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?