This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Gumby Badger’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
I think the first two acts here are a bit rough, largely because the film doesn't do a great job of creating and fleshing out its characters.
The third act is fantastic though; apart from great action, and an absolutely terrifying Darth Vader, it also makes some bold narrative choices. I liked the choice to let the characters die. Apart from the thematic reasons (rebellions have costs, people must make sacrifices), I also think it is important to reintroduce stakes to blockbuster cinema. We've all seen the Guardians of the Galaxy II trailer, which played before RO, and it of course prominently featured Baby Groot, who was "killed" in the first movie, only to be brought back before the credits rolled. That is the cliche now; somebody always "dies" but not really. I was glad to see the film have a sense of stakes and cost, which blockbusters almost completely lack now that we know everybody will be back for fifteen new installments.
Now, I do think the film has the character problems I mentioned earlier. I don't really care when anyone dies apart from K2, Baze, and Donnie Yen's character. It would have been more powerful if I had cared more about the people dying. Jyn and Cassian in particular it's like, "meh, that sucks."