Criminal Minds USA vs Criminal Minds Korea: The Comparison

I’ve come a long way as a Criminal Minds fan ever since my 14 year old self stumbled across an episode of the first season airing on my local channel. In most ways, I consider the BAU team a part of my family so, when I heard that Korea was doing a remake of the series for their own network; I immediately went, ‘Oh, hell nawwww.

It’s not that I have anything against remakes. Some remakes are wonderful but there are some that just kinda seem to have miss their mark. So, after having seen the first 3 episodes of Criminal Minds Korea (which is currently airing on the cable channel tvN), I have a sufficient feel of the series to deliver my verdict.

I. STRUCTURE & PLOT.

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Credit: tvN

As Korean dramas go, we are rarely treated to a continuing series of a particular title. Almost all of the Korean dramas produced are based off a one-time story line that plays out in 50-60 mins spanning a 20-30 episodic run. The time duration that the Koreans had was looking good for a possible replication of the American ‘one case per episode’ scenario but it wasn’t the case. Instead of wrapping up the case in one episode, it was dragged into the next episode; taking up about 3/4 of the episode duration.

In terms of the cases, they were similar. CMK’s first investigation was into The Seattle Strangler. However, in place of the FBI, we have the NCI – National Criminal Investigation. Unlike the usual protocol whereby the BAU needs to be called in to assist, it seems like the NCI picks up cases that cross their radar and comes in to take the case from the local police station.

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Credit: CBS

Now, to fans of the original CM like me, CMK is a lot more dramatic with dull moments that added to the already slow build-up of the series. While I can understand that it may have been done intentionally with the idea of properly introducing the concept of criminal profilers to a culturally different audience, I felt that they could have followed CM’s structure in delivering the summary of the concept before the introduction of the characters. Their effort in trying to introduce the characters amidst the plot felt unnecessarily long-winded which often overshadowed the situation at hand. It somehow seemed like time wasn’t a key factor for their team – something that the BAU in CM takes priority in.

Another thing that was jarringly present in the series was the lack of proper character development. While my initial thought was of CMK being a remake of CM’s season 1, I was pretty surprised when The Reaper made an appearance, becoming the next major development in episode 3. Since there wasn’t a proper lead-up to this big fish, the introduction of the Reaper felt lackluster and a tad bit rushed.

It’s alright to pick and choose cases to replicate for CMK. But it isn’t right to jump to one of the most antagonizing unsubs in CM history this quick.

II. CHARACTERS.

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Credit: Criminal Minds Fanatic Blogspot

CM’s characters are the heart of the show. Alongside the cases they encounter, each tend to have a sort of personal connection with the victims and unsubs they face. And what really worked with the characters was the unity they bring whenever they all share a scene.

While it had been fun trying to guess which were the Asian counterparts of the BAU, it was disappointing to see the disjointed feel of the team and how some portrayals didn’t live up to the traits of the original characters.

*The following are my guesses of which personality they are assuming from the OG Criminal Minds. May or may not be accurate.

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Credit: tvN

Kang Ki Hyung aka Asian Jason Gideon / Aaron Hotchner

It was pretty obvious from the get-go that Kang could be our unit chief, Aaron Hotchner. From his calm demeanor to the eyebrows game, we were looking at a pretty decent Asian counterpart. But, it turns out that he seems to be a blend of two characters (Gideon & Hotchner) in one.

Similar to Gideon, Kang suffers PTSD after dealing with the Korean version of The Boston Shrapnel Bomber where he assumed responsibility for the loss of 4 men from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal. He goes off sabbatical (or medical leave) to teach Criminal Profiling. He is asked to come back to the unit when their version of The Seattle Strangler surfaces. Kang’s embodiment of Hotchner comes in his role as the unit chief (or team manager as they call it in Korea), and his seemingly happy family life (Hotchner had that in the beginning).

Portraying Kang, Son Hyun Joo, who had been cast for this role seems to be the best out of the rest of the team. Perhaps it’s to do with him being a seasoned actor in Korea but at least his expression and mannerisms were on-par with the character he was playing. His dramatic moments were not over-the-top and felt just right to elicit the reaction needed from the audience.

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Credit: tvN

Ha Sun Woo aka Asian Aaron Hotchner / Elle Greenway

This is the only character that still has me baffled. While Ha seems to embody the bad-assery we’ve seen in Elle, she’s also portrayed the mannerisms of a calm and serious Hotchner. I’m not sure if this was what CMK was aiming for but if it isn’t their intention, then the character is lacking some serious personality.

