Rogue One Review (Spoilers)

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Rogue One Review (Spoilers)

Postby Imaculata » Wed Dec 14, 2016 5:54 pm

Rogue One - Script writing zero
(When too much fan service ruins a movie)

As you can probably tell from the title, I did not like Rogue One. But please, if you are a big Star Wars fan, please don't let my opinion ruin your movie going experience. In fact, watch the movie first yourself, and then read my review.

This movie is probably going to leave fans divided. There are things to like in this movie. The designs, the vehicles, the costumes, the worlds... it all looks great. And the movie also has a spectacular finale. But if the movie fails to make you care, then there are no stakes, and that undermines the finale. The cringe is strong with this one, and I REALLY wanted to like it. I tried so hard to like it. But I hate to say it, but this movie is not as good as The Force Awakens.

The movie has a very hasty and disjointed beginning. It jumps all over the place, from location to location. It barely takes any time to work out a whole scene in each location. It kind of felt like we were sightseeing, instead of watching a story unfold. And I strongly feel that the entire introduction with Jyn Erso as a child could have been dropped from the film, and it would have been better for it. We do not need to know that Jyn was separated from her father as a child. It is so cliche, that it barely needs mentioning. And the movie would have been stronger if both the audience and the main character would have had doubts about Galen Erso's motives. Is he a pawn of the empire, or secretly a rebel? The movie leaves no doubt that Jyn's father is a good guy, and thus any suspense there is taken away.

The movie also has a very hamfisted way of introducing characters. They don't flow into the movie naturally, but are just dropped in suddenly, and then immediately named. And it doesn't help that they have a lot of silly Star Wars names. And many of the characters don't feel relevant to the plot. In fact, I believe the movie would have worked just fine with just the three main characters. I did like K2-SO, but only because he gets most of the funny lines.

The acting is also disjointed. Felicity Jones is great and likeable, but mostly because of her acting, not because of good screen writing. She delivers a good performance, which is undermined by poor direction and poor screenwriting, leaving you not really caring. When a movie has an emotional scene, you've got to feel it as a viewer. But despite Felicity's good acting, the movie fails to make you care. The other actors seem to struggle with their lines, especially the none native-English speaking ones. With Krennic this is especially a problem, because he occasionally slurs his lines, which doesn't make him very intimidating. The movie also fails to set him up as an intimidating villain. Forest Whitaker has a very distracting voice in this movie, but he's okay. The majority of the characters however get little to no character development or backstory. We learn nothing about almost all the characters, except Jyn. But the worst by far... and I hate to say this... is Vader. His lines are poorly written, his line delivery by James Earl Jones is underwhelming, and instead of being intimidating, he just does fan service stuff. Remember how Darth Vader was intimidating right from the opening of A New Hope? You didn't see him flailing his lightsaber around, force choking people left and right, and throwing rebels all over the place. The art of subtlety was lost in this movie.

The vehicles look great, but several I feel were simply dropped in because the filmmakers liked the toy. The AT ST that we see in the trailer is barely in the movie for like two shots, which begs the question why you would even have him in the scene. If you're going to throw an AT-ST in your movie, build an action scene around him. The movie also makes little effort to build up dramatic tension when these machines are revealed.

And then there is the fan service. This is where the movie got really cringy. My biggest complaint is the inclusion of a clearly CGI Tarkin. Peter Cushing is obviously dead, but it is REALLY hard to make a real person look convincing in CGI. Visually he's almost convincing, but it's in the acting, the movements, and the overall performance, that he looks fake. And he appears a lot in the movie, and has a lot of lines. So that sticks out like a sore thumb. There's also a completely unnecessary cameo by C3PO and R2D2, Vader himself didn't need to be in the movie either, and they name drop several Expanded Universe super weapons, such as the Dark Saber. And is it any surprise that we see Leia at the end? But I think one of the worst things they did is have this short action scene with Darth Vader at the end. Remember how Vader just walked in like a boss while his Stormtroopers did all the fighting in A New Hope? Well, not here. Vader's up front, deflecting blaster shots with his saber, and throwing rebels into walls. And it severely undermines him as a character. It feels so strongly as a piece of fan fiction, but they just couldn't restrain themselves.

The music also disappoints, and I can't believe I'm actually complaining about the music, but it stood out. Right from the opening title, it feels off to not hear the Star Wars theme, and the new theme that we hear just doesn't work. There's also an odd stylistic choice to not have exciting music during every scene where the Death Star fires. Why? Why does it feel like the composer is watching a different scene? Shouldn't the music pick up in excitement when the Death Star is about to fire?

