David on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

With his property now wrested from George Lucas' greedy little hands, we get to enjoy some worthwhile entertainment from people who care equally about Star Wars as they do quality filmmaking. Yay.

That said, I'm not quite prepared to give Rogue One, which for some strange reason is considered a "Star Wars Story" as opposed to a full-fledged franchise entry, an F!NG-AWESOME rating. To begin, it takes itself way, waaay too seriously. Remember, the original blockbuster that begat all of these descendants was cut from the same light fantasy cloth as Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon: Saturday popcorn fare, with villains to boo and heroes to cheer. Now we have grim, heavy war stories based on canon now set in stone.

Yet this is not to say Rogue One isn't enjoyable; quite the opposite. Perhaps its most valuable quality is offering us a view of the Star Wars universe, however brief, through very a different prism. Supporting this intriguing new take is a solid cast delivering solid performances wrapped in sky-high production value, with truly outstanding effects that don't overwhelm the story the way they did in Lucas' prequels.

Still, I must pick one more small bone: the best dramas are usually leavened with some humor. While Alan Tudyk is priceless as K-2SO—refreshingly different from the increasingly annoying C-3PO, eliciting laughs through bone-dry, even cynical remarks—he's regrettably underutilized. [SPOILER ALERT: Do not continue if you're one of the five people left on the planet who hasn't seen it yet.] Sadder still, he'll not be seen again, exiting the universe far too soon in an awesome final scene that had me choked up.

SH!T BAD MEH 1/2-DECENT GOOD F!NG-AWESOME

"And there's a fresh one for you if you mouth off again."

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