Rogue One Review with Warning and Spoilers!

Just to fill some space before I get onto the topic at hand it’s well worth warning parents with children that the UK certification for Rogue One (12A) is possibly a bit low, it’s almost a (15), so definitely shouldn’t be seen by anyone under 12 and sensitive kids over that age may find certain themes within the movie to be disturbing. If you’re not sure, go see it first before letting your kids see it.

Rogue One Movie Poster

So I squeezed in a viewing of Rogue One and it is an excellent movie but it’s also nothing like a typical Star Wars movie while having all the ingredients (bar one) that we’ve come to expect.

As we all know the original Star Wars movie, with it’s U rating, is basically a war movie, combining elements from ‘The Dam Busters’ and ‘633 Squadron’, as well as influences from a diverse range of films such as ‘The Hidden Fortress’.

Rogue One goes back to the war movie influences of Star Wars to provide the drama too.  Unlike the 1977 movie the sources here are more like the shocking opening sequences of  ‘Saving Private Ryan’, the hell on earth of ‘Cross of Iron’, and the end of the recent ‘Fury’ movie.

There’s a great cast of eminently likeable misfit warriors from the morally torn Cassian (Diego Luna), the overly frank droid K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk), the blind monk Chirrut (Donnie Yen), and his best friend the heavily armed Baze (Wen Jiang), to the supremely talented Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones). They get up to all sorts of hijinks in pursuit of the McGuffin of the movie, the plans for the Death Star.

It seems, at first like any other Star Wars movie, a series of adventures and escapades, set backs and breakthroughs, leading to the inevitable win for the good guys and a happy ending as they ride off into the sunset.

and then we hit the third act…

To be frank it’s a fucking slaughter. Everyone, every single likeable character, everyone, dies one by one and the only thing resembling a sunset is a nuclear fireball. There. Is. No. Happy. Ending.

It’s a complete change of tone for a Star Wars movie, halfway through the slaughter you’re starting to wonder what the fuck is going on, and then they lift your hopes as one of the characters comes back from the dead, only to plunge a knife into your heart as the film’s relentless death toll keeps going up and up and up.

We’ve gone from war film to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and on to Cabin in the Woods and Dr Strangelove.

I’m not  sure I can watch it again. Don’t take your kids.