Bru’s Reviews – STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI IS A STRONG SECOND December 20, 2017 – Posted in: Blog, Bru's Reviews
All original written content is (c) 2017 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed art is ©2012 and a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
THIS WEEK: Continuing the adventures of Rey (Daisy Ridley) and pals: She tries hard to get Luke Skywalker (Mark “Voice of the Joker” Hammil) on board to aid his sister General Leia Organa’s (Carrie Fisher) Resistance and get some Jedi training, while Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac), BB-8, Chewbacca and some wacky birds all band together to help fend off the evil First Order run by General Hux (Domhall Gleeson), Supreme Commander Snoke (CG, played by Andy “Everyone from LOTR’s Gollum to PLANET OF THE APES’ Caesar) and the latter’s disciple, Kylo Ren, aka Ben Solo (Adam Driver), who has plans (and anger issues) of his own plus a strong connection to Rey. And oh yeah, there’s a bunch of massive weapons, ships and new planets involved.
Written and Directed by Rian “LOOPER” Johnson, based on characters created by some dude named George Lucas.
- Little and big stuff are overall done right: sticks to the story begun in the previous film, no major gaps in the time between them, the characters look and act like they did before and should now. There are nuances of fun and nostalgia, a few LOL gags, decent dialog and a logical ending.
- Visually awesome as you’d expect. The views shot in Ireland and Iceland match the awe of the space scenes. Effects are as good as you’d expect as well. As a bonus, Chewie looks more like Chewie; he looked just a bit “off” in the last one.
- Loved, loved, loved the “casino planet” (Canto-Bright, I think.) Some may accuse it of being “just another Mos Eisley Cantina,” but it was different enough to me to be fun.
- A decent story overall; not as derivative of the original trilogy as FORCE AWAKENS was. More is revealed regarding Ren’s and Rey’s pasts and what happened between Luke and Ren.
- Plenty of outer space, planet surface and in-ship battles, between ships, people and ships, people and people, people and creatures, and so on. Lots of explosions.
- More comedic bits than in the previous installment, including a laugh-out-loud “comms” snafu that comes pretty early.
- Nice nods to the original trilogy, especially a famous clip and character that will make original fans smile.
- BB-8 is not only adorable and fun but can be a badass droid when needed. By far my favorite of all the films (apologies to R2D2).
- The final confrontation between Kylo and Luke is easily the best part. Make sure you pee before the last half hour.
- I like the relationship between Finn and Rose. She’s fun without being silly and capable without being a badass martial arts expert like every other female heroine. And Rey grows stronger as a character (definitely a badass but in a good way).
- Sweet text tribute to the late, great Carrie Fisher at the end.
- Ending is fairly satisfying. (The trailers didn’t ruin it!) The main villain gets it good and there’s no cliff hanger (though there are plenty unresolved issues for the next film of course).
- The entire FORCE AWAKENS and this flick deal with Kylo’s daddy/uncle issues. Mommy’s never even mentioned! Leia, sister of Luke, definitely has the gift of being in touch with The Force, even if it’s not as strong as Luke’s. Like before, there’s a scene of her “connecting” with her son, but shown only from her side. He never notices or says a freakin’ word of his Mom, while she’s only shown love and concern for him. WTH? We learn why he hates Luke, but why Leia? What boy doesn’t have a connection or issues with his mom, good or bad? Big missed opportunity.
- Feels like three hours even though it’s two-and-a-half. Could have used some tightening up. A lot of things going on with different characters in different places with different objectives can get a bit convoluted at times.
- Suspension Of Disbelief Dept.: Remember at the end of FORCE AWAKENS when Rey and Finn were watching the drama between Han and Kylo Ren? The latter two were on a mega-long catwalk many levels below Rey and Finn, who were right near the ship’s exit. When the two kids ran out into the snow, Kylo magically appeared in front of them. Same type of “Howzat?” moment in THE LAST JEDI—two of them in fact, with different characters. No way anyone but The Flash or someone from Krypton moves that fast.
- Snoke (which sounds way too much like “Smoak” from ARROW) is too fugly and too CG to tolerate on a giant screen for long. Kylo Ren’s mask is off for most of the movie, and Adam Driver, while a fine, intense actor, just doesn’t have a face to inspire fear or awe. (Note that we didn’t see Darth Vader’s face till the end of the third film.) The moles, Adrian-Brody honker and 1970s-pornstar hairstyle just don’t cut it for me.
- After decades of technological development, 3-D is still hit or miss—mainly 90% miss. A few scenes of “ooh, look, I can reach out and touch it” while every scene is made darker with those stupid glasses. Don’t waste your dough! Save up for sequels to AVATAR or Martin Scorsese’s HUGO.
- A couple more big characters bite it; getting to be a (tiresome) theme now.
- Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) looks more like 1920 Flapper Barbie than a second-in-command. The hairstyle and costume look more like they belong in the casino than the bridge.
- Speaking of Barbie, why are so many chicks in this flick as thin as a pencil? Forget about big boobies, I’m talking about just not looking anorexic. Rose is the only one that looks like she doesn’t need a sandwich.
Come on, it’s STAR WARS! You know you have to see it so you don’t look like a loser. And if you’ve enjoyed any of the previous installments, bad reviews wouldn’t keep you away anyway. This one is a good time, even if it overstays its welcome a tad. I liked FORCE AWAKENS a little better, only because it was “newer” and tighter and Han Solo was in it. But you will certainly get your admission’s worth with this, and it will look lame on your tiny TV. Just splurge…heck, the trailer for next year’s AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR is worth it alone!
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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here are not those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, The First Order, The Empire, The Resistance, The Rebel Alliance, The Force, The Farce, The Larch or The Lorax. Bru-Hed belongs on the casino planet…we may launch a Kickstarter to send him there!