion, and sees she is just being used to find her father, and then has to fight for the leaders to listen to her father's gambit and, in the end her determination inspires only a small group to help her to which then only after when that group calls for reinforcements does the rest of the Rebel Alliance go to war. So what I'm saying is I would of liked Jyn inspiring and lighting a fire under the Rebellion's ass as a whole instead on the slow trickle chain reaction we got.
On to characters, I didn't know what to expect from K-2SO, but I'm glad they didn't put many of his line in trailers cause every time he spoke he stole the moment, Alan Tudyk did an extraordinary job. I really liked Diego Luna's Cassian Andor, as a lover of realistic spy and military movies he was a welcomed rendition to the Star Wars galaxy, and can't wait to see what kind of books writers can write about his earlier missions. Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen was superb casting as Chirrut Îmwe, and Baze Malbus bringing something I find very lacking in alot of Star Wars material; those who can't use The Force, but believe in The Force; something I always was lead to believe was like a religion in the Star Wars universe from how it was talked about in the original trilogy.
I have to say Director Krennic played by Ben Mendelsohn was not the Imperial officer I thought he was going to be, and I liked it, he was more of a sniveling bureaucrat and crooked businessman, but at the same time knew how to do things better then the career military officers around him. I really hate that he was a victim of the re-editing and re-shoots I would of love to have seen him do more in the movie. Speaking of doing more in the film, holy shit was Grand Moff Tarkin in a big chunk of the film, as a CGI resurrected actor over body double I thought we would only seen once quick scene with him in the shadows, but damn was he a major part of the story, I applaud you Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic, very well executed.
I think I have to say I like Rogue One a bit more than The Force Awakens, and it's because of the direct connection to the original trilogy, where as The Force Awakens tried to pander to OT fans, fans of the prequels and to mass audiences giving it an uncohesiveness in overall tone. Oh boy does this movie rev up my love for the original trilogy with it's ending leading directly in to he opening scene of A New Hope by perhaps mere moments, perfection. That final Darth Vader hallway scene was a masterpiece of cinema and a treasure to behold, the greatest scene on the big screen in 2016 hands down.
Disney/Lucasfilm whatever you got penciled in for your third anthology movie scratch it out, and make an entire Darth Vader movie showing us that same Dark Lord of The Sith portrayed in that final act: the feared, powerful, and merciless Jedi killer we have all been waiting to see for decades that end of the prequels denied us, please.