Monday, December 26, 2016
As a fairly knowledgeable fan of the Star Wars franchise (I've seen all the movies, but not over and over again like some have), I wasn't extremely excited about Rogue One.
First of all, it was a prequel story and I'm not always the biggest fan of those. Sometimes it ends up being a money-making attempt by the studio rather than a full force effort to produce something of quality.
Second, it wasn't going to feature any of the classic Star Wars characters or any of the newer ones from Episode 8.
However, when I went to see Dr. Strange there was a trailer for the Rogue One movie and I was impressed.
I was faced with the decision of being stubborn and refusing to go see Rogue One or putting my pride aside, admitting I was wrong and going to see the movie.
I decided to go with the later. And I'm glad I did because it was a great movie.
I haven't read any full reviews yet, but I saw some tweets and/or headlines that mentioned some continuity issues.
Granted, as I said before, I'm not a Star Wars fanatic so I don't have every single detail memorized.
The makers of this movie did a great job of making this movie a Star Wars, Episode III.5, which, when you think about it, isn't an easy thing to do.
You have to create new, likeable or detestable characters right away. Yes, the Star Wars backstory is there, but this film wasn't using those established characters.
Shockingly (small SPOILER ALERT!) ....
.... there weren't many light sabers used in the movie. Very little Jedi mind tricks.
The entire Star Wars backstory was there (and a few welcomed cameos), but this was very much a standalone movie (while still bridging the gap between the previous movies).
I've heard a few people complain that the movie was too dark, but I thought it was very poetic.
I don't want to give away too many spoilers, so we'll just say that what happened probably had to happen to prevent any continuity issues.
The acting choices and chemistry of the cast was very impressive (though it seems anyone with blonde hair just doesn't exist in the Star Wars universe).
Ben Mendelsohn makes such a great villain. I immediately recognized him from The Dark Knight Rises (where his part was too minimal).
Felicity Jones was great. I took a quick look at her IMDB credits and I think this is my first introduction to her. I guess she was in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but I didn't recognize her at the time and that was such a bit part that it almost doesn't even count.
Diego Luna did well as the character of "Cassian Andor" while Donnie Yen (playing "Chirrut Imwe") was one of my favorite characters in the movie.
Chirrut's pal "Baze Malbus" (played by actor Jiang Wen) provided some great comic relief as well.
Rogue One opened my eyes as to the potential of the Star Wars universe.
Sure, we all probably figured that there was success to be had with the continuation of the original two trilogies, but how many of us were betting on branch-off movies without Yoda, R2D2, Luke Skywalker, etc.? You may have seen that coming, but I sure didn't.
So far this Disney / Lucasfilm Star Wars deal seems to be going very well. Maybe they'll prove me wrong again.
Just two movies in and Star Wars seems to be the new Marvel. By that, I mean that they've done a great job with the storytelling, the action, the cinematography, the comedy and the drama all rolled into one package. An epic, fun adventure that shouldn't be missed.
Final rating? Four and a half "death" stars out of five (only because the first appearance of Darth Vader in this movie was a little underwhelming ... I feel he was wimpified to begin with).
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•Captain America: Civil War – reviewed.
•Daredevil, Season 1 – reviewed.