So all this is a lot of negativity. But you are probably wondering, is there anything good? Well as I said, Jyn Erso and KT-SO are good. The finale is long and has great action scenes. The AT-ACT scenes are also well done, and I like the creature designs and all the costumes. I liked the visuals of the Death Star blowing up a planet, which lead to some really cool action scenes. Some of the city crowd scenes are fun, but it makes you wish they spent more time there, and took their time to write more than one brief scene for those places. I liked what happens to the main characters at the end, which I felt was a lot better than them just hopping on a spaceship and escaping in the nick of time. But all that is too little and too late to save the movie.

In the end, this is just full of bad screenwriting. They tried to include as much fan service as possible. And no matter how much I tried to like it, I couldn't. In fact, I could feel that it was bad right as the movie started. The polar opposite of The Force Awakens in a way, where the entire intro was really really good, and immediately made you feel like they got the mood right. Rogue One, despite all its X-Wings and Tie Fighters, did not feel like a Star Wars movie. It looked like one, but it made me feel nothing,
Last edited by Imaculata on Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rogue One Review (Spoilers)

Postby Imaculata » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:03 am

Also, it is clear that certain scenes were reshot or added later.

I think many of us remember the big confrontation between Jyn Erso and the Tie Fighter that is in the trailer. Well, that Tie Fighter is not in the movie. We still see Jyn do her cool walk towards the camera and reaching for her gun for no reason, but there is no one there, the platform is empty. Then Krennic shows up behind her. It strongly felt like a complete scene was changed here, and it really sticks out. It feels very awkward when it happens in the movie. She just reaches for her gun and looks at nothing.

The finale with Jyn and Cassian on the beach feels like it was the original ending of the movie. And then they tack a whole scene with the blockade runner, Leia and Darth Vader at the end. I strongly get the impression that this movie was intended to be tonally completely different. I think this was meant to be a dark war movie, but it's not. I think the movie was intended to have a dramatic end, and stop after the scene on the beach.
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Re: Rogue One Review (Spoilers)

Postby Darth Vlad's Clone » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:43 pm

I will be seeing this in about 8 hours, but I appreciate your review. I read it and there are some spoilerish things, but nothing to detract from viewing. I just think it will give me some idea of what to look for when I watch it. I'll post my thoughts once I get home (or the next day... wait, it will be the next day.) I'll be having a second viewing on Friday at 11, so it will be interesting to see if thoughts change on the second viewing, too, when I'll be able to digest some of the background action/characters. I look forward to discussing this with you and others this weekend.
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Re: Rogue One Review (Spoilers)

Postby Imaculata » Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:04 pm

I hope you (all) have fun, and I hope my negative review does not ruin the experience for anyone. I felt that there was plenty to enjoy in the movie, and some may take other stuff from it than I did. There's plenty of positive reviews, and plenty of people who seem to like it. So don't let my review color your perception too much.
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Re: Rogue One Review (Spoilers)

Postby StooperZero » Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:35 pm

screenwriting has gone downhill since the big strike in hollywood a few years back .
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Re: Rogue One Review (Spoilers)

Postby UKHistory » Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:34 pm

I just got back from seeing the movie at the air and space museum. I really really liked it.

The film is up there with the work of Brian Daley and Chewie. That means this is Star Wars.

I would have preferred Tarkin's reflection. It would have been great if Tarkin never looked at krennic.

Jyn and our heroes were awesome. I do wish they had lived but very powerful to die like this.

Didn't like walrus man cameo but no issue. The space station where we meet Cassian. Was fun. Could have stayed there

Vader was good. Wonderful cast

Alan tydyk keeps dying that sucks. First wash now k2

Seeing again Sunday Can't wait.
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Re: Rogue One Review (Spoilers)

Postby GrandMoffHux14 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:11 am

Love it...I need more now!!!!!!!
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Re: Rogue One Review (Spoilers)

Postby YAK_Chewie » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:34 am

Met up with Darth Vlad's Clone tonight and saw it.

Really enjoyed it, but am exhausted so going to bed. Will post thoughts soon and look forward to reading everyone's reviews!

:wink:
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Re: Rogue One Review (Spoilers)

Postby Imaculata » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:55 am

YAK_Chewie wrote:Met up with Darth Vlad's Clone tonight and saw it.

Really enjoyed it, but am exhausted so going to bed. Will post thoughts soon and look forward to reading everyone's reviews!


I'm eager to hear both of your thoughts on this movie. I suspect the fans will be pretty divided on this one.
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Re: Rogue One Review (Spoilers)

Postby Lance Quazar » Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:45 am

Imaculata wrote:I suspect the fans will be pretty divided on this one.


I doubt it. This was a real crowd-pleaser. I suspect most will be fans. I was surprised by your negative review.

