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Oh dear… whatever else the film may be, it is not a contender for Pulitzer prize for movie dialogues … “Save your dream” … Forest Whitaker and Mads Mikkelson will hide under their newly purchased very expensive blankets each time they attend a screening given the lines they have to say. In general, the film made me wonder why they cast some stars among all the newcomers and fresh faces anyway. All the star appearances are off and actually a distraction. Where Rogue One somehow delivers is the new set of characters, played by new or not yet too familiar actors, that does stuff related to the Star Wars universe we are already familiar with. When the new and the old universes merely touch, Rogue One has the liberty of being a different animal, some form of war movie where the resistance fighters need to make their way to some McGuffin thing that allows them to fight for an hour against the Imperial Forces.

Of course everybody appreciates Darth Vader being around (who doesn’t love Vader, right?). But Mr Whitaker, Mr Mikkelson… sorry, guys, there are different films that had been waiting for you while you were busy learning your “lines”.  (It should be noted that there’s still Ben Medelsohn – he may not have the star power of the aforementioned, but he is the only well-known – and great! – actor who got himself a proper part written into the script).

Rogue One is entertaining once you turn off your brain and stop trying to follow what exactly is happening and how it would link to other storylines within Star Wars. Especially at the beginning the film jumps from this Imperial base to that resistance stronghold, and to that outer rim planet and another place that I forgot. You can sort the position of your popcorn and your beer while watching that. At some point, everybody is where they’re supposed to be, and then you can settle into some decent combat action, with powerful war machinery and brave fighters and high towers and and and. AT some point, the expected outcome arrives, which is when the film finds its moment of originality. The end is surprisingly bold and refreshing, and I salute you, Disney, for doing what you did. I am sure the forthcoming side stories as well as the main franchise will print plenty of money and will allows the older ones among us to think back fondly to the originality and surprises the original Star Wars movies presented. You will not find too much originality in the franchise anymore, but it still is satisfying action cinema. What is interesting is how director Gareth Edwards has found his way into blockbuster territory in such a short time, though what can only be called excellent choice of projects, even if every single one of them I would call seriously flawed. But he showed his talent and prowess for all these things are required for a big player in the action genre, and that’s where he is now, suddenly part of the new generation of whiz kids led probably by J.J. Abrams.

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