Review by TJ Lawrence
This movie has plot holes you could fly an X-Wing through, contagious stupidity on the part of some characters, two substantially weaker side plots, and about thirty minutes of unnecessary run time. However, it is also graced with gorgeous cinematography, well-thought-out character development, good acting, and a strong, engaging central plot. The verdict: The Last Jedi doesn’t measure up to expectations in many areas, but makes up for its weaknesses with impressive strengths. It’s flawed but fun and certainly worth at least one watch. 7/10
My personal likes and dislikes about the movie are below.
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What I liked:
Character development: Poe’s earlier characterization as a reckless pilot influences his decisions throughout the movie, skewing them toward good immediate results with no real thought for the tactical disadvantages of those results. He learns better through Leia’s chastisement for his early-movie sacrifice of the entire bombing fleet and the events that follow. Finn tried to run away from the battle. I was ridiculously disappointed in him until I realized that a) this fits with his characterization from The Force Awakens and b) he redeems himself later. I still think this decision made it a lot harder to sympathize with or root for him as a character, so the results were mixed. Kylo Ren’s internal tug-of-war and his eventual choice of sides fit in perfectly with his character. And don’t even get me started on Luke Skywalker and his heroic sacrifice—I will cry right here on this keyboard, I swear.
Rey, Luke, and Kylo: This plot was the best part of the entire film. The character clashes between Rey and Luke, Rey and Kylo’s Force connection, Rey’s seeming tilt toward the dark side, and Kylo’s absolutely awesome assassination of Snoke/fake turn towards the light…I could go on about this forever. It was amazing. If this plot had been the entire movie, I wouldn’t have complained at all.
Cinematography/Why is everything so pretty: The battle scene on Crait was so beautiful it made me want to go there, except that I didn’t really want to be in the middle of a battle anywhere. I loved the animation of all the animal life except that weird pink cow-thing. The CGI shields around the Resistance cruiser were impressive and laid to rest my consistent quibble—”why can’t I ever see the shields?” Admiral Holdo’s last flight scared me.
What I didn’t like:
Plot holes: If Admiral Holdo had just told Poe what the plan was, the entire last half of the movie could have been avoided. Come on, lady! I expected a little more maturity and rationality from a hero of the Resistance.
Plot-induced stupidity: See plot holes.
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