This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Arielrocks5’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
How does one rate such a thing like this? Something that did nothing to provoke, interest, anger, or enjoy? Something that purely exists in a vacuum for the sake (from what I could tell from what this film passes for a story and characters) of filling in one of the biggest plot holes in film history, or to try to show the world what a more grounded, "realistic" "Star Wars" movie would look like, despite goofy jokes about putting a bag over a blind man and plenty of wise cracks from the main trio of bland.
Such is a lovely thing about this film; it plays itself as a dark, gritty re-imagining of the battle to capture the Death Star plans, yet it also wants to have smug wise cracks and a big all out spectacle of various "Star Wars" ships fighting against the backdrops of beaches ala "Saving Private Ryan" of all things.
I couldn't tell half of the time if this was the fault of Edwards or the Studio for the reshoots this film apparently went under. In all honesty, and much to the shock of most given my hatred of Edwards' directing style, I'm leaning towards the studio.
Whatever semblance of an idea he had for this thing shows promise in a couple areas (not all, but some, that given to someone with actual talent might have been interesting, but I digress), yet the hands of the House of Mouse clearly felt otherwise, going for a cookie cutter, typical Cinematic Universe blockbuster we've been flooded for the last decade. What joy.
Edwards' vision at least showed signs of promise; a more grounded setting and a diverse cast of "characters", but the problem all lies within the actual execution. In spite of the reshoots, this is still very much Edwards movie for the most part.
All of his ideas have promise, but because of the nature of the underlying fact that these characters HAVE to be killed, because the idea of tying them back into the main canon is too terrifying for these filmmakers, it removes any sense of stake or care.
Because we know these people have no real value to both the story they're in, outside of giving the plans to the Death Star to the rebels, it gives the people behind the scenes to simply lazily plow their way through the motions, knowing for a fact that they're going to make shit loads of money and praise from fans of the franchise and general audience members who haven't seen these cliches as much as most of us have.
But that in there lies the main issue of why I never wanted to/never cared about watching this fucking thing; there's literally no point. Everything that adds value to the "Star Wars" canon is literally one line and the fact we see the actual means of how the Death Star plans got to the Rebels and Princess Leia. Everything inbetween is simple fluff that, nobody to my knowledge at least, EVER asked to see.
Doesn't help that you got a director who knows how to make a film look like a grand spectacle on the big screen, but fails to deliver on any other level. Empty is the word of the day here, children; Empty spectacle paired alongside empty characters.
Gareth Edwards gives Michael Bay a run for his money when it comes to love of destruction and military porn, going as far to focus entire sequences of these people watching in awe of his mass destruction from a distance.
Because that's what Edwards wants from his movies. He doesn't want characters, he wants viewers to bask in his glorious genius of making big things crumble, people willing to stomach him jerking off his grey, dirty cinematography showing all of this off.
Unlike his previous monstrosity, I CAN (?) kinda see some semblance of an appeal in this film and it certainly has better lighting and thankfully (for the most part) doesn't cock tease the viewer with the promise of what they payed nearly twenty dollars to see, only to get back to all the stuff they didn't, but all of it is pure white noise in the face of the grander picture; nothing matters.
This story has no reason to exist or to be told, outside of making another "Star Wars" movie to fill a quota by the end of the year because we got to keep the people happy as they wait for the actual installment that matters to come out the next year.
It doesn't make sense to me, as well, how such a big budget movie can look so cheap in areas. As much as I love seeing more practical effects in main stream releases, I'd love them all the more if they didn't end up cluttering up most of the screen half the time and stick out along side obvious sets and aren't allowed to pop due to the murky cinematography.
But it's okay, by the last 45 minutes, the murky cinematography is gone in replaced of something that actually looks sorta decent, almost like it was from a completely different film. Perfect. Mother. Fucking. Perfect!
All of this along side one of the most non existent film scores I've heard in years and one of the most bland and lifeless leading actresses I've seen in awhile as well. The fact that Alexandre Desplat was replaced with Michael fucking Giacchino and that this chick was picked over Rooney Mara is down right insulting.
I don't know why I bothered to waste my time with something I obviously wasn't going to like from the get go, nor why I bothered attempting to give it a fair chance, even if it never gave me one....
I'm not going to rate this either. It's not worth the trouble....
I still haven't finished "Moonlight", yet I finished this.....
Edit: scratch all of that, thought of a rating.
Fuck this movie.