If you have some time to kill, here’s a straight-up review of “Rogue One: A Star Wars story” from Athletics reliever Sean Doolittle over at MLB.com.
I link this because (a) nothing else is going on; and (b) it gives me an excuse to talk about “Rogue One,” which I saw on Thursday night. No, I won’t spoil anything here. I make no promises that jerks in the comments won’t, however. Commenters are gonna comment so enter the thread at your own risk.
Anyway: I basically agree with everything in Doolittle’s review. It started a bit rocky and choppy and it was hard to follow at first. Not impossible — this is Star Wars, not a psychological thriller — but a bit bumpier than the usual spoon-fed exposition of a Star Wars flick. It gains momentum in the middle. The ending, however, is absolutely fabulous, giving us some things we’ve never seen before. Stuff we’ve always imagined playing out in the Star Wars universe but which has never been shown. That’s all I’ll say about that. Suffice it to say, the movie pays off wonderfully at the end.
As far as the normal movie review stuff: the characters, as Doolittle and other reviewers have noted, were less-than-wonderfully fleshed out, with the audience being given more in the way of archetypes than actual people. Maybe it’s enough in a Star Wars movie to have a “Hero,” a “Secondary, somewhat more reluctant and jaded hero,” a couple of stock warrior types and some comic relief. I dunno. There’s an argument to be made that the original trilogy characters were kind of lightly written too and only assumed a lot of heft by virtue of 40 years of Gen-X nostaliga doing the work that George Lucas never bothered to do. Indeed, I’d be eager to have that conversation. I can see both sides of it.
Ultimately, though, it doesn’t much matter. This is not Grand Cinema. It’s Star Wars. And as as Star Wars movie it works really well, even if it does things totally differently than any of the other seven movies in the series have done.