In Space No One Can Hear You Squeeee! - Star Wars : The Last Jedi (REVIEW)
Once again the hype train brought us barreling into the latest Star Wars film with such excitement it was bursting at the seams. With talks of Rian Johnson heading his own trilogy of Star Wars films the goodwill was strong for the Last Jedi.
It was absolutely warranted. As I'm writing this I'm kind of buzzing after what I just saw. This was a very good film that was about 20 minutes too long. The tone to me felt a bit too silly at the begining despite some jaw dropping action and the plot stalled for a while about a third of the way through but went right back to being jaw dropping.
Despite that this is the epitome of Star Wars. Where Rogue One suffered from uninteresting characters The Last Jedi is positively teaming with them. The dynamics at play are quite engrossing as we follow various characters in their own personal battles. The strongest by far, as proved by The Force Awakens is the relationship between Kylo Ren and Rey. They are the core of the film and sell every scene. However, we also have Po, Finn and Luke to worry about and by that point the movie stretches itself a bit too thin. I enjoy seeing Po as a pilot learning to become a leader under the command of Leia and Finn doing his best as an insider to the First Order but Luke is now in the picture and has to fill Han's shoes as Rey's mentor. The results for me were (if you'll pardon the pun) lukewarm. However, having another character expand his role in the film, Snoke, proved to be a worthy adversary and brought a menace that was truly frightening. He is the second coming of the Emperor with intimidation to spare. The characters overall though were just a bit too light from the sheer number of them. There were of course some truly exceptional scenes that Star Wars is known for, including some of the best of the entire series but there were also a few just ok ones which does hurt the experience a bit for what felt like a halt in action or drama and was more a weird subplot than a necessity.
As far as performances go, everyone is on their game as you would expect, perhaps the biggest improvement for me was John Boyega, he has certainly grown up a bit and nailed his accent down a bit better this time around. I thought Mark Hamill gave a fine performance but wasn't really able to shine for quite some time. We want to see Luke being a bad ass or a dejected failure and it just doesnt quite stick the landing on the latter for quite some time. Time will tell if I still think that. I find my reviews of things get more favorable the longer they sit with me. I very much had my "this should be perfect" bias in play as much as I tried not to. But this is a franchise we want to see succeed and that comes with a certain level of expectations.
Where did it succeed most? Hands down the action. People loved Rogue One for the beach battle (I was again only lukewarm on that) but Last Jedi turns it up to 11. It was some of the most thrilling and engaging action scenes I have ever seen. I often had my mouth open or whispering words of amazement at what I was watching. Scrappy underdogs give it everything they've got again and again and it never gets old.
This is one of those films that will dazzle you with spectacle and infuse that with stakes that make you care and spends just enough time on characters and lore to make it a worth while journey to a galaxy far far away
putting the war in Star Wars