Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★

That was a hell of a lot to take in after one viewing but I'm on the fence about The Last Jedi. The critics seem to love it but some hardcore fans have spit bitter dismay and disapproval at it. I can appreciate both arguments and being neither a film critic nor a diehard fan I think I land somewhere in the middle.

Rian Johnson has taken the franchise in a bold and certainly unexpected direction, making a much more original film in terms of plot than the Force Awakens and challenging everything we thought we knew about the lore of this universe. This is also an exciting movie, something the prequels totally failed at and is perhaps the most action packed of the episodic Star Wars features.

The cinematography is sublime and the SFX are truly a visual wonder, as they well should be in 2017. Mark Hamill and the rest of the original and returning cast are all on top form, giving great performances across the board and Adam Driver is as ever truly compelling as the conflicted Kylo Ren.

Going into the negatives, the movie suffers severe pacing/editing issues and is a good thirty minutes too long. Aside from the very first sequence, the opening act runs at a glacial pace and the 'Casino' piece felt a bit tacked on and tangential.

Some of the dialogue is pretty atrocious and the humour is forced, being mostly slapstick in nature, which is fine when used in moderation but it just doesn't complement the tone of this movie. The new characters are also considerably weaker than those introduced in TFA and without going into spoilers, certain decisions they make are frustratingly nonsensical or cheesy.

It seems like John Williams had more time to work on the score this time and it's certainly an improvement but still pales in comparison to his work on the original trilogy.

Someone on Reddit said this, which rings true for me: "I feel like the movie was more focused on subverting my expectations than it was on telling a compelling and cohesive story. It succeeded on subverting my expectations, but I feel like it sacrificed so much of the story to do this."

Overall I had a good time watching this and I hope the final instalment can deliver a satisfying conclusion.

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