here is my spoiler-free review for the ambitious ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, with links below if you want to find out more.
The comic relief in this movie comes mainly in the form of the slightly unhinged, reprogrammed imperial droid K-2SO, voice by Firefly’s Alan Tudyk, who does a good job in offering the occasional light relief to a movie that is full of morbid foreboding. More dry and less irritating that C3PO, more vocabulary than R2D2 and BB8, and do I even need to compare anything to Jar Jar Binks?
Being a one-off and packed with action, this leaves little room to really get to know the characters well enough for big-hitting emotional impact at certain points. However, it still does enough to carry it through, given this self-inflicted restriction.
We have a lot to get through in one film with a core cast that stands-alone in the Universe, so I felt some relationships were accelerated beyond what we had seen on screen and felt a little forced (and not in a midi-chlorions kind of way). Again, this does not distract, but is a product of what they set out to do here.
You want Star Wars? You get Star Wars, in abundance, almost more than you do in last year’s fantastic ‘The Force Awakens’. Free of the need to advance the overall saga beyond its own boundaries, this movie explodes (literally) with almost every iconic Star Wars riff in the book. Space battles, blasters, shiny corridors, aliens, droids, baddies, John Williams… The only thing slightly lacking is ‘the force’ but that’s not entirely absent, and worth the wait.
Bonus Category: Force Majeure +3
This is actually a compound score, as I deducted points for the unfortunate use of CGI to resurrect Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarking. It was cool for a few seconds, when he was shown in the reflection of a window, in a dark room, but as soon as he joins the human cast the limitations of the technology took me out of the film slightly. I think they could have found a better compromise.
That said, this is more than made up by the sheer scale and ambition of a movie that for some reason I thought was going to be a modest affair. It isn’t. It is a visually stunning, high energy, full-scale Star Wars offering that will sit comfortably amongst the best of the cannon to date.
(Check the Leader Board to see how it compares…)
An assured stand-alone addition to the Star Wars universe, bravely conceived and executed in an age where all franchises (even spin-offs) are slated for numerous sequels. An easily consumable film that I bet will stand up to many re-watches (which I plan to do when it gets home-released).
Agree / Disagree with my assessment? Leave a comment to let me know or submit your own scores for this or any other film listed in the leader board below to be aggregated into the upcoming ‘readers choice’ table on the main rating page…