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(film review) - Star Wars: The Last Jedi

It had been a while before we got Star Wars in film.  The OG Trilogy is very beloved and the Prequel Trilogy, well, it is hated my many.  The next Trilogy is now set with the first one being 'The Force Awakens' and while reboot specialist JJ Abrams did a good job with it (like Star Trek), they have decided to go with 'Brick' and 'Looper' director, Rian Johnson.
I've not seen Brick but I've heard good things.  I've seen Looper and I loved it.  A great film where Bruce Willis isn't "Out to Lunch Phoning It In".  With that said, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, although marginally looked like Bruce with all the make-up, it didn't take away from the performance and what Rian ha accomplished.
The Last Jedi, although going into production and filming, Rian clearly dictated he was doing his own thing, this film clearly shows it and I'll explain, without spoilers of course.

The Last Jedi, begins only moments after the last movie, The Force Awakens and the Resistance have managed a small victory.  They are now on the run with the aim to relocate at another secret base but when a delayed tactic by Poe (Oscar Isaac) helps with the evacuation only to be tracked down by The First Order, moments later, The Resistance need to devise a new plan, with Rey (Daisy Ridley) tracking down Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) for help and with the aid of Finn (John Boyega) and Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) with an assist, in order to lose them once and for all.

I will start with, this movie is very different to many movies that came before it.  It is a long movie and for the most part, that was refreshing and cool.  The choices Rian also made, were also refreshing and, well, cool, but I can see why people night have their grievances with the choices made.  Ever since 'Return of the Jedi', people have wanted to know what Luke has been up to all this time and what he was doing.  Was he being a bad MF with his Lightsabre? Was he training new Jedi? What was Luke doing?  We see at the end of The Force Awakens and Luke is on an Island somewhere and although it was cool to see him there and even more in this movie, one of my minor discrepancies is that Mark Hamill was underused or Luke's story in this movie seemed lackluster.  A pivotal role, but lackluster.  Another moment in the movie I didn't like and the movie dragged for me a little was halfway through the movie with Finn and Rose.  I didn't really enjoy it and for the most part, didn't seem to sit well with the film at all.  It was a slap in the face that this movie is for kids and grown adults alike.
Other than that though, Rian did an amazing job.

There was a scene I won't get into which involved General Leia (or Princess Leia) and as you know, Carrie Fisher passed shortly after filming finished, so every moment seeing her on screen wasn't awkward, but it was just, weird.  The woman we all loved as Princess Leia Organa on screen acted well by Carrie who has passed several months ago was still fresh to us watching.  Watching this in the cinema gave the performance an eirie feel to it.  For the most part, I know people were crying and I couldn't blame them, especially if you are in your 30's, 40's and 50's, you know? Other than these things though, the movie was courageous and I liked what Rian did with the lore of Star Wars.  He introduced new ideas and a new way of looking at the way The Force is used.  For example, instead of using The Force to pull something towards you or towards something/someone, you can use the same objected to pull, but pull yourself towards it.  You see how that works? It's just the reverse.  Rian also left some subtle clues in the 3rd act which telegraphed what was happening, but for the most part, visually it was stunning.  Better yet, the entire movie was.  There is an inherent difference between both directors JJ and Rian, and love them for what artistic flare they bring when directing but I do feel Rian has a bit of an edge when it comes to cool visuals and concepts over JJ.  It's kind of like an 'outside the box' way of thinking and seeing things.

As per usual, although there were a few jokey jokes here and there, the actors did a great job and having Mark back properly acting and not doing Voiceover work was truely refreshing.  The little kid in me wanted more and I'm sure that is with a lot of the viewers who watched this, but if you want more of the same, look for JJ.  If you want something different, look for Rian.  For example, there is a Lightsabre fight on this movie which was visually stunning and cool. Everything in that moment was superb, just not something JJ would have dreamt of I feel.

I can see why people may feel funny about this but for the most part, it's great and I hope they carry these new ideas etc over to part 9.


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