Portraying Ha, Moon Chae Won seems to be the only one that almost always uses the same sort of expression. She felt a lot like the Kristen Stewart of Korea with her few expressions that always seems hard to interpret. While she may be another seasoned actress in her own right, it seems like the complexity of this role may be hindering her performance in one way or another.

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Credit: tvN

Kim Hyun Joon aka Asian Derek Morgan / Elle Greenway

Despite the basic similarity of Morgan’s explosive expertise and being employed by the police before the big leagues, Kim’s character had more striking character traits with Elle especially with the rash behavior. And, similar to her situation, Kim is also given the chance to join the NCI team, filling the remaining spot on the team.

As a widely renowned actor, Lee Joon Ki’s portrayal of Kim often sees him stealing the scenes from his fellow co-stars; which leads it into a rather precarious position of becoming an idol drama. In scenes like these, the
disjointed feel of the team can be felt which definitely loses the ‘team effect’ that CMK is trying to replicate. At one point, I felt like it was Kim Hyun Joon and the NCI team.

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Credit: tvN

Lee Han aka Asian Spencer Reid

Lee Han, or ‘Korean Reid’ is almost similar to Reid sans the personality. And I feel that this is very much to do with the actor portraying Lee. Often, instead of delivering his lines with depth and the endearing awkward mannerisms of Reid, Go Yoon portrays Lee like an automated fact robot devoid of feelings. His understanding of the character seemed very much a surface thing which gave an annoying vibe instead of an endearing vibe. The Dr. Reid that we know and love definitely wasn’t a nerd with a blank expression – which Go seemed to think was how the character functions 99% of the time. I particularly disliked the scene where he used his gloved hands to touch his chin while they were at the crime scene. No one in the BAU does that. No one in the real police force does that unless they want to contaminate evidence.

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Credit: tvN

Yoo Min Young aka Asian Jennifer ‘J.J’ Jareau

While Yoo and JJ were similar in most ways, I felt that Yoo wasn’t really given much time to shine. As I’ve mentioned before, the characters seem to find a very hard time coming together as a team and in most cases, characters like Yoo become overshadowed by the other characters. Even when they did give Yoo a somewhat featured role of importance in the remake of the case on the train (aka Derailed, S01E09 – which was originally meant to be Elle), she once again blends into the background.

I’m not really sure how I feel about their choosing of Lee Sun Bin to play Yoo but as my assumption is leaning towards the ‘just-another-pretty-face’ reason. Yes, J.J. is super pretty but there is more to her character than just being pleasing to the eye.

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Credit: tvN

Na Na Hwang aka Asian Penelope Garcia

Loud accessories ✔
Colorful glasses and brightly colored clothing ✔
Decorated computer room with personality ✔
Quirky personality ✘

I applaud CMK for their attempt at the very fun-loving and quirky Garcia. But they definitely fell short in the personality department. Her Korean counterpart, portrayed by Yoo Sun, definitely tried her hardest in recreating the speech identifiers of the OG Garcia but it all came out differently. Instead of the endearing aspect, I get the overcompensating ditsy effect. I can see that Yoo is trying her best to do justice to Garcia but her portrayal could stand to gain if she dropped the over-excited reaction by a notch or two.

III. THE ISSUE WITH DERAILED

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Credit: tvN

Like I’ve mentioned before, the heart of the show is essentially the BAU team which I’ve come to love over the course of the series. And, with Reid being my favorite character, I was particularly peeved with the remake of ‘Derailed’ in CMK which lasted less than 30 mins of the 1-hour episode.

Aside from the alarmingly short duration of the case, they had changed the agent who went onto the train to assist in defusing the situation. What was meant to be a case that led to a better understanding of Spencer Reid in CM;
became an opportunity for the newly-minted NCI agent to show off his skills in CMK. The switch-up made the case feel very much like a filler and I was utterly annoyed with the lines they gave Korean Reid to recite after the apprehension of the unsub.

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Credit: CBS

Reid didn’t tell anyone about his mother or his worry about becoming a paranoid schizophrenic until Season 2, Episode 1 where he confides in Garcia. So the decision to summarize Korean Reid’s mother and mental health worry into just 3 lines in CMK was frustrating to me. They managed to take a complex character and downplayed it so much that their version of Reid seemed like an awkward block of wood with a high IQ.

Kudos CMK. You managed to make me dislike a character that I would have otherwise loved in this remake.

