Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Find The Plans, Buy The Galaxy A Couple Years

While I was visiting Alex, after completing errands, his roommate wanted to watch Rogue One. Which spared me from seeing any more of We're the Millers, so that's a win of sorts. Spoilers, probably.

It was OK, I suppose. One of my first reactions when it was over was that it was kind of shitty Jyn didn't get to shoot Krennic, who was responsible for the death of both her parents. Instead they give that chance to the captain guy whose name I never remembered at any point during or after the film. For someone Forest Whitaker's character claimed was the best soldier he had by age 16, there were a lot of points where she didn't seem very good at it. Also a lot of dudes telling her what she ought to be doing with her life in the film.

On the other hand, I could see the argument her revenge on Krennic was buying into the rebellion enough to make a rousing speech that convinced a bunch of people to go with her on the big mission at the end, which is how the Alliance gets the Death Star plans and ultimately is able to destroy it. Although Krennic was already in the process of losing his baby to creepy CGI Peter Cushing, but still, Jyn was instrumental in fucking his day up pretty severely.

Didn't quite know what to make of them not at least trying to reach a shuttlecraft or something. Try to get off the planet before they're killed, make some kind of token effort in that direction? Granting that they're wounded, come on, at least try.

Chirrut and Baze (Donnie Yen and Wen Jiang) were my favorites. Chirrut gets to be the blind badass which is almost always cool, and Baze has this tired amusement towards Chirrut. He knows Chirrut is going to get them into trouble, but he's ultimately going to have his back. They aren't quite a grumpy old married couple, but they're close. I had seen enough online to know Vader's in the film - holy shit was that "Don't choke on your aspirations" line terrible - and I half expected Chirrut and the other to run up against him. Probably better he didn't. That could have been a terribly disillusioning fight for Chirrut, before he, you know, died.

Kind of interesting seeing how fractured the Alliance was, the different interests and fears they had, militant wings versus those still thinking they could talk, or not wanting to try and fight a war they were unequipped to win.

I don't have much else to say on the film. I don't really need to see it again.


Kelvin Green said...

Yeah, I found the ending unconvincing too. I can understand why they wanted everyone to die, but I felt like they jumped through a lot of hoops to get there, and some of it was a bit contrived.

For example, we've already seen earlier in the film that it's possible to escape the Death Star tsunami, and there were plenty of ships flying about, so why didn't one of them pick up the team? Or, they want Riz Ahmed's pilot taken off the board so he can't rescue anyone, so they have him killed by a stormtrooper that doesn't even know he's there. It all came across as a bit desperate.

What's interesting to me is that the trailers are full of scenes that don't occur in the film, or are very different. There's the bit with Jyn versus the TIE fighter, or the very different recruitment scene. I hope they let us see that original version some day.

CalvinPitt said...

Kelvin: Do you think they left things out to cut down the runtime, or did someone just decide they wanted the film to go a different direction? I'm not sure if I even saw any of the trailers, so I didn't realize they'd done that.

I did like the sense that part of the reason for sending starfighters at the Death Star in A New Hope is not just because of the specific weakness, but it was basically all they had left after this battle in Rogue One. The Rebel Alliance had to burn up most of its military capability just to manage this mission to swipe the plans, but it left their forces almost gutted for the real battle just around the corner. Kind of plays up their being a ragtag, almost shoestring budget organization, at least compared to the Empire.

Kelvin Green said...

Based on the trailers, it looks like there are different versions of scenes, rather than missing content. For example, the scene in which the alliance recruits Jyn is played almost like blackmail and coercion in the released film, but the trailer shows Jyn as more idealistic and joining up because it's the right and just thing to do.

There are other cases where scenes from the trailers just don't appear in the final film, so I think it's probably a bit of both runtime and alternate vision.

This other version of the film may be better than the released one, or it may be worse, but I'd love to see it either way.