Rogue One Review

* Dear reader, there might be spoilers here, I won’t know until I’m finished, and I don’t edit my shit, so beware.
— Carlos the Mexican king of all Metal

Rogue One is not a masterpiece, but neither is it worthless. People have asked me whether it is better than The Force Awakens, and the answer is it’s about equal qualitatively, like The Force Awakens, it gets close to being great but falls short, but it is still worth the $5 you’ll get at Harkins Theaters.

The plot of the movie itself is pretty simple, it concerns the events right before Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, and explores to some degree the characters that, despite no rebel support, go rogue and attempt to steal the plans for the Death Star. Simple enough, and it promises an exciting exploration of that important event, and it mostly delivers on the excitement.

There is a little more meaningful character development than you have in most of the Star Wars movies, by that I mean it gets a little deeper into the emotion of the epic task before them, where chance is their only friend, and cosmic favor their only hope. The small explorations into the sacrifices made by some of the members of the Rebellion give it the real world emotional grit Star Wars sometimes lacks, and it also reveals the reality of rebellions, that despite it being a noble cause (assuming a particular rebellion is for freedom and not tyranny) there are dirty deeds done for its cause, such as assassinations, spying, theft, and so on. The substance of rebellions is death, and in this movie it is dealt with realistically with the impact it needs. This is not a movie where heroes live to fight another day, this is a movie the documents the ultimate sacrifice of heroes that people rarely hear of.

The acting is mostly good, and Ben Mendelsohn reprises his role he plays in every movie he’s in, the creepy bad guy, and it’s what you would expect. Forrest Whittaker, in his brief role, is excellent as usual, but there are others here that steal the show.

Droid K-2SO, a reprogrammed Galactic Empire security droid with a propensity of stating his mind, a byproduct of his reprogramming. He shines in this movie, as he has a full blown personality and he’s used wisely throughout the movie, providing both sass and sarcastic commentary, as well as important tasks that save the rogue crew at critical points.

Chirrut Îmwe, a blind force sensitive warrior-monk who becomes an important member of the rogues. There a several scenes that showcase his unique ability to target enemies that prove critical, and his monkish chants to the force, though sometimes funny, provide greater backbone to the overall theme of hope that the movie explores. He is symbolic of the blind hope that is sometimes necessary to do great things, going on forward with only the fuel of faith, and succeeding despite the odds.

Everyone else involved is good, though none stand out as much as the two aforementioned, but the acting keeps you in the movie and does not detract. Thankfully this movie spares us a Hayden Christiansen (worst pick ever for a movie role) and Jar Jar Binks (worst every CGI in a movie role ever), and that alone improves the overall quality of the movie.

The production qualities of this movie are what you would expect from a Star Wars movie – Big, epic, great effects, etc. There is no loss in quality there other than it was weird looking at CGI versions  of Tarkin and Leia.

This is a dark movie that explores sacrifice, hope, and redemption for a cause worthy dying for. It is the exploration of those necessary tragic sacrifices needed to push forward a cause greater than ones self.

Is this a great movie? No, but it is a good one, and worth the time you’ll invest in watching it.

— Carlos the Mexican king of all Metal

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