IV. CONCLUSION

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Credit: tvN

Despite the many glaring differences that would make any CM fan (like me) grimace, CMK does have elaborate settings that isn’t confined within the studios; which had me wondering what was the budget for the series..

Ultimately, CMK still pales in comparison with the slow pace, poorly constructed episode structure and almost non-existent character development. While CM provides the excitement and anticipation in every episode, CMK loses these essential factors which made Criminal Minds the success it is today.

As I mentioned previously, Korean dramas rarely have a case-by-case episode and I guess they are not going to start that trend anytime soon. With that said, it’s pretty clear that CMK is not my bowl of kimchi. I’ll continue to watch the upcoming episodes though they’d have to work doubly hard to impress me.

Until then, my profile remains as it is – Criminal Minds USA for the win.

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Credit: Criminal Minds Fans

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Beauty and the Beast Review: Enchanting and absolutely wonderful

Adapted from the animated Disney film of the same name, Beauty and the Beast tells the story of a young prince (Dan Stevens) who after an encounter with an Enchantress, gets imprisoned in the form of a Beast. Alongside his caretakers and staff, who have all been transformed into household items; they all await the day that they can be freed from the curse by true love. An only opportunity arises when Belle (Emma Watson) visits the castle in search of her father, Maurice (Kevin Kline).

Okay, despite naysayers, haters and fence keepers of the film, I must say that I absolutely loved it. I watched this film twice (once in IMAX) and still couldn’t get enough! Though a remake with several differences, the plot was still closely similar to the animated film and the songs were so much fun to sing along to.

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“You can’t read that, can you?” ©Walt Disney Pictures

The casting team should give themselves a pat on the back because everyone was perfect for their roles. Bear with me as I’m about to go into the reasons why for the main four.

I know of some who would disagree with Watson playing Belle but given the age of the character, there really isn’t anyone else. And though I know her voice sounded flat at times, I thought it wasn’t too bad. With the question about Belle’s Stockholm Syndrome in the air before the film opened in cinemas, I’m happy to see that Watson took on the character in a different way. Her version of Belle seemed a lot more tomboy-ish and despite her wardrobe being slightly underwhelming, it still had elements from the animation while still staying practical for everyday use. In terms of her personality, she stands up for herself and decides to make her stay here as unpleasant for the Beast as possible. This actually helps to make her relationship with the Beast more believable as compared to the animated film.

Charming audiences as Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey, Stevens returns to charm audiences as the Beast. I particularly enjoyed the song they had composed for the Beast to sing, solely because we’ve never heard how he felt about Belle before. It was both moving and sweet – which kinda showed how much Belle had changed him. This also felt like a tailor-made role for Stevens as he does have some dreamy baby blues.

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“You’re either with me, or against me.” ©Walt Disney Pictures

There is no one who could have taken on the role of Gaston as flawlessly as Luke Evans. Besides being able to sing (quite similarly) like the animated Gaston, Evans embodies that arrogant swagger without breaking a sweat. During the scene where he incites the mob, it was almost hard to remember that this horrible man doesn’t exist. Evans’ effortless attempt at being bad really made it so easy to think that he probably is Gaston in real life. But of course, that’s not true. He’s a sweetheart – did you see that instagram post with his mom?

An already Disney familiar, Josh Gad takes on a new character in the Disney Universe as LeFou. Although there had been several negative responses to LeFou being gay, I actually thought it didn’t matter as much as people thought it would. There wasn’t any scenes that would have been deemed unfriendly for children and let’s be honest – this new aspect of LeFou helped to make scenes witty and enjoyable. Gad’s ability to steal scenes with his expressions definitely made him the easiest to cast and I liked that he added a bit of conscience into his character, especially when faced with Gaston’s decisions.

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“Trade you these flowers for your book?” ©Walt Disney Pictures

As a huge fan of musicals, I really liked that they added in new original songs for the film. It helped to tell the story a little especially when the words depict the emotions in the scene or moment in the film. Though I felt Ewan McGregor’s rendition of Be Our Guest was a little flat, the visual made up for it especially with Cogsworth in a turban.

This is by far one of my favorite movies of 2017 and it’ll probably be my next obsession once the film comes out in DVD. Excuse me while I replay Gaston for the hundredth time.

Rating:

starstarstarstarstar

Kong Skull Island Review: Man, what a roller-coaster ride!

