To call The Last Jedi a mess would be an insult to messes everywhere. This critic needed a cocktail by the end of act one. Maybe the movie would have made more sense. Everything The Force Awakens did to redeem and reinvigorate the franchise is destroyed with all the force of the Death Star’s laser.
Be Careful What You Wish For
After Episode Seven, a lot of us complained that it was yet another installment featuring a planet killing weapon and force-sensitive characters with daddy issues. Ah, the good old days. This time around the First Order is chasing the rebels and their secret weapon is the ability to track them through hyperspace and just chase the rebs until they run out of fuel. This isn’t a movie plot, it’s an LA police chase on any given Tuesday.
This kicked off a series of red herrings that furthered the plot less than Chrissy Teigen’s eight hour LAX-LAX flight. From a main character surviving in open space, to Finn & Rose’s pointless trip to a Monte Carlo-esque planet to find someone who could save the day, I found myself audibly sighing with frustration. I’m still not sure why Kylo & Rey came together, I don’t believe Supreme Leader Snoke didn’t see his fate coming, and I’m not buying Luke’s appearance & disappearance at the climactic battle. The movie is at its best when we connect with old friends like Chewbacca, R2-D2, & Yoda. But that’s not often and the appearances are more nostalgia than plot advancing.
There Are Good Parts
As with most Star Wars movies, the soundtrack is compelling (and familiar), the visual effects are fantastic, and the sound editing & mixing are worthy of Oscar nominations.
But perhaps the best part is that Kylo Ren’s gratuitously pointless scene without a shirt spawned the Kylo Challenge.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation: Long Island Iced Tea
Like The Last Jedi’s plot it has a little bit of everything in it, even if they don’t go together.