Movie: Rogue One (2016) — SPOILER FREE

Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure

Title: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Release Date: 16 December 2016

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Summary: 

The Rebellion makes a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.

What I Liked:

Okay, so I’m going to be pretty vague throughout my entire review since this is completely SPOILER FREE.  I’ll post a more detailed, spoiler filled review in a few days. 🙂

The droid character, K-2S0 is hilarious.  He has some really great lines with great comedic timing, but he doesn’t take away from the seriousness of the movie.  I really enjoyed Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, and Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe.  I thought that Jyn and Cassian were given nice, subtle character arcs, and they worked really well onscreen together.

The battle scenes, especially the last land/space battle, were amazing.  They were very exciting, beautiful, and full of interesting shots.  This film is grittier than any other Star Wars film, and it really gives the viewer and inside look at life under the Empire and being a part of the rebellion.  It isn’t always pretty, and you don’t always do things that you’re proud of.

What I Didn’t:

The lack of an opening crawl is a bit jarring, especially after the “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” screen.  I have a feeling that the casual movie goer is going to spend maybe the first 15 minutes of the movie trying to orient themselves and figure out what’s happening.

I thought the score was fine, but there’s a bit that sounds almost like the iconic Star Wars theme, but not quite, kind of like an off-brand version.  I found that bit of music distracting whenever it played.

Also, there is a particular digital effect that…is not great.  It’s something that they’ve been working on in Hollywood for year now, and while it’s gotten better, it’s still a bit unsettling.  I do think it was necessary for the story, I just wish that the effect was less…creepy.

Overall:

I really enjoyed this movie.  It was exactly what I’ve wanted it was first announced.  I liked the plot, the characters, the action, and I think it ties in spectacularly with A New Hope.  This movie is amazing to me, because I can’t believe this is actually a theatrical, wide-release.  This type of story has exited for years, but the only people who’ve consumed them are super-nerds like me who read the Star Wars Expanded Universe books.  But now, in 2016, everyone is going to go see Rogue One in the movie theaters!

With that said, this movie really isn’t for everyone.  The people who enjoy it the most are going to be Star Wars fans like me; people who have a deeper knowledge and understanding of Star Wars lore and mythology.  As previously stated, the casual movie-goer might spent quite a bit of this movie confused, especially with the lack of an opening crawl.  This movie is also very much NOT a kid’s movie.  Both this and Force Awakens are rated PG-13, but where TFA leaned more towards the original trilogy PG, this movie’s action and violence lean it more towards the R side.

My Rating: 4/5

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