Friday, December 16, 2016
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story...
The good news about “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the first in a planned series of stand-alone films set in the Star Wars universe, is that the last half-hour of the film is a sustained stretch of rousing action, indelible images and cliffhanger thrills.
The bad news about “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is that getting to the good stuff is a slog — and the film is pretty long. The inherent problem in a story about the suicide mission to steal the Death Star plans used to blow up the space station at the end of A New Hope is that we already know how it ends. There’s no suspense, no momentum, no stakes.
Don't get me wrong, I love the main Star Wars films and the TV spinoffs but in Rogue One although bits were ok it was all just a bit boring. I wanted to be excited, but was anything but. Someone walked out at our screening. I yawned and looked at my watch a few times.
It took an hour and a half to get going which for a 2-hour film was just too long to wait.
And when it did get going I didn't really much like the plot or ultimately what happen to the characters to be honest. I think I prefer my Star Wars films to have a driving and surprising plot with strong characters who become heroes and heroines using the Force to fight evil baddies - not trench warfare. There was just too much "Wars" and not enough "Star" for me. The space fights were fun but all too brief.
It was just all too messy, too bleak and too dark for my taste. So dark in fact that often I couldn't see what was happening on the screen.
The comic relief, such as it was, came from K-2SO, the scene-stealing military droid voiced by Alan Tudyk. But his impression of Marvin the Paranoid Android "Life? Don't talk to me about life. Brain the size of a planet..." etc. did little to raise a smile. No one else in the film seemed to smile anyway. They all looked pretty miserable.
And where was the opening title Star Wars text crawl?! Crime! Not even a blast of John Williams’ symphonic score! Sacrilege!
And as for "bringing back" or reanimating characters? They looked OK. But not quite OK enough in my opinion. It was distracting to watch. Their lack of facial movement made them look like Botox models and made me not really listen to what they were saying.
Maybe churning out one new Star Wars film per year is just too much. Or maybe it's just that in my humble opinion this particular story is an unnecessary backfill to a plot point in the mythology whereas I wanted the mythology itself to be extended with new stores in new directions. I wanted A New Hope.
So what I'm really saying is I just don't like prequels!
My Top 5 Star Wars Films
1. Empire Strikes Back
2. A New Hope
3. The Force Awakens
4. Return of the Jedi
5. Rogue One