I really liked The Force Awakens. It was loaded with nostalgia and a good new beginning for the modern avatar of the classic franchise albeit low on an original plot.
The Last Jedi picks up exactly where The Force Awakens left us. The First Order reigns supreme and are close to wiping out the Resistance, who must escape to survive. Meanwhile Rey seeks Luke’s help to fight reignite the fight.
Director Rian Johnson who made the terrific Looper – gives us a unique entry into the franchise – it’s bold, it’s funny and it’s packed with a lot of surprises.
The cinematography is breath-taking and the action sequences are absolutely spectacular. Whether it’s those dazzling space battles, classic lightsaber duels, breakneck speed chases, they’re all a sight to behold. This is a movie where IMAX and 3D combine well to create a truly immersive experience. The score is glorious as usual and I loved the film-maker’s use of silence in some poignant sequences.
The performances are surprisingly strong – Mark Hamill becomes Luke BHAI-walker, Adam Driver excels as a confused & tortured young dark lord in the making & the classy Carrie Fisher in her last on-screen appearance got me choked up. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Laura Dern (whoa!) put in strong turns as well.
On the flip side, non fans might find the pacing a bit sluggish in the middle portion and a couple of sub-plots including a longish one with Rey and Rose, white entertaining doesn’t do much for the main story.
The one major downside to The Force Awakens was that it felt like a rehash of the classic Star Wars films. The Last Jedi on the other hand is fresh, quite unique and full of unexpected twists and fun surprises. And it works equally well as a stand-alone film. It has strong emotional moments as well as some seriously cool whistle-worthy ones! And of course there are Porgs!
Thank you Rian Johnson, we have everything we need.
My score: 8 on 10
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
Directed by: Rian Johnson
Starring: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega
Running time: 152 minutes