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Star Wars: The Last Jedi

(4 posts)

  1. Ron

    Chicago Reader capsule review:

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi
    Recommended New Video Rated PG-13 · 152 minutes · 2017

    Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Science fiction

    The eighth installment in the nine-film Star Wars cycle proves its worth with exhilarating action, well-developed characters, and moments of humor and emotion that director Rian Johnson balances better than any of his predecessors. Nodding to The Empire Strikes Back (1980) but also supplying its own surprising twists, The Last Jedi runs on three tracks that eventually intersect: Rey (Daisy Ridley), a rebel defying the sinister First Order, tries to persuade Master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to join her; a crew of her fellow resistance fighters scramble as their spacecraft is pursued by the villains; and the morally conflicted Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) struggles with his powerful connection to both Rey and Luke. Choosing hope over despair has always been the series' theme, but this film conveys it best of all. With Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Laura Dern, and Carrie Fisher in a beautiful final performance.

    By Leah Pickett

    Posted 11 months ago #
  2. Steve R.

    The movie was action packed, had excellent graphics, and I was never bored. Nevertheless, it had way too many impossible/implausible scenes, had humor that was distracting, and seemed to be a rehash of portions of the first three episodes.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  3. geoffhart1962

    Let's get the ugly stuff out of the way first: Science? Physics? Grade school arithmetic? Forget about it. I'm not talking anything abstruse here, just simple Newtonian mechanics. Or (in the final fighter battle) simple laws of friction and drag. Or anything even vaguely to do with how the world works, really. Maybe they should hire a high school science undergraduate as the science advisor for the next installment?

    Military verisimilitude? The rebels would have long since won the rebellion if they'd hired a tactician or strategist who had an ounce of common sense... perhaps a teenager who had once read a book by Heinlein or David Weber or Eric Flint or David Drake -- let alone (say) Weber or Flint or Drake, who actually know something about the military. As it is, the conflict usually comes down to "we have this great game-changing weapon... we'll now wait for everyone to fully appreciate how great it is... and then we'll insist that our commanders sit on their hands until it's destroyed rather than, say defending it." I have to assume that their commander-in-chief is Donald Trump Sr. and that he's equally a fan of antimeritocracies for the military. Until last November, I would have considered that implausible. Now I'm not so certain.

    Don't even bother with plot logic. Kylo Ren completely fails to convince me as plausible from any perspective. I get what they were trying to do, but it simply doesn't work for me... on any level. Note: criticizing the role here, not the actor, who does a decent job. <finishes muttering and grumbling>

    That being said, "The Last Jedi" is a feast for the eyes. Turn off your critical faculties and go with the flow, and your sensorium will love you for it. Set design and editing is lovely, soundtrack is well integrated (unlike in Bladerunner 2049), and if you're willing to accept the design choices (e.g., a periscope on a spaceship, 1970s-era computer graphics), it forms a nicely integrated whole that has an undeniable charm. The acting is generally excellent, though it's sad to see (possibly) the last of Carrie Fisher, unless she completed shooting some scenes in episode IX. The humor is handled with a deft touch: present, but not "Guardians of the Galaxy" or "Thor: Ragnarok" slapstick.

    Whereas I thought that the previous episode was a completely uncreative rehash of the original 3 episodes (IV, V, and VI), with no additions and no grasp of what made those episodes special, I felt that "The Last Jedi" was much more a loving dialogue with previous installments. Rian Johnson clearly loves the Star Wars mythology, understands what is special about it, and is willing to parody, interrogate, and build on key events and characters from the originals. He repeats so many elements that it's hard to miss -- right down to the structure of certain key speeches and scenes -- but then he cheerfully subverts those events and puts his own stamp on them. J.J. Abrams wishes he were that good.

    All in all, a darn good addition to the canon.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  4. Marian

    I enjoyed The Last Jedi while trying to ignore all the things wrong as you've outlined. But here's an interesting thought. The original Star Wars was magic and yet you could write a tome on the flaws including the fact Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher hadn't learned how to act. It's to their credit that they improved steadily. The acting was uniformly good in The Last Jedi, especially Carrie Fisher who I found much better as the older general in The Force Awakens and now this, her final performance. Much better than in the original and yet, the original was magic. All three were, though the third one barely survived the Ewoks.

    Posted 9 months ago #

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