The early Rogue One reviews are starting to trickle in after the embargo on the advanced screenings was lifted, and while most of the reviews of the much-anticipated film were overwhelmingly positive, there is one review of the movie that is proving to stick in the craw of the collective Star Wars fandom.
In their Rogue One reviews, The New Yorker dispatched Richard Brody to the screening, who proceeded to write a review that was over-wrought and over-florid, even by The New Yorker‘s over-wrought and over-florid standards.
“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.”
It wasn’t the fact that Brody gave the movie a bad review that stuck in the collective craw of the fandom. Rather, it was the fact that these words were committed to paper without even the slightest hint of a shred of irony.
“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’). The script of ‘Rogue One’ is so flat and inexpressive, the direction of the actors so methodical, as to render these artists nearly robotic and synthetic.”
What Rogue One would be called if it was left up to the people currently having a meltdown in the Daily Mail comments section pic.twitter.com/tAQHxkPMbd
— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) December 14, 2016
You read that correctly: The New Yorker‘s Rogue One reviews panned the film because the dialogue wasn’t “Shakespearean” like the dialogue in Attack of the Clones, which also happened to be the best film of the series (with Revenge of the Sith being the other Greatest Star Wars Film of All Time, I Repeat, Of All Time, in My Kanye West Voice).
It bears noting the following: while it’s pretty much taboo, in the Star Wars fandom, to say anything critical about the films, the fandom as a collective pretty much agrees that the “prequels,” while much-needed, were also filled with some of the worst dialogue ever committed to celluloid. And while everyone wanted to see the back story of The Man Who Would Be King, Darth Vader, both the press and the fans agree that the worst films of the Star Wars series were, in fact, the prequels.
Speaking on Attack of the Clones, IGN was unforgiving in their excoriation, giving it a measly two stars our of a possible five.
“Stiff performances, crappy scripting, and uneven visual effects collide to make Attack of the Clones a diverting-but-muddled mess.”
And while Revenge of the Sith fared better amongst the fans and the critics, The Hollywood Reporter still pointed out that Hayden Christensen had a long way to go when it came to his dialogue, and his chemistry (or more accurately, lack thereof) with Natalie Portman.
“Poor dialogue and wooden acting still inflict the second trilogy. The tragic dimension of Anakin’s dilemma can only barely withstand lines like this from Padme: “You’re a good person. Don’t do this.” Many dialogue scenes, brief as they are, feel awkward and unnatural. Such scenes start cold — we can almost sense the clapboard moving out of camera frame — and end with long, lingering shots of actors’ blank faces.”
In short, the Rogue One reviews put out by the New Yorker were absolute Bantha poodoo, and reeked of pretentiousness and white privilege. It also didn’t escape anyone’s notice that Richard Brody, an older white man, was praising a film that had a predominantly-white cast despite being absolute garbage, yet used cleverly coded language to lambast a cast that featured a Latino man (and not “Oscar Isaac, real name Oscar Estrada, and I have no accent because I was raised in Miami” Latino — I mean “Diego Luna, real name Diego Luna, born in Mexico much to the disdain of the most ardent Trump supporters, and I still have the accent to prove it” Latino), two Asian men (Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen), a Middle Eastern man (Riz Ahmed), a black man (Forest Whitaker), and a British woman (Felicity Jones) working together to take down an all-white, Fascist-style Empire.
— Rogue One News (@RogueOne2016) December 14, 2016
And it also didn’t escape anyone’s notice that Richard Brody’s Rogue One reviews came in the wake of a pending administration’s curious, and questionable, desire to push forth a bully-type agenda that labels dissension — whether that dissension comes from a box of cereal, a Broadway play, or a film that’s part of a clearly-anti-Nazi series — as a form of treason, when in actuality, dissension is the very basis of democracy itself.
Being of an intelligent fandom, the Star Wars fans, forty years in the making, noticed this and proceeded to drag Richard Brody for blood, filth, bone, and slander.
If I’d have seen him at the NYC viewing I’d have bum-rushed him. https://t.co/QeeDelojwB
— BernadetteGiacomazzo (@berngiacomazzo) December 14, 2016
— Hock (@hock_17) December 14, 2016
— (((JAG))) (@VictoryCoffee) December 14, 2016
— Zach Alvarez (@Fuzzywarbles2) December 14, 2016
@NewYorker could you please fire your critic team? Especially richard brody talentless hack
— Rogue_Two (@ultrameatwad) December 14, 2016
Furthermore, this writer was at the New York screening of Rogue One, and she (what’s with the royal “she”?) can assure you: the positive Rogue One reviews are to be believed. No, it isn’t perfect — perfection is reserved for The Empire Strikes Back — but it’s a fine addition to the Star Wars canon.
— Star Wars (@starwars) December 13, 2016
This writer also encourages you to see Rogue One for yourself, and share your own Rogue One reviews, before making a judgment on the film or listening to the likes of Richard Brody.
[Featured Image by Lucasfilm/Disney]