Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Movie, Picture, or Film: Rogue One, A Star Wars Story

Felicty Jones as Jyn

Rogue One: A Star Wars story is a decent flick, but I'm not sure I'd ever watch it anywhere but the theater ever again.

That's not true. If I was idly looking for something to watch and the only other Star Wars option was the prequels, then I'd watch it.

Even then that's not completely true. If there was some sort of marathon showing of all the Star Wars films from one-through-nine with all side films included, then yes, I'd watch it again.

This is all a long-winded way to say that as part of the Star Wars universe it's fine, but it's not something I would choose to watch if other, better Star Wars options were around. Would you rather see Princess Leia spitting one-liners with Han Solo and Chewbacca or would you rather see Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) spitting one-liners with Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and K-2SO (Alan Tudyk)? There's nothing particularly wrong with the new people, but there's only one Leia and there's only one Solo and that's all there is to it.

I do appreciate the Firefly/Serenity connection with Alan Tudyk as the voice of K-2SO, although he is so expressive it's a bummer just his voice makes an appearance. Yeah, they motion-captured him and turned his movement into the robot's, but that's just not the same. Mads Mikkelsen provides the James Bond connection. There are enough references to the other films to keep the Star Wars aficionado entertained, from the color of the milk to sly mentions of other characters.

Indeed, everything about it is done well and fits into the Star Wars universe. I really, really liked seeing the AT-AT's in the tropics, it's such a counter from the snow. The special effects are excellent. It's cool that the filmmakers used original but unused footage from 1977 in various spots around the picture, not just in the action scenes. Peter Cushing is a little stiff but that's to be expected.

The only major complaints I have heard around the picture concern the woodenness of Forest Whitaker's character, Saw Gererra. I didn't have a problem with that. I see it as he's supposed to be a little out there to draw your attention to him.

What's notably missing from the picture is the outrageously stilted dialogue one expects from a George Lucas-scripted Star Wars. There's a little technical jargon but nothing incredibly outlandish.

Still, the only real reason to pay attention to this picture is because of what it's connected to. If it was just a plain old sci-fi movie about rebels stealing something from an evil empire, it'd already be forgotten and I wouldn't have wanted to go see it. But because it's a Star Wars movie about The Rebels stealing plans for The Death Star from The Empire, I went and saw it.

Pretend that people still bought DVD's and in six months time Rogue One is sitting on a shelf next to The Original Trilogy. Which one would you watch? For the sake of completion, you might pick out Rogue One. That's about it.

Rating: Picture (barely) 

New to the ratings system of Movie, Picture or Film? Explanation here.

AT-AT's on vacation
photos: IMDB.com