In memory of Carrie Fisher who tragically passed away before the posting of this review.
The first ‘Star Wars’ anthology film, taking place during ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and ‘A New Hope’. I’m not a ‘Star Wars’ fanatic, but I have enjoyed a lot of these films, while I liked ‘A New Hope’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’, ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ remains as not only the best ‘Star Wars’ film produced so far, but it would be up there on my list as one of the best movies I’ve ever seen of all-time. Although, while the prequel trilogy derailed the franchise a little, with ‘Revenge of the Sith’ being the most enjoyable out of the three, it wasn’t until last year’s ‘The Force Awakens’ that really woke up the franchise to new levels by introducing new characters, while reliving old favourites with a story that’s familiar, but yet different at the same time. Will ‘Rogue One’ continue to dazzle in the ‘Star Wars’ revival?
‘Rogue One’ is about the story of Jyn Erso, the daughter of weapons designer Galen Erso. However, Galen is greeted by Orson Krennic which changes Jyn’s world, now being raised by Saw. Now that fifteen years have gone by and Jyn is now captured, the Alliance forms a rescue mission to get her out of prison to go on a journey to find Saw and obtain the top secret Death Star plans.
‘Rogue One’ offers what you’d expect from a ‘Star Wars’ movie, some intense battle sequences, fight scenes, and some nice humour. It definitely feels like a war movie, and has a darker tone and presence that fans have loved from ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. The visual effects are beautiful and, at times, technically impressive. However, some of the impressiveness is taken away with a character that’s fully CGI that’s both distracting and unnatural. Although, while there is things that scream fan-service say from familiar droids, most of it however is actually pretty amazing, especially towards the end which is one of the coolest endings from this year.
However, what it lacks is character, and that’s the film’s biggest flaw. When I say biggest flaw, that doesn’t mean there isn’t characters that are cool to see. K-2SO offers more humanity than most of the film’s human characters, as he had some of the best jokes and his character of being an ex-Imperial droid with his memory slate clean offered some cool moments. However, while Chirrut had some cool fight sequences, and the funniest line in the movie that I will not spoil, there isn’t much of his character in terms of backstory. While Jyn and Cassian are likeable, outside of one of their confrontations, they don’t really grow as characters, which is unfortunate from compelling and developed characters such as Rey and Finn that we got from ‘The Force Awakens’ last year. We’ve seemed to have gone a step back a bit.
Don’t get me wrong, ‘Rogue One’ offers enough spectacle, dazzle, and amusing entertainment, however it does get bogged down with a sluggish first act, some underdeveloped characters and some noticeable visual effects.