Star Wars:The Last Jedi Film Review
Well here it is folks. The second installment from the new Star Wars trilogy. Written and directed by Rian Johnson it’s not just the longest running movie in the franchise, it’s also the last featuring Carrie Fisher in the iconic role of Leia Organa. But what is exactly going on in The Last Jedi and is it any good? In short… A lot is going on… and yes it’s good.
The movie follows 3 different story-lines to be precise. After the opening fantastic battle sequence, the resistance ship is losing fuel and is in a „cat and mice“ game with The First Order. Ray (Daisy Ridley) as seen in The Force Awakens arrives on Ahch-To with Chewbacca and R2-D2 and finds the depressed, lonely and disheveled Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). He initially refuses to help her control the force (after the Ben Solo fiasco) and it would take some conversing on her side to change his mind. Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is left on the ship fighting the new woman in charge of the rebellion- the purple haired Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) after the attack leaves Leia incapacitated. And last but not least Finn (John Boyega) reluctantly teams up with the fierce mechanic Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) to find DJ (Benicio del Toro) the notorious hacker who can break the tracking device on the First Order’s ship and allow the Resistance to escape the wrath of Kyle Ren (Adam Driver).
The last Jedi is a great movie actually. Though having some problems, it’s actually very exciting, emotional and composed on a grand scale. Because if its length (152 minutes) sometimes the movie feels stretched and un-necessary filled with useless characters (supporting or cameo) but all in all The Last Jedi is fine crafted bridge between The Force Awakens and Episode IX. You will find similarities with the Empire Strikes Back, in the style but also in the sub-plots but here (at the same time) some of the characters and their performances impress more than the storyline.
Mark Hamill gives a fine performance in the role of disappointed and isolated Luke, and Oscar Isaac is force to be reckoned with as the cocky and “trigger-happy flyboy”, but there is no point in denying the sexual tension between him and EVERYONE he has an eye contact. That tension is charged and electric, and even his hug with BB-8 is sooo god damn sexy. It’s insane. I know that Leia and Holdo are there to teach him about patience and obedience but it’s in The Last Jedi we see how Poe is starting to embody Han Solo’s traits of stubbornness and resilience. It suits him well actually.
But let me talk about Adam Driver for a minute and how brilliant was in this movie. Seriously, his performance in the Last Jedi was award worthy and nuanced, and all the close-ups to the actor’s face really helped in his delivery of the conflicted Kylo Ren. I feel he’s even better now than he was in The Force Awakens.
And while I’m not so thrilled with some of the new additions I must divert my praise to the character of Rose. Spunky, brave and loyal to the rebellion she’s a breath of fresh and although lacking in chemistry, she’s actually a great paring with John Boyega’s Finn. Potential for developing a rebellion love story is left at the end of Last Jedi, but Rose is one awesome character nevertheless.
Which the same cannot be said for Benicio del Toro’s DJ and Laura Dern’s Holdo character. Del Toro and Dern are fine and talented actors who, sadly had the misfortune to be given very forgettable bland and un-remarkable characters. Holdo admittedly stood out little more because of her overall purple hairdo and well tailored dress, but there is not much to be said about her (or them for that matter) beyond that.
When I think about it… One thing did actually stood out in the Last Jedi to my surprise. The higher level of humor that was delivered through gags and one-liners, from almost all of the characters. Rian Johnson apparently wanted to lace the dark and gloomy undertones and overall depressing plot with lighthearted humor, and although it doesn’t work in some cases… it’s still a welcomed effort.
Yes… The movie is way too long and crowded with sub-plots. Yes… Some issues remain unresolved (the fate of Rey’s parents and her origin for instance), but this movie works better as a sum of its parts. Don’t try to dissect them or you’ll in for a head-ache. Oh and you’ll find yourself missing Carrie Fisher even more.