Star Wars: Rogue One. A riff, a razz, a review.

Narrated version here

So. I saw it. I hated it.

Hate is a strong word, right? Okay, fine. I LOATHED it.

Better?

I’m going to try not to post spoilers, in case anyone hasn’t seen it yet.

Given that it’s a box office best seller, AND rated 8.2 on IMDB, how in the world can I possibly dislike it? How can I dislike a movie that so many people are raving about and going to see two, three or four times in theater?

So, so many reasons. I bitched about it for hours (days) after. I wanted brain bleach and a toilet brush. It was freaking terrible. (In case you’re wondering, I went in with reasonable expectations. I’d seen the reviews of “I loved it” & “I really needed a movie like that now” as well as the “Well, the character development is a little lacking” and for what it’s worth, I really WANTED to love this movie. I mean, it’s STAR WARS, how do you fuck up star wars to this extent?? I mean, seriously?)

First 20 minutes-ish of the movie is dark, blurry and I sat there wondering if it was me? (so did my husband who has better than 20/20 vision, just so you don’t doubt my eyesight)  Or just a piss poor attempt at gritty cinematic filmography. I guess it must have been the latter.

We’re tossed into the middle of an action scene with minuscule lead up as to who these people are and why I should care. This is a poor pacing issue, you’ve seen other editors complain about books/movies starting in the wrong place? Yeah, Rogue One starts in the wrong place.

I think (without spoilers) that the persons who had the things happen to them were supposed to be poignant and sad, or maybe even heart wrenching, but I didn’t know them or care about them yet, so that fell flat. Big time. (Gods, riffing a movie is so hard without posting spoilers, just so you know!)

We slide over a decade into the future, and again, bad things happen to people I’m maybe supposed to care about? But it’s a poorly plotted point. Daring escape that is glossed over and we shift characters, again. (poor pacing, if this were a book I were editing, I’d be pointing that out to the author). Here we’re with the MC, and something bad has happened to her. Okay… maybe the movie is finally starting? (This is about 25 minutes in by the way, and we’ve bounced, roughly between characters and settings and time periods quite a bit. I’m not grabbed by the throat by any of this, I don’t know who the people are, where they are, what they’re supposedly fighting against or anything.)

THEN: In the middle of an action scene, the visuals finally clarify and everything becomes crystal clear.

Character development sucked ass. I mean, seriously? Who wrote this? The actors did an excellent job–with what they had–which honestly, wasn’t much. Even Forest Whitaker couldn’t do SHITE with that role. He tried, he really did. The acting (for all of the actors) came over as boring, flat and trite.

The bloody robot was the best character in the entire film, even with Diego Luna and his delicious accent. There just wasn’t enough ‘character’ for the actors to portray. Ugh.

Lol, I’d loooove to rape this entire film for its flaws, but… SPOILERS.

Action scenes make no sense, at all. Not even close. Throughout the whole film, I have massive edits on the action scenes. We get to the point at the end of the film where I’m wondering whether the ‘military’ alliance has any military intelligence whatsoever, or if the writers were suddenly replaced by inept marshmallow soft sci-fi writers who don’t even follow their own bloody canon. (I’m trying so hard to be polite. This movie is shit.) Look, it IS Star Wars. Sort of. No… the movie is star wars (waves hands in flapping motions) shaped. The insides are filled with rotten egg smell and if you’re a die-hard fan of the films, grew up on 4,5,6 (like me) it may leave you feeling extremely dirty for having witnessed its “glory”.

Gah… even thinking about it induces memories reminiscent of early morning hangovers in which projectile vomiting and oh-my-gods-what-did-I-eat diarrhea featured. Something oh, so, memorable and which you desperately wish you could forget. (oh, please, gods, let me forget!) Just spending this much time recalling the disbelief of how they could fuck up a by the numbers storyline so badly is making me ill. (I haven’t been this pissed off since I watched Transporter 3 or the Pirates of the Carribean (On Stranger Tides). In movies like these, there is a formula, tropes and a series of events that make it possible for a watcher to suspend their disbelief long enough to lose themselves in the entertainment of the world set in front of them, for a little while. You can play with and twist the tropes, sure, you can juggle the series of events, but there’s a formula, that people come to expect. You can’t dump it all out on the floor and crush it under bad writing boots and expect the movie to be a success just because it’s Star Wars! I couldn’t suspend my disbelief long enough because of the flaws in this movie (by Star Wars Canon even!) to enjoy it.

