Friday, March 24, 2017
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Film Review
Director: Gareth Edwards
Cast: Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk
Series: Star Wars Anthology
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Length: 133 Minutes
Aren't You a Little Bit Weak for a Star Wars Movie?
This review features minor spoilers for the film in a clearly marked section.
This will be how it is for a long, long time, in this here galaxy. A Star Wars episode one year, a spin-off the next. Rinse and repeat. Initially, as a fan, its hard to suppress that rush you feel when you hear or read the words "new" and "star" and "wars" in the same paragraph.
Eventually though, you find yourself a bit older and very minimally wiser, and you begin to ask, "Hey. If there's a new film with the Star Wars brand on it releasing every December, won't it get tired?" At which point a Star Wars toy commercial comes on and you cum in your pants.
So here we are with the first ever non-Star Wars, Star Wars film, just a mere year (and some change) after the cinema shattering release of The Force Awakens we get Rouge One: A Star Wars Story, or as I like to call it, Part One of the Sodium Walrus Copper (more popularly known as the Star Wars Cinematic universe). And how is it?
Fucking underwhelming, that's how it is.
A young human woman named Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is thrown into a secretive plot, hatched by the Rebel Alliance, to capture a set of blueprints for a super weapon known as the Death Star from the clutches of the evil Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn). Together with Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), and his droid K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), Jyn embarks on a suicide mission to save the galaxy from the might of The Empire.
Not a bad set up at all, but this movie reeks of re-shoots and studio influence, and of course the flies would turn this ripe fruit into a heaping pile of vomit-y shit. This is Star Wars after all, and as I've mentioned, cum in the pants, and... profit. Everything feels rushed, there's no room for any real character development (except for Cassian Andor, who kind of realizes he's a dickheaded spy of Bondian proportions midway through, but does little to change his ways), and worst of all this movie almost ruined Darth Vader.
While we wait for the rage quitters to click the "x" in the corner of the screen, and while the fanboys stew in their boiling revulsion and question how a mere mortal such as I could ever dare speak ill of Lord Vader, I'll talk more about how much the studio fucked this movie right in the ol' sarlaac.
There's two movies here; the first, a small character drama centered around a band of misfits doing their best Guardians of the Galaxy impressions, and the second, a slideshow of references to the better Star Wars movies to induce the flow of said cum and money. The first movie could have been good, but any life and originality was swiftly cut away to make room for the second movie, and to add CGI Peter Cushing (God rest his soul) and CGI Carrie Fisher (God rest her soul), "reprising" their roles from Star Wars (1977) into pivotal scenes. Peter Cushing's Grand Moff Tarkin is used so much he almost becomes a central character in the story, as an antagonist to the antagonist (a role that Vader also fills).
Admittedly, there were some fan service moments that worked for me. I didn't mind the CGI Tarkin (although the CG Leia was... unsettling), there's a bunch of unused shots from A New Hope that get used in the climactic battle, which means you get to see everyone who fights in the original Death Star trench run return to action. Overall though, I found a lot of it unnecessary and it ultimately overshadows the actual events of the story, making it feel just like a cheap fanfic of a Star Wars prequel. If the studio hadn't been so scared of losing longtime fans to OG Star Wars withdrawals, they could have had a fun, standalone little film. Just watch the trailer at the bottom of the page and tell me that that doesn't look like an awesome movie in spite of the obvious lack of Tarkin and Leia.
Krennic was obviously the original villain, with maybe one throwback scene to Vader to remind everyone who's actually the boss, but in the theatrical cut, Krennic is a lapdog to both Vader and Tarkin and his sense of agency in the plot is utterly rendered impotent. In the same way, the trailer implies a lot of development for the characters. It shows almost every one, and handpicks a little visual or auditory cue to tell us who they are. In the actual film we get flimsy "my *insert loved one here* was taken/murdered/mugged/buggered by The Empire/Krennic and I'm awful upset". Poor Donnie Yen gets the worst of it, being forced to chant "I am one with the force, and the Force is with me," like a possessed person with a toy lightsaber up their ass, as if muttering his mantra passed for having a real personality. Poor Donnie Yen, they used you to sell t-shirts and bumper stickers.
So about Vader...
Minor Spoilers Ahead
The second and last time you see Vader in the film is just about one of the coolest things I've ever seen. It's pure Vader, in his prime and demonstrating his devastating power. The first time you see Vader is one of the most groan inducing, eye roll worthy moments since Attack of the Clones. He literally shows up, listens to Krennic grovel at his feet, begins force choking Krennic and says, "Don't choke on your aspirations, Director," and walks off. What the hell. Darth Vader, the most menacing person in the galaxy outside of The Emperor, scares his underlings in this film by cracking lame puns and letting them live. The Darth Vader I know would have killed Krennic, and six cunts just like him, within twenty minutes before he took a nice relaxing bacta bath and ate lunch. The latter scene mostly makes up for this travesty, but Vader's presence in the film was already masturbatory.
Spoilers B Gon
So, in the end, this is just another bland, blockbustery, action film, with an overwhelming dose of fan service. Who knows? It might just work for you if you worship Star Wars like Catholics worship The Pope, obviously it works well enough for enough people to score over a billion combined pieces of paper and digital number readouts. It's jaw droppingly pretty, has great effects, and sounds amazing (in spite of the painful lack of John Williams), and I'll still wind up buying it on Blu-Ray because I thought of an AT-AT while writing this and now my pants are suspiciously moist...