On an expedition to explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, a diverse group of scientists, soldiers and adventurers come face-to-face with the largest inhabitant of the island, Kong. Almost immediately depleting their numbers in group by more than half, their exciting adventure into the unknown suddenly becomes a survival of the fittest.

As an action-packed film, it is safe to say that Kong Skull Island didn’t have much plot. While that in itself is not a detrimental factor, it did leave quite a few plot holes which I had hoped were filled by the end of the film.

The star of this film was definitely Kong himself, who through the wonderful effort of CGI artists, became a creature that looked so realistic that I got jealous when Brie Larson’s character touched his face. The creation of Kong’s foe was also quite intricately done though I can’t say I’m a fan of the regurgitating bit. Because of the amazing CGI done, the fight scene between these two creatures was definitely the highlight of the film.

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“Game face on everyone.” ©Warner Bros.

I actually liked that the film generally didn’t care much for it’s human characters and who played them. I was quite surprise to see the quick demise of characters played by veteran actors, whom I had assumed would have survived till the end of the film. It was no surprise that Samuel L Jackson reprises yet another character that doesn’t take crap from nobody – even if it is a 100 foot ape. Brie Larson and Tom Hiddleston didn’t really create much of an impression for me as I kinda see them as playing themselves. I did particularly enjoy John C.Reilly’s portrayal of World War II vet, Hank Marlow. Though some would view him as the comic relief, his character was easy to warm up to and became quite endearing after a while.

Though very much a film riddled with unanswered questions, Kong Skull Island is very much like a ride at Universal Studios; especially if you catch it in IMAX 3D. Just remember to stay till the end of the credits for a surprise link to another beloved creature that we’re all pretty familiar with.

Hint: His name starts with a G.

Rating:

starstarstar

Logan review: This is how you say good-bye

In 2029, Mutants are near extinct and Logan (Hugh Jackman) takes it upon himself to assimilate into an ordinary life in order to keep Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) hidden and safe. His life is turned upside down when Gabriella (Elizabeth Rodriguez), a Transigen nurse who turns up calling him by his mutant name seeking his help for a little girl named Laura (Dafne Keen). Despite being able to shake the nurse off, he is approached by Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), the head of security at Transigen, who suspects Logan’s involvement. An unexpected incident following the meet with Pierce thrusts Logan reluctantly into helping Laura get to safety.

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“There’s still plenty of other opportunities out there after this!” ©Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

I’d have to say that this is hands-down the best Wolverine-centered film to date. It not only brought the character of Wolverine to a whole new level; it ended the Jackman era of Logan perfectly.

The plot for Logan was fast-paced and pulled no punches when it came to being brutal and gory. I winced every time he put his claws through someone’s skull, and pulls them out blood-stained. It definitely had bits of Western flavor in it but that didn’t affect the movie in anyway. Though Logan had been action-packed like the other films in the franchise, I felt that it had more heart as there were more dramatic scenes that helped Logan confront his fears and hesitations.

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“That’s for calling me small, you buttface!” ©Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

For a young actress like Keen, it was an impressive role that she played. As most of her scenes didn’t have her engaging in a dialogue, it was crucial for her expressions and behavior to be expressed at the right timing. It was great to see her balancing the toughness of the mutant side of her character as well as the innocent side of the child her character was. Gone are the days where Stewart and Jackman had prim and proper looks. Having aged the characters, it was strangely endearing to see Charles Xavier as a 90-year old grandpa. His quirky mannerisms and smart comebacks even reminded me of McAvoy’s Xavier in several scenes. As for Jackman’s aged Logan – it was truly hard for me to see the unbeatable Wolverine suddenly
become lesser of the man and mutant he used to be. What I really liked about this side of Logan was the raw emotion he seemed to experience as he slowly breaks the shell he’s built around him. Having played this role for 16 years, Jackman definitely did justice as he took the screens as Wolverine for the final time.

All in all, Logan was an enjoyable last installment to Wolverine’s franchise though I’m pretty sure a reboot is currently up for discussions. I won’t be surprised if this isn’t the last time we see the group of kids from Transigen either, since their escape to Canada as they’re basically a new group of X-Men.

So what’s next, 20th Century Fox?

Rating:

starstarstarstarhalfstar

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Review: It can’t really be the final, right?

Having escaped from the Hive, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is contacted by the Red Queen (Eva Anderson) to return to the Hive for the Anti-Virus that will kill all creatures infected with the T-Virus. Only given 48 hours until the last human outpost falls, she makes her way back to Raccoon City where she crosses paths with several other survivors. With Dr Issacs (Iain Glen) hot on her heels and hell bent on destruction of all human life, Alice teams up with the survivors to deter Issacs as they make their way back to the Hive before its too late.

