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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – The Dirty Dozen in Space

MOVIE REVIEW – There are no Jedi, nor truly powerful heroes in this Star Wars spin-off. It’s about a team of rebels, who stole the plans for the Death Star, but they are all underdogs, like Jyn Erso, a female criminal, and Cassian Andor, an agent for the Rebellion, with a shady past. It was “mission impossible” for them, yet we all know, that they succeeded, we just don’t know, how they did it. This movie is all about their mission.

 

It’s not easy when your dad is the one who made the Death Star, capable of destroying whole planets. That’s the burden of Jyn Erso, a young criminal, who gets “enlisted” by the rebels to help them find Galen Erso, her father in question. A team of unlikely companions “joins” her: Cassian Andor, a cold-hearted Rebellion agent, a reprogrammed imperial robot, K-2SO, a master swordsman, who’s blind and other rather interesting characters. As far as the characters go, I had the strange feeling of watching a live-action episode of the Knights of the Old Republic computer role-playing game.

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The Force awoke once again?

Other similarities include characters from The Force Awakens. Actor Diego Luna has not only an uncanny physical similarity with Oscar Isaac, but his character is also comparable, same goes for Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Rey (Daisy Ridley). We also have our Imperial soldier who is switching sides from the Empire to the Rebellion: Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) in Rogue One and (John Boyega) Finn in The Force Awakens.

As the scenario goes a bit deeper into their different personality, it’s like filmmakers wanted to make a better Force Awakens with more complex characters. The story isn’t half bad, but I am not sure that it was a very good idea to create those all-too-similar characters in this spin-off.

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The plot also suffers a bit from having too many important characters and not having enough time to at least give them a proper backstory. A typical example is Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), a rebel, who became some crime lord, but whose place in the story is just briefly explained.

We never understand his motivations or at least what happened to him and it’s a shame because he’s an interesting character. I am pretty sure some scenes including Jyn and Saw were cut from the movie because there are some vague allusions to their past, but their relationship is never explained.

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Same goes for Mads Mikkelsen’s character, who is a bit underdeveloped, which includes his past with the Empire and the reason why he’s constructing the Death Star to them. Yes, it’s explained, but the explanation is kind of weak and underdeveloped as well.

I think this film would be better as a television series as lots of the characters aren’t half-bad (well, besides the fact that some of them are copy-cats as I explained earlier) but they are typically the kind of “low-key” heroes who need more screen time on smaller screens. I also think, that the director’s cut will be a lot more enjoyable, thanks to those cut scenes being back.

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The dark side if the Force is weak this time

“Low key” is the best description concerning the bad guys of the movie too. The very fact that the best character on their side: Moff Tarkin is “played” by a Peter Cushing who passed away already since 1994 (yes, he’s digitally animated) says something about the bad guys. Darth Vader has some brief scenes, some of them are powerful, others not really – overall I expected more screen presence from the Dark Lord of the Sith (in both sense of the word).

The main bad guy of the movie, Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) is surprisingly bland and boring – especially after the opening scene with the confrontation with Galen Erso. He’s a bit like and underplayed James Bond villain, without any superpowers or anything, which could make him stand out or at least a bit interesting. It’s a shame because in Star Wars main villains are perhaps the most important, even the worst episodes of the series had excellent ones like Darth Maul.

Overall, while the story is rather well constructed and interesting (even in this severely cut form) we have some of the weakest villains here, with the main bad guy “played” by an actor, who’s dead since 22 years ago.

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Star Wars

You probably noticed, that while I had made some severe criticisms so far, I gave the movie a great score. That’s because the third, final act of the movie is just incredible. I have never seen such a spectacular Star Wars action, which included both terrain and space war scenes. Especially the latter was nothing short of incredible, with Tie-Fighters, X-Wings, and Imperial battleships clashing together in a furious battle full of explosions. It’s indubitably the best Star Wars space war scene I have ever seen.

There’s also well developed personal drama and action here, and while I might have some reservations regarding the first half of the movie, it’s getting better and better, and in the end, it’s truly satisfying.

Mixed feelings

Overall the movie was a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions and reactions. It’s not your epic Star Wars movie (it’s “spin-off” for a reason), and characters could be somewhat either better developed or more interesting on both sides. Perhaps there are a bit too much of them squeezed in the movie, which leaves them less screen time then needed to explain their past and motivations. Still, there’s too much exposition in the movie already in the beginning.

On the other hand, the story is still interesting, with a great character arc and an awesome war scene at the end – the best in any Star Wars movie so far. While Rogue One has overall pacing and story issues this one long scenes is truly worth to be seen by Star Wars and sci-fi fans alike.

-BadSector-

MOVIE REVIEW - There are no Jedi, nor truly powerful heroes in this Star Wars spin-off. It’s about a team of rebels, who stole the plans for the Death Star, but they are all underdogs, like Jyn Erso, a female criminal, and Cassian Andor, an agent for the Rebellion, with a shady past. It was “mission impossible” for them, yet we all know, that they succeeded, we just don’t know, how they did it. This movie is all about their mission.   It’s not easy when your dad is the one who made the Death Star, capable of destroying whole…
On the other hand, the story is still interesting, with a great character arc and an awesome war scene at the end – the best in any Star Wars movie so far. While Rogue One has overall pacing and story issues this one long scenes is truly worth to be seen by Star Wars and sci-fi fans alike.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Acting - 8.1
Directing - 7.6
Story - 7.8
Visuals/audio - 9.2
Ambiance - 8.4

8.2

EXCELLENT

On the other hand, the story is still interesting, with a great character arc and an awesome war scene at the end – the best in any Star Wars movie so far. While Rogue One has overall pacing and story issues this one long scenes is truly worth to be seen by Star Wars and sci-fi fans alike.

User Rating: 4.2 ( 1 votes)

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