Star Wars: Rogue One

I am probably one of the last ones on this planet to have just seen Star Wars Rogue One last night, hence the late review.
One of the joys of watching Star Wars Rogue One is the fact we, by that I mean the children of the 80s, can revisit our childhood era with excitement and fondness. It is in that context that I enjoyed watching Rogue One, despite the fact that there was no crawling credits to put me in the 80s mood. The familiar stormtroopers, the space creatures, the evil villain and the classic action fight scenes are all there. There is sheer delight in watching spaceships fly in and out, battling each other, all in glorious IMAX 3D.
I won’t get into the details of the movie’s plot but I will share the highlights for me, in no particular order.
1. The Soundtrack. I don’t know what it was, but I was certainly drawn into the movie with the brilliant score. It definitely created the right kind of the mood for the film. I got sucked in right at the beginning when the familiar Star Wars theme played and I knew I would be a happy person.
2. The Characters. With a myriad of characters, the entire movie felt fresh and new. Each of them had something to contribute to the movie’s plot. In particular I was delighted to see Riz Ahmed (the protagonist in the TV show The Night Of). Felicity Jones was very likeable, which made a difference. Forest Whitaker in a small role was fun to watch. Thankfully there were no weird space creatures/ aliens, like that disastrous Jar Jar Binks. The Imperial Droid was also easy on the eyes. Keep your eyes open for a blink and miss moment of C3PO and R2D2.
3. The Action. I loved the space fight scenes. That’s always been the highlight of these kinds of movies. It’s incredible what CGI can achiev and given the brilliant direction and editing, everything flowed so seamlessly and amidst all the space chase and chaos, one doesn’t feel disoriented or lost. There are some battle moments between the characters too which, to be honest, at times felt like little unconvincing (how can one imperial droid take out so many villains, or for that matter, one blind man can take out so many armed villains?)
On the flip side, there are two minor issues I’ve had with the movie.
1. The initial set up sort of bored me. I understand a back-story is important to realize the mission, but it was only when the action takes place that I regained interest.
2. The recreation of a certain character through CGI! What the heck was that? I won’t reveal the ending but we get to see a character that connects Rogue One to another Star Wars movie. Somehow, I wish they had taken a scene from the other movie and used that scene. Let’s just say it was a very plastic-ky moment.
Having said that, Star Wars Rogue One is a great movie and will surely please all the fans out there. Those who don’t know the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek will certainly not enjoy.
3.5 out of 5
Genre: Science Fiction, Action
Director: Gareth Edwards
Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed
Rating: PG-13
Synopsis:  The story follows Jyn Erso, daughter of the unwilling designer of the Galactic Empire’s superweapon the Death Star, and her mission to retrieve the schematics so it can be destroyed. (Wikipedia)
Running time: 133 mins
Seen at: IMAX 3D, Cinestar Lahore
Approval Ratings: 85% Rotten Tomatoes

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