Star Wars is back, in outta space and judging from that moaning platform called Twitter it’s left some of you with a sad look upon your face.
Rian Johnson is the man behind both camera and computer as he writes and directs. Obviously, the powers that be at Disney saw something in Johnson that I’ve missed, his main credits being Looper and three episodes of Breaking Bad.
Does Looper warrant handing over the keys to one of the largest cinema franchises around? Not just for this episode but Johnson has also been given a three-picture deal for his own take on the Star Wars universe.
Let’s being with the good parts of The Last Jedi. Well, I liked the salt planes at the end that turn red, you’ll have seen those in the trailers. And the At-At’s look badass in this film, they have a sort of gangster lean to them.
Unfortunately, that’s about it. The Last Jedi is otherwise a bloated, convoluted mess with three different stories going on simultaneously, with only two that are in anyway connected.
This particular strand lasts for almost the entirety of the movie, goes nowhere, adds little, but does introduce us to those odd, little penguin-looking things you’ll have seen in the trailers (apparently called Porgs).
Oscar Isaac (Suburbicon, The Force Awakens) is our x-wing flying, gung-ho fighter who sends John Boyega (The Force Awakens, Detroit) and Kelly Marie Tran (Untouchable, XOXO) off on an adventure to find a hacker, but they return with Benicio Del Toro (Sicario, Guardians Of The Galaxy) instead.
Boyega has little to do in The Last Jedi and Tran appears out of nowhere with a light-touch approach to a back-story that revolves around a dead sister.
This is all taking place whilst the Resistance are moving away from the First Order, headed by Snoke, Andy Serkis (Avengers: Age Of Ultron, War For The Planet Of The Apes), and General Hux, Domhnall Gleeson (Mother!, The Revenant).
I say moving away, what they’re actually doing is crawling, really, really slowly, away from the First Order’s big guns whilst the First Order give chase, really, really slowly, firing on them even though we’re told, for some reason, that their weapons are ineffective at this range.
This goes on for over two and half hours! Thank god Mr. Johnson didn’t get everything his own way as his original cut extended to over three! It’s the slowest chase scene I’ve ever seen in my life, you could cut the tension with butter, there’s that little of it.
The film overall is too long, way too long and I was just past caring about anyone or anything. By the time Kylo Ren, Adam Driver (Logan Lucky, Midnight Special) says “let them all die, let’s start again” to Daisy Ridley, you agree with him, whole heartedly; “yes, let’s begin again, though let me out first”.
But it continues, relentlessly. Johnson, for some reason, has decided that what the Star Wars universe is particularly lacking in is cute little creatures, so he crams The Last Jedi full of them.
The aforementioned Porgs are cute, could have been cuter, but worst of all it appears that the CGI or puppet budget had ran out by this point. Any movement the Porgs make looks worse than a bad imitation of some early attempts at stop motion.
We also have some odd little creatures inhabiting the island Hamill is on who attempt their own take on some one-liners and being funny.
They are unnecessary, as are pretty-much all of the attempts at one-liners and sarcastic ‘zings’ that Johnson has attempted to inject into the movie. This isn’t GOTG and it certainly isn’t Thor: Ragnarok, the attempts feel woefully out of place and misguided.
Mark Hamill and Domnhall Gleeson are the stars of the movie, along with the late, great Carrie Fisher as the Resistance leader. Despite Hamill apparently hating what Johnson has done with his Skywalker character, he performs what’s asked of him well.
Gleeson is fun as the second in command Resistance guy and gets to shout a lot and even gets to be strangled remotely, in a nod to the past.
I’m completely aware that, if you are a fan of Star Wars, what I’ve written will matter not one iota. You’ll see it regardless, you probably already have. And if you don’t like Star Wars, it matters not either. Very few people sit on the fence about the franchise and that, my dear readers, is exactly why Disney bought it.