Review of The Last Jedi

Dec 14, 2017
last jedi review

Review of The Last Jedi 

Bear in mind we saw this an hour ago, so this might be a bit of a mess.

It's fairly non-spoilery....

It really should be no surprise to any one that The Last Jedi hits many sweet beats as part of Disney's path to global domination.

And that's all down to the honest take that director and script writer Rian Johnson. 

JJ Abrams' Force Awakens was the set up so this movie could happen and let's be very clear, this movie could not have happened without that 'look back' at the world George Lucas created. 

Thus, Rian's vision is a 'look forward'. This time, the new characters of Rey and Finn and Poe are given some room to breathe. This is all of course underpinned by the return of Luke Skywalker!

In many ways this movie is the 'anti-Return of the Jedi' in the sense that the broad themes of that movie weigh heavy on the hearts and minds of the key characters in Rey and Kylo. 

It's really fun.

We knew we were in for something special when Disney announced Rian would be taking on a new Star Wars trilogy prior to the release of this movie and we can now see why. While he will not get and Academy nod for his writing or direction, he's proved his worth. 

Lumped with a minute long cameo in The Force Awakens, Mark Hamill's alter ego has plenty time to shine in a Star Wars movie.  And this time, he's on par as much as Alec Guiness was in A New Hope though with the additional of a lot of snark. Wow, 15 years moping on an island with only Porg and what I'm going to describe as Nuns makes a Luke a real misery guts.

This turn as Luke will be career defining for Hamill - an almost impossible feat given this is Star Wars! This will be how Luke is remembered, no matter what happens in the future.  Even if Yoda totally tricked him.

But what of the story?

It's a bit of a mess frankly. As I suspected Finn's side journey to Canto is a complete waste of time from the point of few of truly advancing the story. It does help him grow emotionally but it's boring!

Once again C3PO and R2D2 are basically sent to the background so that BB8 can shine ever more so than TFA.

If I was to be critical, it would be that it's clear JJ Abram's is clearly the stronger film, however he did have Lawrence Kasdan looking over his shoulder...

Several key set ups in TFA were swept away with cop outs which were incredibly disappointing.

What happened to the Knights of Ren? 

Ray's parentage? Boring results there.

Oddly, the climax of the film really comes two thirds into the movie, the rest is filler until Luke gets to 'do' his thing, which left me wholly unimpressed. I'm sure that's a whole other post to explore that moment.

Overall, the movie has a great set up, some great turns and twists but is badly let down by its wistful ending. Many will disagree, I'm sure.

Oh, and one thing I was quite worried about was Rian's dialogue. His prior films have had wonderful, zippy and snappy moments. Which have no place in Star Wars. And so when Dameron started doing 'your momma' jokes.....

And what of General Leia?

Leia gets more to do than the Force Awakens but is again reduced to a side character, albeit one with a huge amount of grace. One particular scene was quite notable in that the lead up to it has been a long time coming where she uses the Force for the first time.

Her reunion with Luke was joyful yet bittersweet,

She'll always be royalty to me.

This is one incredibly beautiful movie

If you thought the CGI was near perfect in Rogue One, be prepared to be blown away by the wonderful efforts Lucasfilm have got onto the screen. From Poe Dameron's X-wing blasting through space like a bat out of hell taking on Hux's armada (single handedly on occasion), the return of the Raddus (whoop whoop!), Snoke's face and Finn and Phasma's 'battle royale' admidst a blaze of fire, everything looked just perfect.

That's a wrap*

There's a lot right about this movie and a lot wrong. It has some spectacular set pieces, some mis-directions and heart warming moments.

When it riffs on Star Wars, it does really well. When it tries to respin Star Wars, it goes off kilter somewhat.

I suspect a repeat viewing will allow me to enjoy the movie for what it is - a Hollywood space opera.

Time will tell, but I suspect this film will not be as loved by many fans as think they do right now.

Here's our spoilery questions about the plot points piece and 12 subtle things you may have missed.  

* For a beloved character...

0 Rogue Ones:

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