Unlike regular reviews, micro-reviews are more condensed and only include a single overall rating score.
Yes, it’s me. The guy who only watched the Star Wars movies because they were offered as extra credit because absolutely no one in my class had seen the movies.
It’s also me, the guy who actually likes Episode I the most.
So take my opinions on this movie with a grain of salt, because Star Wars is just not my jam, and I don’t think it ever will be, despite its brilliant capacity for world-building.
Rogue One tells the story of how the Rebel forces came to acquire the means of destroying the Death Star in the original films. Who are these particular rebel forces, you might ask? Well, as it turns out, it’s a pretty random assortment of individuals united by happenstance. The movie never takes much time to examine any of these characters, only providing minor emotional moments for the two leads of the film, Diego Luna as Cassian and Felicity Jones as Jyn. The rest of the characters (Chirrut, Baze, and Bodhi) tag along without much rhyme or reason. I get that this movie is more about the results of a mission than the people involved in that mission, but that’s still no excuse to forego characterization entirely. These characters are given surface-level traits and desires, and that’s pretty much what they run with for the movie’s duration. I really wanted to like these characters, especially Bodhi and Jyn, but the movie just never allowed me to get to know them enough for me to ever form a real connection. It’s a shame too, as the whole lot of characters had a lot of potential. To boot, the lack of characterization provides few opportunities for the cast to flex their acting muscles beyond a couple of select (and somewhat forced) scenes.
I know the characters are all supposed to die in the end because, well, Rogue One’s victory was a martyr mission. But it just became one death scene after another without much emotion granted to the scenes. It was like signing autographs at a book signing. “Next. Next. Next. Next.” The characters were just on the chopping block at the end of the film, and the movie wanted to move them through all in succession without providing any real emotional attachment or thought. Not only is the character depth lacking, but the direction is headache-inducing. The movie makes it a point to jump between scenes as frequently as possible, almost as if someone put the scenes in a microwave and allowed them to jump around like popcorn kernels. It ruins tension in a lot of scenes, and especially toward the beginning it really messes with the clarity of the film. I initially liked that the movie was taking the time to world build, but it became far too much far too quickly.
Suffice it to say Rogue One did not make me any more affectionate of the Star Wars universe beyond now providing me with a reference to say whenever I’m about to enter a troublesome situation. (“I am the force, the force is with me.”) Some decent, but not amazing, action scenes and visuals are not enough to boost this movie out of mediocrity. Rogue One is a prime example of a film that is not outright bad but does not have much to offer either. It’s just an unnecessary yet passable addition to the Star Wars universe, and that’s really all the film warrants saying about it.
- The journey is still entertaining, despite poor writing and characters
- Practically every attempt at humor lands smoothly
- Literally no reason to care about any character beyond surface traits
- Writing fails to allow cast to show much range in acting
- Heroes are just haphazardly added to the team
- Scenes bounce around way too much