Director: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, and Mads Mikkelsen
Review Written By: Movie Parliament Prime Minister, Michael Dalton
What is immediately impressive about Rogue One is the way in which it manages to generate tension from a story, where the outcome is already known. If you’ve seen the original Star Wars film, then you know that these characters are ultimately successful in their mission. The existence of such knowledge is why so many prequels are doomed to fail. It is difficult to create stakes when the audience is one step ahead of you. However, during Rogue One’s exhilarating third act, I had to keep reminding myself that I knew this, so as to ensure that I didn’t fall off the edge of my seat. Rather than being constricted, or oppressed by the parameters of its existence, director Gareth Edwards seems liberated, to test his directorial prowess, and deliver a film which can make bolder choices with its story and characters. Whilst this film, perhaps over-zealously at times, provides conventional fan-service thrills, it also has a welcome weirdness and darkness. Furthermore, with its more mature and nuanced portrayal of the Rebels, it adds shades of grey to what has always been a black and white universe.
Where The Force Awakens had a swashbuckling glossiness in accordance with J.J. Abrams’ style, Rogue One has a solemn muddiness, with it very much putting the war in Star Wars. However, what’s also impressive is how despite all mod cons, the film looks like A New Hope, and where The Force Awakens was a modern remake, this almost feels like a film that could have been made in the 70s. That being said, this film has a controversial use of groundbreaking special effects, the results of which are scarily realistic and will divide audiences. Where Edwards’ direction really soars though, is when his personality starts to shine through, and you recognize the director of 2014’s Godzilla, and 2010’s Monsters behind the camera. Whether it is picking out a screaming girl in the middle of a firefight, or the nuclear evocations of the Death Star imagery, Edwards’ gaze gives you a tactile, ground level perspective to the inter-planetary action. Furthermore, he expertly stages a grand, multi-faceted climax, which demands to be seen on the biggest screen you can find. I was lucky enough to see the film at the BFI IMAX in London, Britain's largest cinema screen. (Pictures below)
Movie Parliament Rating: MAJORITY GOVERNMENT
By Movie Parliament Prime Minister,