Shaky build up aside, Rogue One features a solid second half with gritty and exciting battle sequences. Just don’t expect memorable characters.
Directed by Gareth Edwards
Full disclaimer, i am not one of the hardcore Star Wars fans who can quote you the lore and backstories of the universe. I have seen all 7 mainline films at one point or another, but remain a casual fan of the franchise. With that said, Rogue One serves as a good but not great adventure, and bridges the gap between Episode III and IV.
Taking place after Episode III,the Rebel Alliance makes a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star. That pretty much sets up the stage for a ‘war film’ of sorts, from the perspective of the rebels. The first half is rather conventional staging, with copious amounts of title screens as we jump from location to location. And its not exactly a well paced introduction. We see just enough cliff-notes for each character to get a hold on them, but no one stands out as being memorable. This is designed to be a ‘one-off’ film through and through and it shows for better and for worse. At its worst, it feels like simply checking off tick boxes of a franchise film.
But really though, what you’re here to see is the battle sequences and on that front, Rogue one absolutely delivers. Its a thrill ride for the duration of the third act, with space and ground battles filled with some much needed grit. When the dust settles though its an oddly forgettable journey that at times feels by the numbers, and really could have used more characterization.