As with most endings to a franchise, there were times when I was worried the film might have been put together haphazardly. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, though not the best, still managed to have a proper start to finish with all the much-loved action packed in. Reprising her role 6 years after, Jovovich still kicks ass. Like before, her stunt routine hasn’t faltered and she still makes me feel like I’d never survive a zombie apocalypse if I’m not her. Glen’s reprisal of Doctor Issacs was not only impressive but super annoying. I often found myself wishing for his quick demise even though he was the main antagonist.

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“Why do I get the feeling that aside from Claire, I’ve got the wrong squad with me?” © Capcom Entertainment, Constantin Film, Screen Gems

Though I enjoyed the film thoroughly, I did have a few problems with it.

New characters: It’s always nice to introduce new characters into a franchise for the continuity of the universe. However, I strongly feel that every character should have at least a fair amount of screen time and introduction before they meet their untimely demise. I felt like I didn’t get to know several of the new characters before POOF – they died or disappeared. I know that characters, especially in an apocalyptic world like Resident Evil, are all expandable and I should expect that to happen but it just seemed a little much to include new characters in the last film of the franchise.

Old characters: Chris, Ada, Leon, Luther, K-Mart, Jill? Where for art thou old characters? Last I remembered these characters were alive and kicking so where are they? Being the supposed last film in the franchise, shouldn’t these characters be included? I find it slightly annoying that the original game characters had been omitted from the mix since they are the ones gamers identify with. It was seriously strange to see only Alice pop up from the debris and fight off the monsters when the last film had the others with her. Terrible continuity problem that should have been addressed.

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“YIKES! IT’S THE MOVIE REVIEWERS!” © Capcom Entertainment, Constantin Film, Screen Gems

Wesker: What was supposedly the lean, mean fighting machine of the Umbrella Corporation suddenly became a whiskey-drinking model in the office. Instead of giving Wesker the time to show off his fighting prowess, the audience is shown scenes of him giving instruction to the Red Queen while mixing a drink and eyeing the screens. His character felt like a contradiction to every word he says in this film. I found it pretty annoying when he said ‘he’d handle security’ only to let something else do the work for him. Perhaps he meant handle security manually with the buttons and all, but shouldn’t he be fighting physically instead? Not to mention the weird transition where Wesker brings Claire in without any injury. It was like she had waited for Wesker to pick her up instead of fighting him since well, I don’t know – HE’S THE ENEMY?! This wasn’t a good use of the character and frankly felt a little like a pacifier to fans of the franchise.

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“Think we’ll see another Resident Evil film?” © Capcom Entertainment, Constantin Film, Screen Gems

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is a pretty good addition to the franchise though I do not enjoy it as the final film. There are many loopholes and questions left unanswered which should be addressed. I won’t be surprise if a sequel is currently in discussion but if this is truly the end for Resident Evil, I am not satisfied.

Rating:

starstarhalfstar

Passengers Review: An intergalactic awry love story

The spaceship, Starship Avalon, is on its 120-year journey through space to a colony planet when the ship starts to malfunction. As a result, two hibernation pods open 90 years too early, awaking its inhabitants Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) and Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence). As Jim and Aurora begins adjusting to living the rest of their lives aboard the ship, they fall in love. But their blissful lives are put on hold when the malfunctioning ship begins to act up, threatening the lives of everyone on board.

To be honest, it was a little difficult crafting the summary for this film especially when a crucial plot twist had to be left out. This plot twist takes up a pretty huge role in the film and actually erases everything you believed in before sitting down to watch the film. In short, when you finally see the reveal of this plot twist, you’ll realize that there isn’t much of a story to it.

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“Oh damn. Critics are going to have field day with this one.” Source: Columbia Pictures

There are no villains in the film and the action only comes in during the second half. The malfunction comes in a simple form though I would have preferred someone hijacking the system. Though the audience is given a chance to learn more about Aurora’s character, there isn’t much background given on Jim – which makes it all the more strange. It would have been a nice balance to understand the two characters individually instead of knowing a lot about one and nothing about the other.

The visual effects are pretty great in this film, akin to other space films like Gravity and Interstellar. The chemistry between the characters, on the other hand, felt a little awkward at times. Instead of seeing Lawrence and Pratt as a couple, I was seeing more of a sibling chemistry between the two.

