Movie Review: 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' (Spoiler Free)
Synopsis: From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.
Directed By: Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker, James Earl Jones (voice), Mads Mikkelsen Release Date: December 16, 2016 MPAA Rated: PG-13 THAscore: 7.5/10 (C+)
Cues Star Wars-themed music and appears on the big screen is "long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away," but that's it. The long scrawling text that usually opens up any Star Wars film is absent here. Viewers soon learn that 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the back story of the first released Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope movie in 1977. Which means, we are introduced to an untold tale and new characters.
In the 1977 film, there were so many unanswered questions as to how did the plans to Death Star end up in Princess Leia's possession? Where did the plans come from? Why did she hide the Death Star in R2-D2 at the start of the film?
Thanks to director, Gareth Edwards, he answered all of these questions and put the pieces to the puzzle together in the new Rogue One.
At the start of the film, we are introduced to a born rebel named, Jyn Erso. She and her family are packing their belongings because someone is coming for them. In the midst of trying to run free, her mother was killed and her scientist father, Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) was taken. As for Jyn, she hides away until she was discovered by her soon-to-be mentor, Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker).
Fast forward 15 years later, Jyn (Felicity Jones) is all grown up and we learn that Jyn's scientist father was taken by the Empire and he was forced to help create the ultimate lethal weapon of mass destruction, the Death Star. If you are a true Star Wars addict, then you just had a moment of realization. Jyn's ultimate mission is to steal the plans for the immense "planet-killer".
In order to execute her plan, she gets help from a group of unlikely heroes. She gets the help from her mentor, Saw Gerrera; insurgent, Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna); Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed), an Imperial pilot who sides with the rebels; a blind warrior monk, Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) and his machine-gunner partner, Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang); and last but not least, our favorite character K-250 (voiced by Alan Tudyk), a security droid who brings a comedic relief with his slick comments. Along the way, you will see a few surprisingly familiar faces such as Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones). We will leave the other familiar characters, human and droid unnamed because, we want you to feel the exact feeling we had when we saw them.
Rogue One was dark, filled with non-stop action, had humor but was deathly slow. It took a while to get the ball rolling and towards the middle-end, the film goes into hyper-drive. Unfortunately, there was no in-between. Another downfall were the CGI creations. None of it looked realistic, which gave it a LEGGO cartoon-movie feel. Sad to say, it was a bit distracting.
All in all, Rogue One did great at connecting the dots to the Star Wars timeline and the very last scene tells us exactly where we are, and why we should care about everything we just saw. So with said, do not run to the bathroom thinking it is over. We rated Rogue One with a C+ because, of its pace and overload of tasteless CGI.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in cinemas on Friday, December 16. May the Force be with you!