Listen. I am not going to try to unpack and critique the bonkers Rogue One review published by the New Yorker’s Richard Brody today. I do not even know where to begin. I am just going to blockquote some portions down below this paragraph, and I invite you to join me in making halting, inarticulate, baffled vocalizations at them.
Here are some things Richard Brody wrote about a PG-13 space adventure movie about space good guys and space bad guys firing space lasers at each other.
The director of “Rogue One,” Gareth Edwards, has stepped into a mythopoetic stew so half-baked and overcooked, a morass of pre-instantly overanalyzed implications of such shuddering impact to the series’ fundamentalists, that he lumbers through, seemingly stunned or constrained or cautious to the vanishing point of passivity, and lets neither the characters nor the formidable cast of actors nor even the special effects, of which he has previously proved himself to be a master, come anywhere close to life.
I ... buh ... yuh ... whi—
Whether the downplaying of the formidable cast’s charismatic energies is an intentional downplaying of the potential risk to the characters that they play—whether it’s a matter of not actually allowing viewers to get too attached to characters or actors, not allowing viewers to be bummed out by bad news but rather breezing past it in a spirit of fealty not to these characters or performers but to the franchise—is the kind of corporate Kremlinology that would rightly take the place of criticism in assessing the substance and tone of the movie.
There’s none of the Shakespearean space politics, enticingly florid dialogue, or experiential thrills of the best of George Lucas’s “Star Wars” entries (“Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith”).
[falls out of chair]