Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Star Wars The Last Jedi ReView-SPOILERS








#113

The most polarizing Star Wars movie released.    There are spoilers.

This review is written a few weeks after the movie's release.

Here is a brief timeline of some the film's production and reception.
For the most part, it went smoothly. As opposed to the upcoming Han Solo movie which had directors being replaced by Ron Howard.

September 1, 2017, was Force Friday where this movie's merchandise was released. A new animal species introduced in the film called Porgs were the go-to toy.
The official trailer for the film was released October 2017. According to Wikipedia, it is the 6th most watched trailer from 2017. Clocking in at 120 million views.

A significant vote of confidence was given to the director of the Last Jedi Rian Johnson. Disney has put him at the helm of a new Star Wars movie series. It would be separate from the Skywalker saga. This was announced a month before the release of this current episode.

The movie was released to extremely positive reviews by critics. Fans, however, were split. Some are saying Disney is destroying Star Wars others saying they loved it. This chapter in the series became one of the most discussed movies in social media for 2017.

As of this writing, this film has grossed the biggest domestic box office for 2017. Crossing over the billion dollar mark. Anticipation was through the roof as fans finally got to see Mark Hamill play the role of Luke Skywalker after the events of The Force Awakens.

George Lucas himself publicly complimented the Last Jedi.

Mark Hamill at one point stated he wasn't happy with the direction of his character in the film. He later recanted his comments and praised Mr. Johnson's direction.

Friends, family and a co-worker have weighed in with their opinions. I usually try to stay away from other's opinion's because they typically sway mines. Hard to do with as this was all over pop culture.

What I enjoyed:

The callbacks to the Empire Strikes Back(episode 5). Luke's reluctance to train Rey. His odd behavior on the island. All similar to meeting Yoda for the first time. The battle on the salt planet in the third act, the rebels on the run, a throwback to the Battle of Hoth. By the end, the rebels don't fare very well in this movie, this is another callback.

The Last Jedi had a weird vibe which I enjoyed. A Terry Gilliam 'Brazil' flavor. Finn's quest felt like a forgettable adventure movie. Similar to Nicholas Cage movies like 'Next' or 'National Treasure.'
Snoke's death was a surprise. The movie begins to set him up as a big bad heavy. Suddenly he's DELETED(channeling my inner Matt Hardy)!

That entire scene where Kylo and Rey fight the praetorian guard was electric. The Skywalker-Solo stuff was fantastic! Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, some Rey, some Kylo.
Everything else was great but not on the same level.

Being into self-improvement, Yoda throughout this series has given unforgettable advice. The classic line being 'do or do not; there is no try.' In this movie, he says 'the greatest teacher, failure is.' I love that.

Finally, the John Williams score and familiar sights (newer versions of AT-ATs, returning characters, stormtroopers, etc.)brought me right back into the Star Wars universe.

My issues with the movie:

The villains at times are laughable. When Hux starts speaking, I started laughing. Domhall Gleason's performance is cartoony at times. Kylo Ren's infantile outbursts make him seem like a kid. At the end of the film, he's set up to be the primary antagonist. With his behavior, it doesn't feel he's ready for the big leagues. Orson Krennic in Rogue One is more threatening with less screen time in one film than

Kylo in two.

During Finn's quest, I didn't like the 'rich people are bad' message. This gave me shades of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Do I need real life in my sci-fi?

Where 'The Force Awakens' was much more fun but lacking in substance(for me), 'The Last Jedi' carries weight but not as joyful.

The saddest news during production was Carrie Fisher's death. Which after seeing this film one thinks how are they bringing her back in the final film of this trilogy? CG style like in Rogue One? This remains to be seen. Either way, I'm in there day one to see the next chapter.

Thoughts? Comments?  Do so below.

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