FILM REVIEW: STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
BY RALPH LINARDIC
Going into “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”, I was hoping for a film that expanded the Star Wars universe while also telling a great story. My problem with a lot of blockbusters is how action and excitement is prioritized over characters and story telling. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” did a fine job of that, so here’s hoping that “The Last Jedi” is just as good. To be blunt, no, it’s not as good as “The Force Awakens”. However, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is an above average science-fiction film. It’s miles ahead of “Rogue One” on my ranking of the Star Wars films (what a bland film that was), but that’s not a fair comparison.
What makes this movie above average is how Rian Johnson handles the characters. J.J. Abrams did a great job in the previous installment, but Johnson takes it up a notch with his version of Luke Skywalker. This installment’s Luke is a complete opposite of what we saw in “Return Of The Jedi”, and that’s a good thing. I also loved Daisy Ridley’s Rey in this movie. She was my favorite in “The Force Awakens”, and that continues here. John Boyega’s Finn was not handled well here, but I’ll talk about that in my negatives.While he did make some mistakes, Rian Johnson was absolutely the right man to direct this movie. I loved some of his ideas and new takes on Stars Wars. While the movie wasn’t entirely original, he made it different enough while sticking to the Star Wars formula. No spoilers, but one scene he came up with in this film is worth the price of admission.
The film’s main problem, and why the movie won’t make as much money as “The Force Awakens”, is the run time. “The Last Jedi” has a run time of roughly 2:30, and that hurt my enjoyment of it. It wasn’t how long the movie was, but how long it felt. The second act drags for a while with Finn’s mediocre storyline, and there are a lot of unnecessary scenes. My score would’ve been higher if this was a 90-110-minute movie. Supreme Leader Snoke, the main villain of this movie and “The Force Awakens”, was completely wasted in this movie. While I won’t give any details to his character, they could’ve done a lot more with Andy Serkis and Snoke. Though I will say, all of the makeup and practical effects used to create Snoke were impressive, and 10x better than the floating hologram in the previous movie.
When coming out of the theater, I was conflicted with “The Last Jedi”. I didn’t know what to think. After mulling it over for a day, I’m happy to say that “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is above average. Its problems are very apparent, but will not affect your enjoyment of the film. There are 3-4 home-run scenes that will make audiences lose their minds, and those are worth the price of a ticket alone. Overall, it’s a win for Disney, and I can’t wait to see more of these characters.