For the three of you who haven’t seen Rogue One yet, don’t worry. This review is spoiler free.
Rogue One was really good—personally, I had more fun watching it than I did The Force Awakens. I know that’s some sort of Star Wars blasphemy, but I can’t help it. Maybe it’s because it’s so separate yet interconnected with the rest of the series that it felt new.
When asked whether or not this movie is appropriate for children, my response is that it’s a war movie (and yes, I know, “Star Wars,” but that’s not I what I mean and you know it). A PG-13 war movie, but still, it’s a film that features plenty of battles and with that, great losses for the characters. It’s not gory or necessarily scary, but those who are particularly sensitive to the pains of fictional characters will probably feel the impact of this one.
Oddly enough, character is where this movie sort of falls flat, at least in the first half. The plot surges forwards, and the characters are kind of left struggling to catch up. They’re half formed ideas and traits that get thrown into an adventure but in this instance, it sort of works. Part of what the movie is about is identity; who you are and what you’re willing to do during a struggle. Do you keep you eyes to the ground and mind your own business, like Jyn does at the beginning of the movie? Do you follow orders without questioning them or truly considering the consequences? Do you lose hope and give up when things go South? In any other plot perhaps, the lack of characterization would both me, but because Rogue One is so defined by actions, it worked. Not perfectly, but enough to make this a good movie.
Effects-wise, this movie was a bit hit or miss for me. On the one hand, the droids and the planets looked as wonderful as they have in the past…but on the other, the CGI attempt to resurrect Peter Cushing by mapping his face on a stand ins dipped into the uncanny valley for me. Some people found the integration seamless, but the technology isn’t perfect yet and next to actual real life actors, it just didn’t work for me.
Alan Tudyk’s hilarious K-2SO is guaranteed to be the fan-favourite, but really all the characters, though not well rounded, have enough potential in them to keep you interested, even without knowing all the details. Felicity Jones’ portrayal of Jyn is wonderful and believable, even with so little information given, and the same can be said for all of the other characters as well, particularly Donnie Yen’s notable performance as Chirrut Îmwe, who kept my friends and I talking long after we left the theatre.
So no, Rogue One isn’t perfect. But isn’t definitely worth a watch.