Plot… sigh. Apparently whoever wrote this tripe hadn’t ever studied the vagaries of human nature, or bothered with the basic associations of the laws of nature or physics. By the end of the film there were so many miraculous hijinks that we’re left wondering how the characters could survive, much less survive to enact battle against the empire. I have a list in my head, but… spoilers.

And no one, has ever, missed a pot-shot moaning about how their companion has died in the midst of combat. In the middle of a fire-fight is not the time to fall to their knees and bemoan the fate of their deceased companion. I mean, has no one heard of snipers?

They’re a thing.

Most enemy soldiers wait for a moment, a bare second, for anyone to stand still long enough to take a kill shot. Yet we have monologs and no one is getting hit with all the stray bullets/laser beams? Really? Pffft.

Look. I’m not against the whole emotional UMPH… I’m actually really good at writing that, but, after all the freaking WW2 movies we’ve seen, have writers learned nothing about emotional gut-punching and basic assassin techniques? After seeing so many movies featuring wars, (or, ya’know, reading good books) we KNOW, deep down, that the person who hesitates, or who doesn’t take cover. Dies.

Gah. My tongue feels fuzzy at even THINKING about this movie.

Canon. Can we talk about canon?

It takes time (a lot of time) to build or repair a fleet. (Spoilers!)

This movie is like… what, Star Wars three point five? Ish?

So yeah, the end makes sense because there isn’t any other way for the characters, but really? It needed to be written in a more realistic way. The event that ends the movie, the characters escaped at the beginning of the very same movie, but they just sit down for it? Um. What?

Romance… Um. This movie is so going to be lauded as one of the ‘greatest romances of EVAR!’ Sort of like Romeo and Juliet.

But.

Whoever wrote that? Needs to read about and understand romantic beats.

Or, maybe just read romance in general.

Sigh.

Then we get the whole… wait, that’s not physically possible with the ‘injury’ aspect to the movie. If you’d been injured like that, you’d be dead, dying or at the very least, immobile, not doing what that character just did. (this happened to multiple characters over the pace of the final battle).

We have disappearing, reappearing, disappearing and reappearing again extras.

We have a kinder egg with unlimited multiplying enemies on a base where there weren’t supposed to be that many, and which they even state in the movie were 70 or so after recon… until the battle, in which there are hundreds? Um. What??

Oh, and isn’t this like, futuristic? Given the space ships and lasers and… I thought it was set in the future, no? Yes?

So, why do we have massive communication dishes (like old satellite dishes?) on the top of towers? That’s not a spoiler cause the image is out there already.

Space doesn’t work like that. There isn’t any gravity or friction, so that thing that happened in the space battle? It wouldn’t work. Like, at all.

I get it, star wars is soft sci-fi and I don’t have a problem with soft sci-fi. I LIKE soft sci-fi (or I wouldn’t like star wars) but there’s ‘soft’ and omfg, that-would-never-work-even-based-in-the-story-universes-own-canon concept of quicksand soft.

I wonder, how many engineers are looking at this movie and wondering WTF??

I’ve had several people ask me why I didn’t like Rogue One. I needed far more than 140 characters on twitter to riff the movie as badly as it deserves (and I can’t do that ’cause spoilers).

What, my panties are in a wad? You betcha, I wanted to love this film as much as I loved the rest of the Star Wars films. 1,2,3 weren’t my favorites at all, but even they were better than this tripe.

None of it makes a lick of sense, by physics, laws of human nature, plot/character arc/storytelling/filmography and they completely ignored their own bloody canon.

So, that’s why I didn’t like Rogue One. Just cause it’s Star Wars doesn’t make it a good movie. (I so wish it did.)

(One suicide mission is not enough to unbind panties and suddenly make them drenchingly wet) gah, now I am going to go watch a good movie and hope the taste of R1 fades fast and I never think of it again.

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