Rogue One: A Star Wars Story


(spoiler free)

After his 2014 ‘Godzilla’ movie, Gareth Edwards had some redeeming to do. What better chance then directing the first standalone Star Wars movie? The hype for ‘Rogue One’ has been huge, not maybe to the same level as ‘The Force Awakens’ but sill big enough to break the internet every time new material was released. With the film finally released into cinemas it’s time for audiences to sit back and enjoy the story that holds so much importance for the films that started off this so cherished universe.

Just like last year in J.J. Abrams Star Wars effort here we are introduced to many new characters. Many of these characters are really good, however there was maybe just a few too many as it was hard to get to know each of them that well. One of my favourite characters was the villainous Director Krennic, who was played by Ben Mendelsohn. I thought that Mendelsohn probably gave one of the best performances out of the cast. Whilst his villain isn’t anything spectacular he is convincing & entertaining in the role, and what about that cape!? The other characters combine together well to make an almost Avengers-esqe team. Performers such as Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker & Riz Ahmed fare the best but even still their characters could have done with being fleshed out slightly more. Alan  Tudyk offers his vocal talents as he voices droid, K-2SO. This character has been seen before through R2-D2 & BB-8 but it’s hard not to enjoy Tudyk in this role, offering almost all the comic relief for the film. Who a lot of fans will be waiting to see though is Lord Vader himself, returning properly to screens for the first time in decades! It’s fantastic to hear the voice of James Earl Jones and that heavy breathing in a Star Wars movie once more. The only slight issue I had with Vader’s involvement was his dialogue, I found it at times a bit too cheesy and jarring for his scenes. However, when Vader is less talkative and more active ‘Rogue One’ is at its best.

‘Rogue One’ tells a story that all fans will be familiar with but one that was always a little sparse on the details. What I loved about this movie was just how self-contained it is but also how significant it is to the overall Star Wars story. The narrative lines up so wonderfully with the existing canon, which the writers deserve praise for. However, more specific sections of the film maybe aren’t as well constructed. The beginning of the film has audiences being introduced to many of the new characters in several different locations and as a result it’s quite a challenge to settle into the film. However, once the main plot arises these problems disappear and when the movie arrives at its finale this is when audiences will really begin to have a blast. The finale IS this film. Here we have the combination of beautiful cinematography, impressive effects, fun action and genuine emotion pouring through every narrative move. In all honesty it makes the rest of the film quite forgettable. ‘Rogue One’ certainly builds well to this moment and the strength of this climax makes sure that audiences enjoyment levels will peak here and nowhere else.

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ is the Star Wars prequel that this universe needed and it could well rival some of the original trilogy in places. Whilst there are a few moments of weakness in the more specific elements to the narrative and some characters could have been more developed ‘Rogue One’ excels in every other element. The finale pushes the movie into top tier Star Wars territory and should be a delight for any fan to watch.

Rating – 9/10

Question: Where does ‘Rogue One’ rank for you in comparison to the rest of the series?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)

Thanks for reading this review and please let me know what you thought about the movie! Leave a comment below or drop me a tweet over at @HCMovieReviews.

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