Honestly, the best thing about the new Star Wars offering, Rogue One, is that Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen is in it. After that, it's pretty straightforward - tough pretty woman leads rebels against evil empire. Where have we seen that before?
Also representing China is Jiang Wen in the role of "faithful sidekick". Are they enough to earn the price of a movie ticket? Not really.
Rogue One fills in an important bit of the storyline, but we've managed to live for decades without it. The boss battle is interesting yet everything is as predictable as the spectacular slow motion sequence of empire destroyers crashing into each other. The power of Star Wars has always been its ability to be cutting edge and the special effects deliver - mostly.
One of the highlights of the original Star Wars was the bar scene where audience is introduced to all the wonderful characters of the universe. There's a similar scene here that just comes off as annoying because 3D just makes thing too fuzzy.
Felicty Jones plays the heroine Jyn Erso who is the daughter of the man who made the Death Star. The story opens with the Empire forcing her father, Galen, played by Mads Mikkelson, to return to work. Mom dies and little Jyn manages to hide from the storm troopers in a nifty lair. Years later she comes back to play her role in the empire's destruction. Spoiler alert - these are the rebels that steal the plans of the Death Star which allow Luke and co to destroy it.
The robot K-2SO probably won't be for sale on Amazon any time soon. He's no BB8, but he's funny and definitely helps to lighten what otherwise could be a very depressing show.
This tidbit from director Gareth Edwards is meant to be a standalone story. It's fine if you've never seen a Star Wars movie in your life, and it's got enough to hold the attention of fans, but it' more of a stocking filler than an under-the-tree full package.
While the story starts off a bit slowly, by the time the final battle scenes are playing out in all of their glory, the audience can't help cheer for the rebels. Job done.