This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
laird’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
I enjoyed it, but I wonder if I would have like it more if I could have just hit mute and taken in the vistas and the production and costume design. Gareth Edwards may well have delivered the best looking Star Wars movie, or at least from the prequels on. It's a shame that the lead female character is given some stock Star Wars character motivation (I guess you could argue it's archetypal, but whatever it is, it's uninteresting/lazy), and she ends up not having all that much agency, somewhat at the mercy of others for most of the movie. Maybe a more humble, more focused story could have given her more screen time.
More screen time and development surely would help lend some gravity to the pile of bodies this movie leaves in its wake. But gravity isn't something this movie is particularly interested in, seeing as how it undercuts several grave moments with humor (I can imagine a note coming back from Disney: "2 dark. Can u make suicide mission more cheerful, pls, thx?"). Then again, maybe I don't want a grim Star Wars movie either. I just wanted to bask in some of the cool space battle imagery Edwards was crafting, but because the movie had set so many pieces in motion (and because it's what a Star Wars does) it has to hop around too many fronts and wedge (Antilles) in nods to the existing properties wherever possible. This new generation needs better writers, stat!