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Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Movie Review

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Movie Review

5 stars

“This is not going to go the way you think.” –Luke Skywalker

Never has a line from one of these films so succinctly encapsulated the adventure you are about to witness. This second part of the third trilogy of the Star Wars saga is going to take your expectations and throw them through the ringer. Whether that appeals to you or not will depend on your leaning, because there are some true surprises. Some that do not go the way fanboys or anyone would have thought. It will be divisive to some (as I suppose it always is) but there is a lot to talk about it, so let’s get started.

The Last Jedi opens right where The Force Awakens left off, with Rey handing Luke Skywalker his long lost lightsaber back to him. The First Order has successfully taken control of the galaxy. The New Republic is gone. Rey is there to bring Master Skywalker back from his exile and restore hope to the hopeless. Let’s just say it doesn’t go well as leave it at that.

Rian Johnson has written a spectacular script that moves at a breakneck pace. Clocking in at over two and half hours, The Last Jedi is the longest running Star Wars film to date and I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t feel like it. All the new characters from The Force Awakens are now established and are given—to a one—storylines that build upon what we’ve seen them do before. The legacy characters, specifically Luke and Leia, are given some rather meaty character challenges in this one; far more than in the last one and they may even put a lump in your throat, should you be prone to such things. Johnson manages to give many characters, from Chewy, 3PO and R2 to new characters such as Admiral Hondo, DJ and Rose something worthwhile to contribute while serving the stories main character: Rey. In Rey and Kylo you get to experience the real cleverness of Johnson’s writing. If you think the trailer had misdirects galore wait until you see the movie. There are so many turns, where it looks like a character is going on way and then they go another, that it really isn’t cemented until the final act. It’s very compelling to watch.

Porgs: fear not. They are used to great effect and are bloody funny. There is a hilarious campfire moment between Chewy and a porg that just continues to build. We’ll leave it there.

There is great humour throughout the entire film, with the newer actors having settled into their roles and the legacy actors rising to the challenges of this film. I am heartened that Carrie Fisher got to go out on the back of this performance. She is pivotal to the film and is splendid and moving in her performance. Hamill also turns in a spectacular and nuanced performance as a very different Luke Skywalker. I now see why he was apprehensive about it going in, but he commits to his director’s vision, and I think this is his greatest performance of the series.

There are so many surprises; none of which I will do you, the good readers, the disservice of revealing here. Save to say some will thrill you, some will move you, and some will frustrate you. It isn’t perfect and not all of Johnson’s choices are going to sit well, but if I may offer my perspective? This is second part of the three act story. This one’s job was to thrill you, move the characters along, complicate their lives, and leave some tendrils for the finale. In that Johnson is successful. This is not a film that gives you all the answers; and those answers that are given are not really concrete fact until Episode 9’s credits roll.

It seems repetitive to write, as this is what I say with all these films, but the music, effects, and production design are all first rate. I will say Johnson’s team have given The Last Jedi some distinctive looks in this one that definitely set it apart from the rest.

There are things that happen in this movie I won’t know how to feel about until the story is complete, but now we’re two thirds of the way through this trilogy this is confident, thrilling and unpredictable new entry into the Star Wars saga.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence.
Runtime:
152mins
Director
: Rian Johnson
Writer: 
Rian Johnson
Cast:
Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill
Genre
: Sci-fi
Tagline:
The Last jedi
Memorable Movie Quote: "I've seen this raw strength only once before. It didn't scare me enough then. It does now."
Theatrical Distributor:
United Artists
Official Site:
Release Date:
November 16, 1976
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 11, 2016
Synopsis: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

No details available.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Movie Review

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