The reason I’ve chosen to combine the Rogue One and the Collateral Beauty review is simple: You’ll either see them or you won’t, regardless of what critics say. And although they are about as different as two films can be, they do have one thing in common: Both have remarkable ensemble casts.
Rogue One Review — This is probably the most critic proof film of the year. Star Wars fans, of which their are billions, (literally) wouldn’t miss it if it were an hour and a half of rolling credits. Those who enjoy the franchise but aren’t rabid about it and don’t get out to movies much will probably not want to fight the crowds until several weeks after the fervor has died down. Whichever category you fit in, what you can reasonably expect is a rollicking space adventure — a little confusing at first, a little slow in the middle, but with a BIG payoff in the end that makes it all worthwhile.
To summarize the plot in detail would be to give away too many spoilers, so suffice it to say that new character Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) comes up against the the evil Empire, with a motley yet engaging crew utilizing various degrees of The Force. Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, Donny Yen, Mads Mikkleson. Allen Tudyk, Jiang Wen, Riz Ahmed and Ben Mendelsohn round out a delightfully rainbow-esque coalition that has the Alt Right screaming. May the force dessert them.
2 hours 13 minutes
Collateral Beauty Review — I’d heard dark rumors about Collateral Beauty, and thought there was no way they could be true. After all, the cast includes some of the greatest actors of our time, many of them Oscar winners and multiple nominees: Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, Kiera Knightley, Naomi Harris, Michael Pena and Edward Norton. With a cast like that, how could it possibly merit an abysmal 14% Fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating?
Well, I regret to inform you that after seeing it, I’m surprised it rated that high. The problem is not with the A-List cast, but the painfully awkward, nonsensical and forced script. It’s apparent they were going for an It’s a Wonderful Life Christmas classic: a tragic but ultimately hopeful tale of how a man loses his daughter and finally regains his life. But with ludicrous dialogue and completely unbelievable situations, it quickly dissolves into soggy glop– about the texture of the tissue you would have clutched if the film had elicited the tears it intended. Maybe it IS the actors’ fault — after all, they read the script and signed on anyway. Don’t let this one spoil your holiday spirit.
1 hour 34 minutes
ROGUE ONE Review — COLLATERAL BEAUTY Review — Opposite Films That Have One Thing In Common