It’s Monday! The second day of 2017, and a perfect day to review the most recent movie I saw in the cinema: Rogue One. Were my expectations high? Well, not really. I mean, I saw the Force Awakens (HUGE HYPE) and liked it, so-so. And then the trailer for this movie came out. I watched it, and like many other people (I’m sure), I was left thinking “hmm. Looks okay? I mean, it’s a stand alone. I’ll watch it for the hell of it.” And so, the year rolled by. I dutifully went to the cinema (two weeks after release; premieres are barf). I bought my ticket. I stuffed my face with popcorn during the trailers. And then the movie began. It ended. What happened after this? Well, I’ll tell you. Straight after a brief synopsis.
Former scientist Galen Erso lives on a farm with his wife and young daughter Jyn. His peaceful existence comes crashing down when the evil Orson Krennic takes him away from his beloved family. Many years later, Galen is now the Empire’s lead engineer for the most powerful weapon in the galaxy, the Death Star. Knowing that her father holds the key to its destruction, a vengeful Jyn joins forces with a spy and other resistance fighters to steal the space station’s plans for the Rebel Alliance. (Courtesy of the internet).
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 85%
IMDb rating: 8.1/10
Okay. As a huge Star Wars fan, I think I would have liked this movie regardless of how it was rated, or even if it let me down a little. But it did not let me down. In fact, I was downright BLOWN AWAY by how much I loved this film. As always, I’ll have a general discussion about it with no spoilers, after which I’ll indicate when you should cover your eyes and throw your laptop away to avoid spoilers. Let’s do this:
Like I mentioned above, I went into this movie with a “meh”-type attitude. It’s Star Wars. I love Star Wars. I love the original trilogy. I put up with the creepy prequels. I died of hype-overload with The Force Awakens. And I knew from the start that I would see this movie in cinema, even though it strays from the trajectory of the franchise. Or does it?
The story follows Jyn Erso, the daughter of an Empire Scientist who becomes involved with the Rebels after they discover plans for a mass weapon, constructed by the Empire. We follow Jyn as she, along with a group of rebels, try to locate her father and discover ways to take down the weapon. Following me so far? Straightforward enough. The trailers packed a lot of punch, with glimpses of the Empire, the space battles we all know and love, and even a brief glimpse of Darth Vader, everyone’s favourite villain. Watching the trailers again, a good bit of them were not included in the final product, because of reshoots and whatnot. But that doesn’t matter, because the movie does not disappoint.
I admit I found it a little slow to start. But that’s just me. I was hovering around the 7/10 rating until the second half started and things got more exciting. If I was to sum this movie up in one sentence, it would be this: if you, for any reason, found The Force Awakens not up-to-par, you will LOVE this movie. It’s a total underdog. I never in my life expected to exit the cinema feeling a hundred different emotions, all much stronger than those for The Force Awakens. I admit, hype aside, the 2015 movie was good but not enough for me to sing its praises to the wind. But Rogue One? Where did it come from? How did it slay me like this? I’m still wondering.
What felt like an unnecessary digression from the main story in fact turns out to be an amazing, mind-bending and CRUCIAL addition to the original trilogy. You will leave the cinema feeling mind blown, I promise. It is so clever. And there a few key characters in there to nod at the original trilogy and keep you excited.
The acting is superb. All the characters are very well cast, and Felicity Jones does not disappoint in her role as Jyn. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but these strong female leads are seriously kicking ass. I couldn’t be happier. And anyone hoping to see Darth Vader? You will NOT be disappointed. That isn’t even a spoiler. Be prepared to feel the excitement. This movie is worth it.
I laughed. I cried. I sat there with my mouth hanging open for the whole second half. I cried again. And as the credits rolled, I thought to myself “Oh. That’s why this movie was made. BRILLIANT.” It is by no means a money-grabber like I previously thought. Or it still could be, according to some people, but not me. If you in any way like Star Wars, go watch this movie right now. I loved it, and I’ll be watching it again, definitely.
My rating: 9/10 stars (1 star off for a slow first half. 9 stars for PURE BAD-ASSERY)
And that’s it for the spoiler-free section! Go on and watch it, if you haven’t already. Even if you don’t follow the Star Wars universe, it’s still an entertaining movie. I strongly advise seeing it. After the following gif will be spoilers galore, you have been warned!
Still here? Good. Let’s gush about how amazing this film is, shall we? I’ll keep it brief.
So, like I said, it started off slow. I was a bit bored. At times, I was disappointed because some things from the trailers didn’t show up. I was wondering if this film was worth it. And then things got exciting.
I loved Jyn. She is an amazing character, and in fact the entire crew of rebels were bad-ass and great to follow. Her father’s death was so heartbreaking, and I think it’s around here that I started to get really, really interested.
Can I hear a “hell yes” for Darth Vader? Oh my God, his first introduction was enough to slay me. I was hoping that the first scene he’s in wouldn’t be it, because while it was exciting enough for a Star Wars fan, it wasn’t much, you know? But then that finale happened, and I DIED. It was so fucking cool, getting to see him fight his way through the rebels like that.
Props to the writers for giving us the chance to see how Leia got the original plans of the Death Star. I don’t know if I’m dense, but I didn’t make the connection between this film and the very first original until just about the end. I really am slow. When they showed Leia at the end? I burst into tears. The CGI was great, but it also hit me hard because Carrie Fisher died days before I saw this film. It really hurt, but it was fantastic seeing her there, seeing how the events of the movie contributed to the original trilogy, and just seeing Darth Vader and the rebels again. Hats off to the writers and director.
The other CGI character, Tarkin, was a great addition but a little strange. Not the fact he was in it, but the CGI itself. It creeped me out a little, but they couldn’t have Darth Vader and the original Death Star without him, so I was pleased that they added him. But still. Creepy.
It really broke my heart that they all died. It was kind of necessary, but it still hurt. Their contributions to the destruction of the Death Star was brilliantly executed. I kind of wish Jyn and Captain Cassian survived, but it wasn’t to be. At least they died heroes, am I right?
Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better Star Wars movie. In fact, this is my favourite one to date, even before the originals. Because it mixes what we love from the originals with 2016 cinematography, and generally slays in every aspect. (C3po and R2-D2 cameos! yes!) I loved it, and wish I could see it again for the first time. I mean, I can’t even. I was so distraught and happy and distraught, you know? Damn.
That’s it for this week’s Movie Monday! If you loved the movie like me, let me know! Next week I’ll be reviewing another film, so look out for that. Thanks for reading!