Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Better than The Force Awakens, but still with some pretty major flaws (both in the plot and character progression)Firstly, The Light Side - I was thoroughly engrossed during the two and a half hour run time, and with more twists and turns than, well, any other Star Wars film to date. It delivers a much more engaging and original storyline than Episode 7 (aka 'Star Wars XL - A New Hope Supersized') and is all the better for it. OK, it did go on a bit, but that I don't mind as long as it gets somewhere in the end, which it does. In fact, I was very pleased to be sat watching the credits thinking, "hmmm... I'm not really sure what they are going to do in Episode 9, they tied that all up quite nicely".
The Dark Side - after the credits roll and you’re on your way home you'll suddenly be hit by all the plot holes and quite simply dumb stuff that passed you by in all the action. SPOILER ALERT the ridiculousness of the whole low-speed car chase in space scene near the end (I can only presume the director is a big fan of the movie Speed?) I mean, as if the First Order leaders would order their Tie fighters to fall back "because they are out of range of cover from our canons". Yeah, right!? Since when would they care about a few Tie Fighters? Especially after couple of them just successfully blew up the bridge and took out pretty much the entire Resistance command! But no, pull them back, we don't want to risk losing them BECAUSE WE'VE ONLY GOT AN ENTIRE FLEET'S WORTH TO SPARE! Next up - there is no friction in space! So why do the Resistance ships suddenly stop dead when their fuel runs out? There’s laws of physics you can play with in Sci-Fi but I’m sorry, that ‘aint one of them. Unless space has somehow been filled with metaclorian particles (ugh) obviously they'd just keep going until they hit the first planet/star/black hole that got in their way. That's kinda how space works. Likewise if the Resistance Cruiser is 'faster' that can only mean has better acceleration, in which case it would be increasingly putting distance between itself and the pursuing ships behind. Plus, of course, the old chestnut - they have somehow figured out how to build hyperspace technology, but not an autopilot??
Yes, there'll be Star Wars nerds out there who can probably come up with excuses for the latter points, but I simply don't care that much and on the face of it that's three really dumb mistakes in a single scene alone. Ho hum.
My final gripe being the direction they went with Luke, which Mark Hamill publically berated, and rightly so. As he also rightly later commented, yes, it works within the context of the film, but I thought Luke's character broke the pre-becoming a Jedi teenage sulky "I can't do this/it's not fair/I can't change anything" mould some time ago, but it seems like he forgot all those lessons he learnt from Yoda (which, funnily enough, he learns all over again here) and has become the archetypal grumpy old man. Even I expected more of him than that, and I’m no fan of the guy.
Having said all that, it was thoroughly entertaining while it lasted (which was a good while, so decent bang for your buck). Shame though, could have been a five star movie if they'd thought things through a bit better.