This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
McKay Olson’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Now that the hype has died down and I've rewatched it a few times, I have a much more cohesive opinion on this movie.
There are some major problems with The Last Jedi. It's too long, the script is messy, and the plot is jumbled and disconnected. There are about 30-40 minutes of footage in this movie I want to skip every time I rewatch this film and it wouldn't affect my viewing experience whatsoever, mainly the subplot with Finn and Rose.
The worst part for me about this film is the humor. It's completely misplaced and awkwardly delivered. For a film taking on such a dark and mature tone dealing with themes of finding purpose, loss of faith, and failure, the juvenile and awkward humor falls flat every time it's delivered. Not that the film should be completely devoid of humor, but ironically the use of humor makes the film more jarring and less fun.
However, there are things I genuinely love about this film. It's beautifully shot and directed. The cinematography and set locations are awesome. A few sequences are completely riveting. I love every single thing dealing with Luke Skywalker, Rey, and Kylo Ren. The dynamics and themes explored with these characters are so engaging, I could've watched a film with them for four hours without getting bored. Visual effects in movies can be overlooked at times, but the VFX here are seamless and very impressive.
In terms of its place in the Star Wars franchise, I love the direction the story goes. I love how the Force is evolving into something greater. The scenes where Rey and Kylo Ren are communicating through the Force are so intriguing and well-realized. Luke losing his faith with the Jedi is a fascinating arc for his character and it was honestly refreshing to see such bold choices being made in a global franchise.
The problem is that their scenes are disconnected with the other parts of the story, which is why every time it cuts away to deal with the overarching chase scene between the First Order and the Resistance or Finn and Rose on Canto Bright, I become completely disengaged and just want to skip it. Wanting to skip a large portion of a movie really hinders the experience, which is a shame because the scenes that work REALLY work for me.
Overall, I want to love this movie more than I do. I know it's cheap to be split down the middle of such a divisive movie, but it's honestly how I feel. The first time I saw this, I forgave the film's shortcomings for the fun experience I had. But after a few rewatches, the problems with it really start to bother me. Nevertheless, the good things get better.