Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

We know what happened afterwards but how did we get there?

“I’m one with the Force, and the Force is with me.”

Star Wars has been a franchise/cultural phenomenon that many people have watched and grew up with, we were whisked away to a galaxy far, far away on an adventure following a young jedi Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and his furry side kick Chewy. It was a story that has stuck with me for years, and the series as a whole is something I return to quite frequently (minus the prequels, but thats no surprise). Last year we were treated to the wonderful Episode VII – The Force Awakens directed by JJ Abrams (Star Trek, Super 8), and in 2017 we will finally get to see the next chapter of the Star Wars saga – Episode VIII directed by Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick). But this year we are treated to something different in the Star Wars franchise, we are getting a prequel based on a line in the original 1977 Star Wars movie, we are finally getting to see the story of the Rebellions stealing the plans for the weapon used in the original film known as the Death Star. I’ve been waiting to watch this movie ever since it was announced and finally I was able to go see it, in DBOX nonetheless!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is an Action, Adventure and Sci-Fi film about a group of soldiers known as the Rebellion who come up with a plan to steal the plans to the Death Star, setting up the saga that follows.

Rogue One is directed by Gareth Edwards. His filmography consists of such films as Monsters (2010) and Godzilla (2014). I actually quite enjoyed Godzilla, I thought it was a fun movie and it was fun way revisit that character. His touch with film has carried onto Rogue One. He has a very interesting way of moving the camera, especially during space battles, he’ll have his camera sit behind the X-Wing and it shows an interesting angle looking at the different planets, stars and tie-fighters. I also liked how he shoots his action scenes, theres a bunch of quick cuts to keep up with the pace, but he also has an eye for setting up his camera in different places to show interesting angles of whats going on. For this being only his third film, he has really made a name for himself and I’m excited to see what he decides to direct next. I also need to go back and watch Monsters again, I have seen it a while ago, but I don’t have it fresh in my mind. There was no major surprises with Edwards direction, and thats completely alright by me.

The screenplay is written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy and the story is written by John Knoll and Gary Whitta. Chris Weitz’s filmography consists of Antz (1998) and About a Boy (2002). Tony Gilroy’s filmography consists of The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) and State of Play (2009). John Knoll’s filmography consists of well just Rogue One. Gary Whitta on the other hand, his filmography consists of Prey (Video Game 2006), The Book Of Eli (2010), The Walking Dead: The Game Season 1 (Video Game 2012), The Walking Dead: 400 Days (Video Game 2013), and The Walking Dead: The Game – Season 2 (Video Game 2013). I enjoyed the script a lot in this movie, there were parts of real character growth and the lines that K-25O had were extremely well executed, thats a given, due to the fact that they had the extremely talented Alan Tudyk voicing him.

Rogue One stars Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, Alan Tudyk as K-25O, Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso, Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera and Ben Mendelsohn as Orson Krennic.

Before I break down these fantastic actors filmography, I’m gonna create a new rule and only mention the films in their filmography I have seen. This will cut down on how many films I put down, but also make it really easy to recommend films to people who really like these actors. So if the film shows up in their filmography, I have definitely seen it. Any other questions just ask!

Felicity Jones’ filmography consists of Like Crazy (2011), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), The Theory Of Everything (2014) – Where she was nominated for best Actress in a leading role, True Story (2015). Jones also has a film coming up called A Monster Calls that I think looks absolutely brilliant and I cant wait to see it. I always am blown away by Jones’ acting chops, she can do a down right emotional and amazing role such as The Theory of Everything (2014) where she played Jane Hawking. But then completely turn that role on its head and helm a science fiction action movie, not even that but Star Wars film. She was wonderful in this movie, and it was a pleasure to see her command the screen.

