Damian12’s review published on Letterboxd:
“Now that they’re extinct, the Jedi are romanticized, deified. But if you strip away the myth and look at their deeds, the legacy of the Jedi is failure, hypocrisy, hubris.”
The Last Jedi is the best blockbuster. No hyperbole. No exaggeration.
Let’s talk about direction. The filmmaking and Rian Johnson’s direction in this movie is head and shoulders above anything Star Wars, Marvel, or DC has done in the last decade. Rian Johnson has full control over his craft here. Framing is purposeful, blocking is smart, rack focus’ are absurdly well utilized, hell, even down to how he punctuates drama or tension with sound, rather it be environmental or from a weapon is genius. Rian Johnson used every single cinematic tool to its fullest effect here and it’s all in service of the story and making it more impactful.
Also real quick, the performances are perfect. Everyone is great and brings a level of nuance and depth to their character, but the stand outs are definitely Mark Hamill and Adam Driver. Specifically Mark Hamill. I’m just gonna say it, Hamill’s performance in this movie is the best in any blockbuster ever. Better than Ledger’s Joker. Better than RDJ’s Iron Man. He sells the tragic disillusionment, and the later spark of hope with so much depth and impact.
This movie is really deep thematically so I’m not going to talk about everything. I just wanna talk about how thoughtfully, and cleverly written this movie is. The way it handles the legacy of the Jedi, and examines and critiques the entire “moral center” of the Star Wars saga is brilliant. The Jedi are not perfect. Your heroes are fallible. I love that this movie doesn’t go into this realm only for the sake of burning everything down, or just being provocative. It looks at it with a genuine love for it, but with the knowledge that it isn’t perfect. Star Wars, the Jedi, the Sith, it’s all one big cycle. Obi Wan and Yoda made the mistake of perpetuating this cycle to Luke. Luke made the mistake of continuing the flawed traditions of the Jedi, and payed the price for it. But what Luke didn’t understand was that letting the Jedi die wasn’t the answer. What Kylo didn’t understand is burning everything down isn’t the answer. It’s about accepting the flaws. It’s about accepting that it’s okay to change. It’s okay to fail. The answer isn’t to let the Jedi die or tear it all down, it’s to acknowledge and accept the flaws of the Jedi, understand them, and grow. Grow beyond harmful traditions. Evolve.
I probably could be more articulate than that, and it certainly goes deeper than that, but that’s just the abridged version of what I took away from this movie. That’s not even touching on ALL the other themes in this movie. Poe, Finn, Rey, Rose, Holdo, they all have their own arcs that explore themes just as complicated and in really heartfelt and genius ways. I’d love to go into EVERYTHING one day, but I’m going to end this here.
It’s a god damn masterpiece