‘Rogue One’ Review Roundup: ‘Star Wars’ Fans Will Love It, Movie Fans May Not
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters Dec. 16 and critics have given it mostly good reviews. The film earned an 84% on Rottentomatoes. The film is a prequel in the Star Wars universe and, as such, the movie has been incredibly hyped. The film follows Felicity Jones as the lead character Jyn Erso who is cynical and suspicious of both the rebels and the Empire. She gathers up her own rebel crew, consisting of an imperial pilot (RIz Ahmed), a resistance fighter (Diego Luna), a blind monk (Donnie Yen), and crazy sidekick (Wen Jiang). Of course, we mustn’t forget their droid K-2S0, voiced by Alan Tudyk.
The film adds a fun new element to the Star Wars franchise, but there is a lack of suspense because, as a prequel, we already know what will happen next.
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY REVIEW ROUNDUP
“All the pieces are there, in other words, like Lego figures in a box. The problem is that the filmmakers haven’t really bothered to think of anything very interesting to do with them. A couple of 9-year-olds on a screen-free rainy afternoon would come up with better adventures, and probably also better dialogue. Plots and subplots are handled with clumsy expediency, and themes that might connect this movie with the larger Lucasfilm mythos aren’t allowed to develop. You’re left wanting both more and less. There are too many characters, too much tactical and technical explanation, too much pseudo-political prattle. And at the same time, there isn’t quite enough.”
–A.O. Scott, New York Times
“The studio head insisted recently that Rogue One—the latest Star Wars film carried by a strong female lead, here backed by the most diverse, multicultural supporting cast in the entire four-decade franchise—’is not a film that is, in any way, a political film. There are no political statements in it, at all.’
“Contained yet expansive, nostalgic yet new, it introduces striking heroes and villains and fills its 2 hours and 13 minutes with a narrative that fits snugly into [the] canon. But where The Force Awakens leaned on a family-friendly appeal with its innocent do-gooder leads and tantrum-throwing baddie, Rogue One satisfies a darker itch.”
–Jen Yamato, The Daily Beast
“Rogue One doesn’t really go rogue at any stage, and it isn’t a pop culture event like The Force Awakens, in whose slipstream this appears; part of its charm resides in the eerie, almost dreamlike effect of continually producing familiar elements, reshuffled and reconfigured, a reaching back to the past and hinting at a preordained future. There are some truly spectacular cameos from much-loved personae, involving next-level digital effects — almost creepily exact, so that watching feels at various stages like going into a time machine, back to the 80s and 70s.”
–Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“Still, between epic battles featuring scores of familiar spaceships and the genuine thrill of hearing composer Michael Giacchino riff on John Williams’ classic score, there’s no denying that the film belongs to the creative universe Lucas established. This is the rebellion as it is experienced in the trenches. Younger audiences will be bored, confused, or both. But for the original generation of Star Wars fans who weren’t sure what to make of episodes one, two, and three, Rogue One is the prequel they’ve always wanted.”
–Peter Debruge, Variety
“This movie is about the journey, not the destination. And the journey is about as exciting as a long drive down the Florida Turnpike… But aside from answering the burning question of “Why did the designers of the Death Star leave the station’s exhaust ports so vulnerable to a missile attack?” there’s almost nothing in Rogue One that adds substance to the “Star Wars” realm… Rogue One is the first “Star Wars” movie that doesn’t open with a blast of John Williams’ symphonic score (the music is by Michael Giacchino). It doesn’t have an opening crawl or even much use for the Force. The changes don’t pay off, though, because the movie doesn’t offer anything memorable enough to replace them.”
–Rene Rodriguez, The Miami Herald