Your Spoilers – They’ll Have To Wait Outside! We Don’t Want Their Kind Here!
“Ryan Johnson’s movie has a sense of humour about itself and a sense of joy, but its emotional generosity, even in the midst of all the extravagant green-screen work, is its best special effect” – TIME Magazine.
“I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror…
“I fear something terrible has happened.”
Only the terror manifested more in the unwelcome form of spite and bitterness – there has been a Starkiller-sized amount of hate for VIII over this past weekend alone.
Truly, we waited on tenterhooks for two years for... THIS?!
Okay, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is NOT terrible, but, alas, it is not great either.
You will be relieved to know that – unlike the barrage of bile foisted upon IMDb over the last few days – this review will refrain from descending into an expletive-laden rant.
Unlike other episodes on the big screen, nobody cheered, nobody applauded, as the goosebump-inducing score broke out, or the legendary title scrawl began trundling upscreen…
Hello, methinks, quite a different Star Wars movie is unfolding here…
“And, as for Luke, Hamill comes into his own here with a very intelligent and sympathetic portrayal of his great character. Luke is now part Prospero, part Achilles… potentially the great magician or teacher on this island, ready to induct Rey into the Zen priesthood of the Force” – The Guardian.
The biggest gasp in the auditorium did not go to the – admittedly awesome – praetorian guard fight, nor towards the surprise appearance of a dear old friend on Ahch-to (arguably Last Jedi’s most charming scene). No, as the opening space battle gets underway, the very first First Order officer we see on the bridge is played by none other than Ade Edmondson!!
My non-British blogging friends might like to know that this cult fave star appeared in a few classic BBC TV comedy shows during the 80s. To see him here was extraordinary, but, immediately, alarm bells started ringing.
Uh-oh, they’re gonna play this for laughs – unfortunately, this proved to be precisely the misguided and cringe-inducing case as a thoroughly underwhelming first act ensued. There are certain lines that should never be uttered in the Star Wars galaxy – “Let me put you on hold” (?!) should NOT be one of them, by Jove!
Amidst all the much-maligned New Hopisms of The Force Awakens, the trio of new characters: Rey, Finn and Poe were most welcome, and refreshing additions. Here, none of them, frustratingly, were allowed to develop any further.
The only thing to strike me about Holdo is that she looked all dressed and coiffured ready for Canto Bight, not saving the Resistance.
Laura Dern?! As an Admiral?!
Come OFF IT… That absurd premise turned out to be more hilarious than anything “General” Gleeson managed to spout…
And “Captain” Phasma…? Soz, but that was the moment Brad blinked…
With the Asian cinema market larger than ever, it was just a matter of when, not if, a character like Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) would appear in this franchise. Personally, she gabbled too fast, so none of her scenes could be followed. No matter, by the time she had become miraculously embroiled in the shoddily “written” derring-do, my attention had well and truly drifted.
Speaking of cringe-inducing: by far the weakest – certainly most useless – sequence takes place on Canto Bight.
A cosmic Monte Carlo might be more suitable for crap like Valerian. But not Star Wars, for cake’s sake!
“We seem to be made to suffer. It’s our lot in life… …”
On a positive note, however, it was fabulous to see the lovely – and still feisty – Princess (sorry) GENERAL Leia again – thankfully, watching Carrie for the very-last-time proved not to be the emotional slog one had expected. However, one particular scene glided past 😉 that elicited a few sniggers in the darkness around me.
My time and patience was also saved by Adam Driver, who managed to bring some much-needed gravitas as perpetually-petulant-teen-with-ridiculous-mask: Kylo Ren.
But then again, despite his instant-classic “Roast Porg” scene, this weary Wookie had – as feared – too little to do.
More sketches with those delightful, albeit dotty, “Caretakers” on Ahch-to would have cheered me up.
Most of all, though, it was great to catch a powerful and moving performance by Mark Hamill as Ireland’s living legend: Stragglybeard, Lord Of The Grumpy Teatsqueezers.
“The Last Jedi ranks with the very best Star Wars epics by pointing ahead to a next generation of Skywalkers – and, thrillingly, to a new hope” – Rolling Stone.
Mercifully, this instalment is not as atrocious as the universally-reviled prequel trilogy, but still lags several parsecs behind last year’s Merry Sithmas Special: Rogue One.
Disney – obviously – were too preoccupied with designing those cute critters: porgs, crystal foxes and whatnot – and all that blasted associated merchandise! – to worry about the inconsequential stuff. Such as story structure and a cohesive narrative, etc. etc.
And what is so Supreme about this Leader?
After being so intrigued by such a potentially-menacing figure, and wanting to know more about his origins/history, here (in his snazzy golden dressing gown) his “character” is – shamefully, almost embarrassingly – barely onscreen long enough to frighten us, let alone fascinate us further.
Snoke is a joke! (And like this film’s other “light-hearted” moments: simply not funny. And doesn’t deserve to be.)
Similarly, our fascination surrounding Rey remains almost-painfully unresolved. Amounting to nuthin’, this simply splutters out as the most annoying non-event ever.
And Brad grows tired of asking this so it will be the last time: how did Maz find Luke’s lightsaber?!
Oh, never mind…
Not only do these unsettling anti-climaxes remain unsettled, but the way we all got psyched up and brainstormed out for NOTHING (partly inciting the extreme antipathy that has clogged up the internet these past few days) has brought me to the brink of indifference. And a complete, crushing state of apathy towards Episode IX, or – Sith forbid! – a whole new trilogy by Rian Johnson. It’s as if he didn’t BOTHER to watch The Force Awakens. Or, at least, consult JJ Abrams’ notes…
Whilst pondering whether to discuss Spoilers in this Review, let me conclude by stating that this whole bally venture felt like it spoilt just about everything that makes the Star Wars phenomenon so stupendous and awe-inspiring.
The most memorable moment of this particular viewing experience happened to be the severe cramp.
After two and a half hours, all feeling in my right leg had gone. As the last dude stuck in his (plush, velvet, Edwardian) seat after this evening’s performance of The Last Jedi, a young attendant – black eyeliner, black lipstick, rings and studs protruding from the most unlikely places – came to check on me.
After explaining my predicament, whilst rising awkwardly to my feet, she chortled:
“Yer jus’ gonna ‘avta FORCE yerself, darlin’, he he!”
What IS it with Brad and cheeky Goth girls?!
She noticed me grimace at the endless end credits.
“I know!” she complained. “Absolute blooody roobbish, innit?! I ‘avta put up wiv this three times a day fer the rest o’ the week!”
Ah yeah, your job really sucks…
“Anyways, enough abaht me – what did YOU think of it… …?”
“That’s NOT how the Force works!”