As Disney begin to make their own path within the Star Wars universe will they navigate wisely, or end up as lost as Jar Jar Binks in a house of mirrors?
Rogue One follows the story of a lost daughter, whose father taken from her at birth by the Imperials. As lead architect of the Death Star, he becomes the Rebel Alliances lynch pin for undoing the might of the Imperial war machine. The narrative carries no clever plot twists or messages, but it does serve to plug some gaps in the previous films. Working as a two-hour explanation of how Skywalker triumphs against the Death Star, there is very little new ground covered. This will probably play to the hardcore fans’ taste but after the rehash of the original film last Christmas it does seem entirely unnecessary.
It is not all bad, however, as the new droid, K2-S0, played by Alan Tudyk delivers many offhand comments that are worthy of some belly laughs. It does seem odd that the only fully mechanical character has more personality than his human counterparts, followed only by Forrest Whitaker’s mostly mechanical Saw Gerrera, who also injects some intensity to the proceedings. The characters for the most part are roughly hacked from crumbling Jedha stone, failing to find any believable drive or consistency in any of their actions. Chewy and Solo are replaced by two very similar characters who tag along without much justification for the whole movie. The two lead characters show very little interest in each other apart from disdain, but somehow in the dying moments of the film, cupid strikes like a blood-stained clown at a kids party in rural America.
Other saving graces included the film’s bad guys who are the real deal. The resurrection of the long dead actor Peter Cushing who has his face CGI’ed onto another actors makes for a seriously unsettling experience. A glimpse of naked Darth in the hot tub, a casual choking and some nimble saber work shows things are business as usual, at least for the empire. Orson Krennic, the Chief Imprerial Science Officer played by Ben Mendelsohn is another noteworthy bad guy, desperate for accolade but unfortunate in his choice of workers he plays a strong and believable Arch Rival.
Rogue One does not fail to satisfy as a big budget action fest dripping with amazing visuals. As this is now the benchmark for Star Wars it is unfortunate they didn’t use the opportunity of a more adult spin-off to go for something more gritty. The intentions were good but didn’t quite hit the mark as the characters don’t force you to care enough about them, this could be partly as any ‘starwardian’ will know how the movie ends an hour into the narrative. I would recommend this to anyone wanting an exciting winter watch but don’t expect anything more on offer than its predecessor last Christmas.
Author: Joe, Bath store