ReviewWriter: Naseem RandhawaWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Star Wars" movies The Good, the Bad and the Death Star:
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" is the missing puzzle piece of the "Star Wars" universe for which we didn't ask for and didn't know we wanted all along!
Finally a movie for the more serious fans, "Rogue One" like its name dictates, can also be taken as a rogue "Star Wars" film by the typical moviegoer, as the plot of the standalone story is easily grasped and understood after going through a hesitant 15 minutes or so, as it dizzyingly flits between planets and the political conundrum that "Star Wars" fans would already know of.
But once the establishing scenes have passed (and hopefully digested quick enough), audiences can look forward to fast-paced action and a well-thought out war story set amidst the fantastic backdrop of the galaxy far far away.
For the uninitiated, "Rogue One" is set very shortly before the events of the first ever "Star Wars" movie; "Star Wars: Episode VI - A New Hope" (1977); following a group of rogue rebels who go on a mission to steal the plans of the Galactic Empire's superweapon, the Death Star, in order for the Rebel Alliance to destroy it in the near future.
We have to praise the level of diversity in the film. Although lead Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso does not carry the same likeability as Rey from "The Force Awakens", she is the strong female character that the movie needs considering the dire circumstance.
Riz Ahmed and Diego Luna may not be Han Solo archetypes, but they each provide different emotional layers that the group requires to work; of redemption and compassion.
It is great to see that the casting of Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe, a blind warrior monk, is not written as the token Asian character. He is the driving force of well, the Force, and keeps reminding you to believe in it. The "Ip Man" star brings some of his charm and fast hitting moves to the show and his prophetic nature makes him one of the more interesting and likeable characters to watch. His banter and bond with Wen Jiang who plays a bearded berserker is often the cause of laughs amongst audiences.
Speaking of laughs, we might not have the cute BB-8 in "Rogue One", but we do have the towering K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk) a security droid with so much sass and snappy comebacks, that it's kind of surprising how much we like him!
What is perhaps the most exciting part of the movie, is the return of Darth Vader (voiced again by James Earl Jones) to the big screen. The supervillain whom everyone, no matter fan or not knows of, is given a worthy comeback and even his entry which is first preceded by his towering shadow, is enough to send one chills or thrills of joy.
As expected, do look out for references and tiny cameos from other "Star Wars" films as you take in war scenes between the on-ground rebels and Stormtroopers clash, and up above; the battle between the TIE fighters and X-wing starfighters. There's hardly any lightsaber action in "Rogue One", but rest assured the CGI is in top form here and it is a dazzling display of details and destruction.
"Rogue One" is with the Force and the Force is with "Rogue One". Cinema Online, 14 December 2016