Spoiler alert: this review contains big, scary, angry plot details that will suck all of the joy out of watching “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” for the first time.
This review exists for people who’ve seen the movie and want to analyze it a little more closely. You have been warned.
Also, grumpy reviewer alert: this review has been written by a journalist who is clearly a bitter husk of a man, unable to find any joy or happiness in life, and who now sneers and childish fun because he’s long since poisoned his own heart by mercilessly filling it with rage at bad movies.
Yeah, this is a review from a jerk. Don’t let it cloud your judgement of “The Last Jedi” if you actually enjoyed it.
With that said, let’s begin.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a monstrous one hundred and fifty five minutes long, and it feels like it. To watch the movie the entire way through means to sit down for two and a half hours straight.
That wouldn’t be a big deal if the movie were filled with exciting storytelling, plot twists, character work, and an important, layered message.
The problem is, this movie has none of those things. It’s pretty much just two and a half hours of waiting.
No, seriously, think about it. The movie starts with Poe Dameron stalling for time, and ends with Luke Skywalker stalling for time.
In between, we watch as the entirety of the Resistance crawls through space in the world’s slowest interplanetary chase scene.
This is interspersed with scenes of Luke Skywalker fishing.
Sure, there are fight scenes and explosions and stuff, but they don’t serve the ultimate purpose of making the movie an enjoyable experience.
The opening fight introduces a big, bad, pizza-shaped giant Star Destroyer, and the next twenty minutes are taken up trying to blow it up.
The Resistance succeeds, but then, another, even bigger, badder, more pizza-ish Star Destroyer shows up. So what was the point of the entire opening fight scene?
Then there’s Canto Bight, which almost feels like part of “Casino Royale” has been spliced into the middle of the movie for no reason. There are oddities on display here, and a weird racing track chase sequence that serves no purpose, but little actually that benefits the story of the film.
Benny del Toro’s character is a lot of fun, and he does a great job in the role, but that role is inherently pointless – all he does is pause the progress of the movie to give the audience a weird lecture about war profiteering that feels really out of place for a story about magic space wizards.
It also doesn’t help that Rose and Finn’s entire little detour serves to undercut the tension of the slow, crawling Resistance escape attempt. If it’s possible for a single ship to fly off to the other side of the galaxy for a full day before returning, why can’t other Resistance ships escape in the same way?
This isn’t to say that there aren’t good moments in this movie.
General Organa steals the show with just ten minutes of total screen time. The Captain Phasma fight is fun, as is the sudden death of Snoke. It’s just a shame that after the movie reaches a natural climax with the destruction of the second Big Bad Pizza Slice, the story keeps meandering along for another half an hour.
This film needed a far tighter edit. Ditch a lot of the pointless stuff in the middle, and a big chunk of the fight battle. Ditch a load of the stuff with Luke sitting around looking sad, and get to the good stuff a little quicker.
As it is, “The Last Jedi” is, disappointingly, a bit of a waste of time. There’s a solid YouTube clip or two in here, but the movie is far too unwieldy to deserve another full watch any time after you’ve seen it the first time.