Spoiler Alert: Mads Mikkelsen plays the good guy.
Let me start this piece by saying that, I adore the original films, and I loved “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Not just because it had original characters and continued the story I’m invested in, but because Daisy Ridley and John Boyega were absolutely adorable and engaging and I cared about their characters.
Not so much with Felicity Jones and Diego Luna.
Felicity Jones gives the flattest of flat performances. Her dead eyes will put you to sleep, and her cardboard brand of acting will make you ponder getting a refund. I can’t recall the last time I didn’t care about a lead so extremely…No, I really can’t recall.
Diego Luna–I kept wishing for him to be Pedro Pascal and it just. Would not. Happen. I wanted to like him only because he made me think of of [off-brand, broke down] Pedro, and that was the extent of it. The character was just as “meh” as the acting.
That may have come across as quite harsh, but the fact is, they had no heart, and would have been better suited as being on the outskirts of this film.
What this film does offer, however, are a tremendous, supporting cast against the backdrop of this film that is essentially about war and fighting in the trenches [in space on planets in which I cannot recall]. In fact, just about every side character is inherently more interesting than our two protagonists.
K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk) while not quite as humorous like C-3PO or as endearing as R2-D2 or BB-8 [who were admittedly more like pets than either K-2SO or C-3PO], was still more interesting to follow and listen to than either Jyn Erso or Cassian Andor.
Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) who plays a blind, warrior monk who is both quippy and badass. His partner is the mostly silent, gun-blaster toting Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang).
Then there’s the “initially loopy after having his brain marginally scrambled” Imperial pilot, Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) who doesn’t get a lot to do, but does two very important things that ultimately unites the Alliance. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but even he was more interesting to follow than Jyn and Cassian.
I would have been a lot more invested in this story had it focused on the journey of those four in a Magnificent Seven/Lord of the Rings rag-tag buddy type of retelling in their quest to deliver the message and battle plans to the alliance. Where is that movie? I’d love to see it. As it stands, this story was fine; it were the leads that made it fall so short for me.
For about ten or fifteen minutes in the middle, I have to be honest and say I fell asleep, y’all. I mean, I was tired, but the film did not motivate me to fight through it.
Note: It is a rare thing for me to not fight through fatigue and sleep deprivation is a movie is interesting. A rare, rare thing.
The real winner in this film is the stellar CGI, bringing back familiar faces as they once were from the original film. I won’t spoil you as to who, but it was a pleasant, “Aha” kind of moment at the very end.
However, if you’re a hardcore Star Wars fan, the general consensus seems to be both “Squee!” and “LOVES.” Unfortunately, I am not amongst them.