The movie isn't flawless. The first hour is a bit choppy, the pacing is off and the cross-cutting gets a little confusing. The Saw character is muddled and it feels like way too much time is spent with him when he basically matters not at all to the larger story.

That said, the last hour of this film is absolutely gangbusters.

This movie is leagues better than "the Force Awakens", though I'll admit TFA does a few things a bit better (mostly in the characterization department - Kylo Ren is a far more interesting, fresh villain than Krennic for instance.)

But I thought this was delightful and can't wait to see it again!
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Re: Rogue One Review (Spoilers)

Postby Darth Vlad's Clone » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:59 am

Will be catching round 2 in a couple hours, but I guess I now know why we don't see Scariff Stormtroopers, Hovertank Pilots and Death Troopers in subsequent movies, thanks to the Death Star obliterating the planets.

The nods to the fans I noticed:
-Blue milk in the Erso house
-Ponda Baba and Dr. Evazan
-Mustafar? (it wasn't named, but it looked like it. It's interesting Vader took up office there. I wish they would have delved a bit more about it, but I can only assume that besides the bacta tank, it's a place he can focus on his anger for killing Padme and losing his battle with Obi-Wan (and some of his force ability).

Question: Why is Mon Mothma ever-present on Yavin IV, and yet a no-show during ANH?

Something I didn't like was Vader's voice. It seemed off; it didn't sound like Vader, even though JEJ did the voice.
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Re: Rogue One Review (Spoilers)

Postby GrandMoffHux14 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:54 am

Darth Vlad's Clone wrote:Will be catching round 2 in a couple hours, but I guess I now know why we don't see Scariff Stormtroopers, Hovertank Pilots and Death Troopers in subsequent movies, thanks to the Death Star obliterating the planets.

The nods to the fans I noticed:
-Blue milk in the Erso house
-Ponda Baba and Dr. Evazan
-Mustafar? (it wasn't named, but it looked like it. It's interesting Vader took up office there. I wish they would have delved a bit more about it, but I can only assume that besides the bacta tank, it's a place he can focus on his anger for killing Padme and losing his battle with Obi-Wan (and some of his force ability).

Question: Why is Mon Mothma ever-present on Yavin IV, and yet a no-show during ANH?

Something I didn't like was Vader's voice. It seemed off; it didn't sound like Vader, even though JEJ did the voice.

The Ghost from Rebels, "General Syndulla" was called over the Comm. on Yavin 4. Graven Dreiss, was there. The Stormtroopers on Scarif were talking about how T-15's were being discontinued. There was more too!
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Re: Rogue One Review (Spoilers)

Postby YAK_Chewie » Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:38 pm

Great time seeing you last night, Steve - wanted to reply to your post here...

Darth Vlad's Clone wrote:Will be catching round 2 in a couple hours, but I guess I now know why we don't see Scariff Stormtroopers, Hovertank Pilots and Death Troopers in subsequent movies, thanks to the Death Star obliterating the planets.


^ I think Death Troopers were a very small/elite group that only Krennic had. Like secret service type troops. As for Scarif troopers and hovertank pilots, I'd assume there's a lot more on other planets. We just don't visit those planets in the OT.


Darth Vlad's Clone wrote:The nods to the fans I noticed:
-Blue milk in the Erso house
-Ponda Baba and Dr. Evazan
-Mustafar? (it wasn't named, but it looked like it. It's interesting Vader took up office there. I wish they would have delved a bit more about it, but I can only assume that besides the bacta tank, it's a place he can focus on his anger for killing Padme and losing his battle with Obi-Wan (and some of his force ability).


I thought the Ponda Baba/Evazan thing was forced Evazan looked nothing like the ANH version, kind of surprising.



Darth Vlad's Clone wrote:Question: Why is Mon Mothma ever-present on Yavin IV, and yet a no-show during ANH?


Why are there no gray X-Wing pilots or U-Wings? I would say after Rogue One, the fleet over Scarif got pretty much destroyed and quite a few of the Yavin personnel went to other sectors. They just had their first "victory" over the Empire and she could be out now recruiting more people to the cause based on their new message of hope, and I guess she has duties back on Coruscant?


Darth Vlad's Clone wrote:Something I didn't like was Vader's voice. It seemed off; it didn't sound like Vader, even though JEJ did the voice.


I noticed that too. James Earl Jones is now 85... but I thought it was fine.

:wink:
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Re: Rogue One Review (Spoilers)

Postby StooperZero » Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:59 pm

they could have used hayden's voice..........





:lol: :lol:
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Re: Rogue One Review (Spoilers)

Postby Imaculata » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:12 pm

StooperZero wrote:they could have used hayden's voice..........





:lol: :lol:


Go stand in the corner! For shame! :D

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