Jean-Paul’s Rating: 3/5 stars
Bottom Line: A fun movie that holds up upon multiple viewings. Still kind of derivative. More comedy than action.
Right from the start of “The Last Jedi”, you can be forgiven if for a moment you think that you maybe walked into Mel Brooks’ “Spaceballs 2: The Search For More Money”. In fact, I fully expected General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) to declare that he was surrounded by assholes and for them to keep firing. You see, while the other Star Wars movies had a bit of a comedic side to them, “The Last Jedi” peppers the comedy throughout and it mostly works pretty well. It is a welcome departure for a series that, under George Lucas, often took itself way too seriously and fumbled mightily when bringing the humor. *cough* Jar Jar *cough*
You can also be forgiven for that sense of deja vu you feel throughout the movie, for “The Last Jedi” borrows heavily from “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”. But whereas “The Force Awakens” outright stole from “A New Hope”, “The Last Jedi” feels more like an homage to the other two movies than a cannibalization of them. It really makes a world of difference in the enjoyment of the movie. And yes, I also gave “The Force Awakens” three stars even though, through the sands of time, I think I enjoyed “The Last Jedi” quite a bit more. I am large, I contain multitudes.
One thing to take note of in this movie is all the heroes are female. No, Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac) is not a hero. He may have saved the day, but his direct and repeated insubordination to his female leaders, Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern), causes more problems than it solves and almost single-handedly wipes out the rebellion. No, Finn (John Boyega) is not a hero, or at least not right away. He needs to be “coaxed” into becoming one by Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran). No, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamil) is not a hero, or again, at least not right away. Rey (Daisy Ridley) has to convince him and almost drag him kicking and screaming into the fight. So yay for strong women and the movies that showcase them!
Yes, I’ve already seen the movie twice. Yes, if someone asked me to go see it with them, I would willingly go. You can complain about the minutia of this movie endlessly and since it’s Star Wars, you almost certainly will, sometimes even rightly so, but it’s a whole lot of fun to sit through and that’s what movies are all about in the end.