Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Rouge One!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Well the first out trilogy non-Skywalker focused Star Wars film is out for mass consumption. The second film in the Disney Star Wars series and it does not disappoint. The first almost, but not entirely standalone Star Wars film.

I have seen it twice. Once as an eager fan devoted to the series and a second time without the raging fan boy activated.

After two viewings, I have to say it was damn bit of a good time.

Alright for those few outside the know, Rouge One is the story of how the Rebel Alliance attains the schematics for the Death Star. This is accomplished by one Jyn Erso, the daughter of a scientist who helped create the super cool planet destroying laser. Jyn along with a few other fellas get swept up in the plans of the Rebellion, try to avoid the Empire and eventually lead a mission to steal the Death Star plans. This is equal part heist film and Dirty ½ Dozen in the Star Wars universe pre- Episode IV.

It could also be called three items Ian loves all in one movie!

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K2SO, or how filmmakers made me care about a robot.

Alright let me get the negative bits out of the way first.

The plot wasn’t too surprising, and a bit clunky in the early going, as we all knew what this was about going into the movie. We knew what would happen by the end. As per life, it is about the journey not the destination. That doesn’t mean there were not twists and turns along the way, it was just that the final outcome of the film was known.

Second, there is a lot of fan service in the film. At times it felt tacked. At other times it had a real “member berries” (if you missed this season of South Park do yourself a favor and go back to watch it) feel to it. This a bit annoying at times, missed by the general populace or hated by the wyrd sect of uber fans that love Star Wars, but hate it at the same time.

Now with those two little bits out of the way I’m going to gush a bit about everything else.

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First, this was a gritty and darker take on the Star Wars universe. I love that! The Rebellion isn’t painted as the group of super good guys fighting evil. They actually have them act like a bunch of dicks that are up against a super evil bunch of dicks. Plus throw in the whole splinter militant branch of the Rebellion led by Saw Gerrea who was a bit more terrorist acting than the typical good guy Rebel Alliance we have been given for years.

Then throw in the cast of characters running around the film. Sure Jyn Erso was cool, but not as cool as K2SO and Chirrut Imwe. These two stole the show for me. K2SO the reprogrammed Imperial droid was just stupid fun and gave the film its comic relief. Well if by comic relief you mean a plain speaking droid whose cynicism came off as great dry humor. Then there was Chirrut Imwe the blind monk. His action scenes were a good bit of alright. Plus having him be the non-Jedi Jedi of the group didn’t hurt either. If the robot wasn’t stealing the show, this guy was. It isn’t that the rest of the Rouge One crew didn’t have their moment to shine, it was just that these two characters shone the brightest.

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Chirrut Imwe, so much awesome and without a lightsaber.

As a big fan of the Star Wars there was a ton of fan service that worked.  For instance; Storm Troopers actually hitting targets, Grand Moff Tarken, the ambush on Jeddah, a descent troop battle that scratches the itch for a gritty Star Wars war movie, Red and Gold leaders making a cameo, a space battle and associated dog fighting above and on the planet and the AT-AT beach assault, are all bits of delightful fan service and action in the film. However, they all pale in comparison to the closing minutes. This is where the movie goes from pretty good to fraking amazing! If you didn’t/don’t enjoy the Hell out of that sequence then I have to call your Star Wars fandom into question.
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Is it better than the prequels?

Is it better than the originals?
Well… way better than Jedi and on par with New Hope and Empire for this guy.

So yes, I can saw I am a huge fan of Rouge One.  The cast of; Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor, Chirrut Imwe, Baze Malbus, K2SO and even Bodhi Rook make a great crew that all have a likeable traits and memorable moments. The action is great. The movie is equal parts big heist and what Suicide Squad wishes it could have/should have been. A great addition to the film series and one I can’t wait to see again.


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