Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The Movie Snob heads for a galaxy far, far away.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi  (B-).  Okay, Episode VIII in the ongoing space/soap opera about the Skywalker family is here, and the critics are generally loving it.  Put me down with the small band of dissenting critics.  On the plus side, it is better than the last installment, The Force Awakens, if only because it is not a slavish remake of an earlier movie.  On the down side, it is still somewhat derivative of its predecessor The Empire Strikes Back, with an evil empire on the march, a rebellion on the run, and a would-be Jedi seeking training from a wise mentor.  Worse still, it is a solid two-and-a-half hours long, with as many false endings as The Return of the King from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Still, I appreciated that writer–director Rian Johnson did try to throw some new wrinkles at us.  Mark Hamill (Star Wars: A New Hope) is a surprisingly crotchety Luke Skywalker.  The late Carrie Fisher (When Harry Met Sally) presents a stoic Rebel leader but doesn’t really have that much to do.  And our quartet of new main characters (Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren, and Poe Dameron) gets split up for most of the movie, which means a lot of jumping back and forth.  I think the movie would have been much better if the first half had been trimmed a bunch, and the exciting stuff at the end stretched out a bit.  But it’s already made almost a billion dollars worldwide, so what do I know?

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One comment on “Star Wars: The Last Jedi

  1. […] Honorable Mentions.  Here’s a handful of other 2017 (and 2016) releases that I would say are worth your time and attention.  First, how about a Nicole Kidman double-header?  She got an Oscar® nomination for the tear-jerking drama Lion, and she also starred in a decent little Civil War drama called The Beguiled.  DC did manage to give us an above-average comic-book movie with Wonder Woman.  Or maybe just a far-above-average movie star named Gal Gadot?  For a romantic dramedy, you could do much worse than The Big Sick.  I may just be predisposed to like anything by Kenneth Branagh, but I enjoyed his take on Murder on the Orient Express.  And I also liked the quirky independent flick Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, although not as much as its 86 Metacritic score and six Golden Globe™ nominations might suggest.  I’ll wrap this section with soft shout-outs to The Edge of Seventeen, The Hero, Baby Driver, Brad’s Status, Thor: Ragnarok, and a little movie called The Last Jedi. […]

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