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“Your hair is so soft. You have to tell how you maintain it in this stale space air!” Source: Columbia Pictures

The story definitely had a lot of room to grow and I would have preferred to see a little more hurdles that challenged the characters. But, I can also see how it had been watered down to concentrate on the growing relationship between these two characters.
Instead of harping on the ‘what could have been’, sometimes, it’s enough to enjoy the moments you are given. In the case of Aurora who has been planning her life and trying to live up to her father’s name, she needed to learn to let go and dive head-first into the unknown. And, Jim was her way to achieving that.

Though I did enjoy the human aspect of the plot, I really did hope for some evil villain to pop out and say ‘huzzah, your ship is going down because I want it to!’. But, when it came down to it, the action-filled portion of the film felt like a defining moment in the film to progress the relationship between Aurora and Jim. Instead of being a climatic point of the film, it has suddenly become a filler for the plot.

I’d love to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Passengers but it was rather difficult when I’m left with questions despite a proper conclusion to Aurora and Jim’s lives.

Rating: 

starstar

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review: This is the film you’ve been waiting for

Having to survive without her parents since a young age, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) has been longing to find her father Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) and seek revenge against Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) and the Empire. Her chance arises when she is rescued by the Rebel Alliance. Learning that her father had built the Death Star with a way to destroy it, Jyn joins forces with Cassian Endor (Diego Luna) and other rebels to steal the space station’s plans for the Rebel Alliance.

This film was truly what all Star Wars fans have been waiting for. I had been a little bit wary of this story, wondering how it was going to tie in to the others since most of the lead characters looked new. Well, I must say it was dumb to worry about that when it is being handled so perfectly. From start to finish, I was on the edge of my seat. Even when I’m watching it in IMAX 3D, I couldn’t even tell what was 3D and what wasn’t. I was so focused on the story since the film started that I ignored everything else.

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“Great. Just when I thought we were going to finally win against the Empire.” Source: Lucasfilm, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The story line of Rogue One definitely helped bridge the missing time between Episode III and Episode IV in a way. Though the CGI effects surpassed all Episodes (especially with General Tarkin and the young Princess Leia), it is not impossible to dismiss that as just a technicality. With a simple plot that made for a heart-racing adventure, this was truly on par with the Star Wars film.

The characters created were a great diverse addition to the Star Wars universe, especially with the creation of Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen), a blind character that utilized Yen’s martial arts background. His witty lines and hilarious mantra ‘I’m One With The Force, The Force Is With Me’, easily made Chirrut a likeable character. Though supposedly the dashing Captain of the story, Luna managed to give his character a flawed disposition – a truly different kind of hero.

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“Gather round kids. We will now begin chanting our mantra.” Source: Lucasfilm, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Following in the footsteps of a self-made rebel like Rey, Jones’ Jyn Erso is the definition of a woman saving the day. Gone are the days where female characters require a man to step in. Despite Jones’ small stature, she is still able to command presence in every scene that she shares with her co-stars. Her no nonsense expression gives way to the real meaning of a resting bitch face, which I only wish I could master.

Unlike the adorable BB-8, R2-D2 or the rather testing C-3PO, we are introduced to the sassy and witty K-2SO. A rather refreshing take on a new android, this is truly the android we’ve been looking for. With the ability to sass his counterpart and even operate weapons, K-2SO in my opinion, is quite literally the best of the androids. Voiced by the awesome Alan Tudyk, K-2SO has just replaced BB-8 & R2-D2 in my heart.

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“I’m small but I can beat you anytime.” Source: Lucasfilm, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The chemistry between the characters made for a cast that complemented each other. No one felt odd or out of place and it was my new definition of squad goals. The electric chemistry between Cassian and Jyn could have made for an easy romantic moment to happen but fortunately, it didn’t happen. In forgoing their romance, there was room for more content and more action.

With the addition of the Darth Vader scene which was so bad-ass (he’s a multi-tasker!), the bridging of the ending of Rogue One to the beginning of Episode IV felt almost seamless to me. I liked that they tied up all loose ends in Rogue One, leaving no room for ‘what ifs’ which would otherwise make Episode IV to VII have a problem with continuity. Though, being an ever-growing galaxy of stories, it is still quite possible to sneak in one or two familiar faces from Rogue One but the chances are quite slim – especially after that freaking heartbreaking ending.

I’ve never been so blown away by a Star Wars film before and though I might get shunned for saying this, Rogue One has easily become one of my favorite Star Wars films.

Rating: 

starstarstarstarhalfstar