Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

"Extraordinary"

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review


With the tagline "A Star Wars Story", this first spin-off from the saga isn't actually a stand-alone movie. It requires some understanding of the context as it chronicles events that lead directly into 1977's Episode IV: A New Hope. It's also a seriously rousing action film with a riveting cast of characters and a surprising willingness to embrace even the darkest elements of storytelling. In other words, it might be the first Star Wars movie made specifically for grown-ups.

It opens as the Empire is systematically crushing the rebellion, leaving them wondering if there's any point to continuing the fight. Rumours are swirling that the Empire is building a massive Death Star, and rebel Jyn (Felicity Jones) discovers that it was designed by her long-lost father Galen (Mads Mikkelsen), who sends her a message saying that he left a flaw in the system specifically for the rebels to exploit. So she joins a team to contact him, led by Cassian (Diego Luna), who doubts that Galen is on their side. They're accompanied by pilot Bodhi (Riz Ahmed) and the sarcastic robot K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), plus the blind wannabe Jedi Chirrut (Donnie Yen) and his battling sidekick Baze (Jiang Wen). And as their mission goes rogue, they come up against the slimy Imperial Director Orson (Ben Mendelson) and the vicious Darth Vader (again voiced by James Earl Jones).

Director Gareth Edwards (Monster) packs the movie with visual references to A New Hope, cleverly matching the design work by avoiding fakey digital effects in lieu of more practical, battle-scared models and lively settings on a series of new planets and a familiar one. This gives the film an electric atmosphere that's edgy and unpredictable even though we all know exactly how this mission has to end. At the beginning, the plot feels a bit splintered, but the strands come together with power, building a gnawing sense of momentum and some real gravitas along the way.

All of this is anchored by Jones in a remarkably steely performance. Jyn's emotional journey is properly epic, avoiding pitfalls of most action movie heroines. There's only a vague whiff of romance with Luna's brooding Cassian, who has his own story going on, as do all of the colourful side characters. And it definitely helps that Edwards has gone gritty here, grounding everything that happens even with the range of requisite set-pieces. The effects only rarely look like effects at all (only two digital characters are distracting, but they still elicit goosebumps). And as the final act plays out on an astonishingly expansive scale, this film remains true to the franchise while also revealing itself to be as bold and daring as its characters.

Watch the trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story:



Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Facts and Figures

Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy

Run time: 133 mins

In Theaters: Friday 16th December 2016

Budget: $200M

Production compaines: Lucasfilm, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Allison Shearmur Productions, Black Hangar Studios

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Simon Emanuel, Allison Shearmur

Starring: as Jyn Erso, as Captain Cassian Andor, as Director Orson Krennic, as Chirrut Imwe, as Galen Erso, as K-2SO, as Baze Malbus, as Saw Gerrera, as Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader (voice), as Bodhi Rook, as Senator Jebel, Genevieve O'Reilly as Mon Mothma, as Bistan, as Bail Organa, Valene Kane as Lyra Erso, Jorge Leon Martinez as X-Wing Pilot, Russell Balogh as X-Wing Pilot, Ned Dennehy as Prisoner, Steen Young as Vault Officer, Tyrone Love as Rebel Marine Commander, Attila G. Kerekes as Rebel Marine on Yavin, Andrew Zographos as X-Wing Pilot, Angus Cook as Mechanic, Sam Hanover as Imperial Officer, Mac Pietowski as Commi Tech / Marine Soldier, as General Draven, Emeson Nwolie as Personnel

Contactmusic


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