Diego Luna’s filmography consists of The Terminal (2004), Milk (2008) and Elysium (2013). I thought Luna was great in this movie. He kind of felt a little Han Solo-y to me, which isn’t a bad thing, he had a robot companion other than a Wookie. No complaints here, I would like to revisit Elysium again, as I’m a huge fan of Neill Bloomkamp, but I don’t particularly remember his role in it that well.

Alan Tudyk’s filmography consists of Firefly (TV Series 2002-2003), Serenity (2005), Death At A Funeral (2007), and Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil (2010). I am a huge Tudyk fan, he was in my top 3 favourite characters in Firefly, only beaten by Captain Malcolm Reynolds. But I felt like he did a brilliant job voicing K-25O. He delivered some genuine laugh out loud moments and was a total badass. If you haven’t got your Tudyk on, Check out Death At A Funeral (2007), where he absolutely stole the show, but if you want something to dedicate a little more time too, look no further than Firefly, as it is one of the finest TV shows i’ve ever watched.

Mads Mikkelsen’s filmography consists of Casino Royale (2006) and Hannibal (TV Series 2013-2015). Its always a pleasure to see Mikkelsen act, and this was no different. Mikkelsen can do absolutely anything, he stole the show in Hannibal, and I honestly cannot wait to see what he does next and ill be there with bells on to see it. He’s also going to be appearing in the new Hideo Kojima (of Metal Gear Solid fame) game called Death Stranding, that will feature him and also Guillermo Del Toro and Norman Reedus. I think we will finally see Kojima stretch his artistic legs after the whole Konami incident.

Forest Whitaker’s filmography consists of Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982), Bloodsport (1988), Panic Room (2002), Phone Booth (2002), Street Kings (2008), Repo Man (2010), Southpaw (2015), and Arrival (2016). Forest Whitaker has had a big year, first he was brilliant in Arrival, becoming one of my favourite films of the year. But now he gets to stretch his science fiction chops in a completely different element and be in space, and get to be in a Star Wars movie. He is a brilliant actor and this role is no different.

Ben Mendelsohn’s filmography consists of Animal Kingdom (2010), Killing Them Softly (2012), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), The Place Beyond The Pines (2012), and Black Sea (2014). When I picture a typical bad guy, I picture Mendelsohn. He was a complete asshole in Animal Kingdom (2010) and he always has that “I’m a bad guy” look to him. I thought he was good in this movie, but was outshined a bit.

The soundtrack was a typical Star Wars affair, absolutely epic and every time I hear the typical “Dooo Doo DO DO DOOOO do” <— real help eh? its the normal tone whenever they talk about hope or taking down a Empire base, the other iconic music other than the theme song and the Imperial March. (For reference of my random “doo-ing” if you forward to around 1:38 in this video you’ll know what I mean. The soundtrack was excellent.

I was also a huge fan of the visual effects, and I could definitely see why Rogue One is in talks to win best visual effects at the Oscars in 2017. I think it will definitely get the nomination, theres no doubts about that.

The cinematography was amazing and breathtaking, there were scenes where my mouth would drop open by how beautiful the scenery is. The mix of great cinematography with a great director made for a great movie.

My only gripe against the film is that I thought the film was slow, but I think I was just ancy, so i’m going to give the film the benefit of the doubt.

Also, if you have the opportunity to go see it in DBOX (I’m definitely a convert and I love the technology), go see it in DBOX. It was a lot of fun, you felt like you were actually piloting an X-Wing of your own, that you were actually in these different gun fights. It was subtle but it immersed me in the film more.

If you’re a Star Wars fan, you probably have already seen it or have plans to go see it. If you’re on the fence about a stand alone Star Wars movie, definitely take the plunge and go see it. It was a really fun movie, and I personally will take any excuse to be whisped to a galaxy Far, far away. (I think I’ve said that line 4 times in this review, but thats okay.

Rogue One gets a 4.5/5 from me. It was a great addition to the Star Wars franchise.

Oscar Nomination Prediction:

Visual Effects.

Until Next Time!


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