Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Movie Review: Rogue One (Non-Spoiler)

I will have to admit writing a non-spoiler review for "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" will be very, very difficult, especially when all I want to do is to (literally) just burst and talk about everything! 

Wait! Come back! Don't run! I promise there will be no spoilers here. I wouldn't want to be "Vader-choked" for spoiling anything. 

So here goes. 

"Rogue One" opens with a flashback (probably my least favorite part of the film) as we see the head strong Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) as a young child, her father Galen Erso (Mads Mikelsen) is an Imperial Scientist in hiding. You see, the Empire needs him to finish their super weapon, which is currently under construction and as recruiting  a former employee goes, the family is separated with Galen returning to work for the Empire. 

Fast forward to the present, and we see a grown up Jyn incarcerated. She looks battle weary and like she's kicked a few butts here and there. The Rebel Allliance rescues Jyn and sends her on a mission to seek out her father. 

This is where the story picks up and gets interesting. Along with an unlikely motley crew of well, different kinds of rebels. We have Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) a respected Alliance intelligence officer who can whisper calming words to your ear and pull the trigger to kill you at the same time. The defecting Imperial pilot Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) who is out to redeem himself. Then we have Donnie Yen's Chirrut Îmwe a blind monk, complete with milky eyes, a walking stick and a real bad ass fighting style and brings him with the trigger happy pragmatic soldier, Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen). There are no cute droids or hairy/cuddly ewoks or wookies, instead we have the 7 foot reprogrammed Imperial droid K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) who is like "The Big Bang Theory's" Sheldon Cooper, frank cynical and well-hilarious. He and Jyn even have that Sheldon-Penny moment. This unusual team of rebels lead a thrilling mission, probably the most thrilling and exciting in Star Wars history.-

Yes. I said. it.   

You see, unlike its predecessors and successors "Rogue One" has darker tones, with a good does of reality check that will have you thinking that  you've seen this on the news or on TV-in war torn countries. A crying child in the middle of a war zone will make your heart jump. I know mine did and honestly was a scene I never thought I'd see in a Star Wars movie. 

"Rogue One" takes you to the battlefront like no other Star Wars film has. From the beautiful beaches of Scarif, where rebels are fighting it out with Stormtroopers to the breathtaking dog fights in space. "Rogue One" brings you an experience that will have you holding your breath. 

Technically, "Rogue One" is episode 3.9 and neatly connects to "A New Hope" as it is also littered with Episode 4 references, with cameos and appearances that are not forced and make sense. They were also so well executed! Thinking that the original actors had either passed or are too old to reprise their roles (we are talking about almost 40 years) we saw a little movie magic there. It was so impressive that you'll be saying: 

"How the hell did they do that?!"

After seeing the film I just want to: 

1) Watch it again. 
2) Watch "A New Hope"  (which is what I'm doing as I am writing this). 

If you are one of those fans who don't have much love for Episodes 1-3 (like me) then "Rogue One" is just the prequel for you. 

The film also gets the chance to answer the question, "Why would a super weapon like the Death Star have such a simple weakness? A plot hole exploited in an episode of "Family Guy" (at least I think it was "Family Guy"). 

All this time, watching Star Wars it has always been "good guys" versus "bad guys" but in Rogue One I felt the essence of  of the rebellion, its cry, resonating throughout the film. Sometimes even the good guys have tough choices to make. 

What it means to fight for something that you believe in, the sacrifices you are willing to make and the price that you have to pay.  

9/10 "Rogue One" is a great addition to the Star Wars franchise, laying down a solid foundation to a beloved trilogy, with an impressive ensemble cast that will have you falling in love with new characters, you have just met. 

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in cinemas Dec. 15! 

Photos credited to LUCASFILM. 

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