We did a Spoiler-Free review Star Wars: The Last Jedi in our Red Carpet Movie Review on YouTube.
Here is the link
I also wanted to share my Top 10 Thoughts coming out of my first viewing of the movie.
1. Mark Hamill’s return as Luke Skywalker after over 30 years is epic. He is spectacular here as the legendary last Jedi. He has a perfect mix of gravitas, mystique and that same bit of weaseliness he always had in the original trilogy. I had chills pretty much every time he was on screen, especially the dramatic sunset scene which recalled my favorite image in film history, the binary sunset in the first Star Wars.
2. The heart of the story is the parallel journey of Rey and Kylo Ren as they each struggle with their relationships to opposing sides of the force. The way the film portrays this dichotomy and the thin line between the dark and light side is fascinating.
3. The use of practical settings give the film a visual splendor that contrasts the atrocious CGI video game visuals of recent disasters like Justice League and Thor: Ragoftrash. I’ve been to many of these places including Dubrovnik and the Ring of Kerry in Ireland, and they are breathtaking.
4. There is a surprise appearance of an old friend that had me in awe as well. You will know when you see him. Unfortunately it was not done on as majestic a scale as I would have loved.
5. Most importantly, the movie had the Star Wars feel, and there was nothing cringe-worthy like those horrific scenes of Hayden Christensen delivering schmaltzy material that would even make Twilight fans wince in disgust. It felt magical and the overall look was spectacular and epic.
1. The movie felt very disjointed and uneven. This was easily the worst of the three recent entries into the Star Wars franchise. There was way too much filler and uninteresting subplots that I didn’t care about. The entire story of Finn could have been wiped out of the film, and it would have been much tighter and more focused. He was excellent in Force Awakens, but his arc is completely worthless here and adds nothing to the movie.
2. All of the new characters they introduced were useless. Empire Strikes Back introduced Yoda and Lando, etc. Who did we get here? Some horrible miscasting of people who felt completely out of place in the movie. Benicio Del Toro was doing a bad Brad Pitt imitation, and his scoundrel character was a misfire. Rose, Finn’s big Asian sidekick in this looked and felt like an extra out of a B-rated sitcom. Laura Dern as Admiral Holdo looked like she stepped off the set of Bad Moms. This role required an elegance and a graceful beauty which she completely lacks. Imagine how good Nicole Kidman or Michelle Pfeiffer would have been in that role?
3. These movies have become way too politically correct in trying to fulfill every demographic, and it comes off as patronizing and contrived.
4. These villains lack the gravitas and presence of the original trilogy. Snoke may as well be named Joke because I was laughing unintentionally when I saw him. Speaking of laughing, look at the goofy smirk General Hux has on his face the entire time as if he is self-aware how campy his performance is. Ren is the key character of the movie, and your enjoyment of the film will largely depend on how much you like him. I think he is fine here despite the fact he looks like he is some Harry Potter villain ready to dive into a mosh pit.
5. The movie was way too overstuffed and had too many characters. The film could have been excellent if they focused on the rise of Rey into her Jedi powers with Luke’s help paralleled with Ren’s foray into the dark side and his internal struggle to turn to the light. That is here, but it is clouded by too many lame side stories and characters we aren’t emotionally invested in.
Overall, I still really enjoyed this movie and was on the edge of my seat for most of the film. Please check out my Red Carpet Review linked above for more in-depth on the positives and negatives of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.