I have not played Infinity much recently with the dropoff in attendance at my game store, and with that game store now closing. But I saw Disney’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi this weekend, and boy is that movie a thing to talk about, so here’s a review.
I don’t know where to begin with this The Last Jedi. I did not expect it to be good, after The Force Awakens and Rogue One. I thought The Force Awakens was entertaining back when I saw it, but, I rated everything an artichoke higher than it deserved back then. More than that, I did not want to be a stick in the mud about a movie everyone liked. That’s normal, I suppose, but as a reviewer of Infinity models or movies or anything, I should not prostrate my thoughts to what I expect others think.
I knew I wanted a few things out of The Last Jedi, going into the theater. I wanted Finn to be more than a token black janitor. I wanted Rey to show some real heroic struggle, not just godmode like The Force Awakens. I wanted Luke to be the wisest, kindest, most serious mentor that could be shown. And I wanted a bit more of the “boring stuff” to explain Snoke, the Resistance, the First Order, etc. What did I get?
The opening scene has a girl with downs syndrome giving F-for-effort acting, calling for retreat. Poe Dameron prank calls the commanding First Order villain, who makes a cartoon fool of himself. Then he singlehandedly blows up all the guns on the villain’s dreadnaught. Instantly, I knew that we were in for trouble.
It is not a “Star Wars” movie: The Last Jedi is a Disney movie. Disney only knows how to tale cutesy tales about special girls with little animal pals and dumb sidekicks. They have not made a competent film about “boy stuff”—which is what Star Wars is, make no mistake—since Aladdin or The Lion King. That’s probably why the toys sit unsold on the shelves.
And The Last Jedi is no improvement to the dead merchandise of 2015. The story axes by the beginning or by the end every trail of curiosity you had found in The Force Awakens. The sets and filmmaking are competent, the special effects are not distracting, but the actors are half convincing, and the plot is nothing but dead ends, cheap jokes, and contrivances. The movie spat on its roots, and gave nothing for the finale of the Disney trilogy except lipservice to hope.
I won’t go into major spoilers, though you’ve probably seen it by now, right?
My brother and I went from cringing at it, to laughing at it, to cringing at it all again. Each minute of the 2½-hours had me sinking further and further into my theater seat with new gaffs: The Star Wars equivalent of Minions, the Porgs. Admiral Cougar creeping on Poe Dameron. Her purple hair. The casino scene. The save-the-llamas scene. Every scene with Rose. All the bad actors. The immediately memed Mary Poppins scene. Why did they throw away a lightsaber? Why did Rey fight a rock like it was impressive? Why did Luke need Rey’s inspiration, instead of Rey needing Luke? And why did every Resistance character bleat about “hope” like it’s the most special of messages?
Oh, that would make sense. The Last Jedi clearly wasn’t created by conservatives.
It’s corny though, Disney, stop it. It’s like Subaru commercials talking about “love”. It was weak coming from Jyn Erso in Rogue One, and it’s weak coming from every character in this new trilogy. No premier Star Wars episode should read like an episode of The Legend of Korra.
There are nerd nitpicks for you, too. Star Wars has always been fantasy first, science fiction second, of course. But apparently lasers arc like artillery rounds now. Laser arc like artillery rounds in space, no less. Apparently escape pods are faster than capital ships. And apparently a hyperdrive is now the most powerful weapon in the Star Wars universe. No need for Death Stars and Turbolasers. Every Star Wars army should start fitting hyperdrives onto a tungsten slug, and put thirty or forty of them on every ship, in place of torpedo tubes. Those hyperdrive slugs can blast through 10 kilometers of solid matter.
The worst of all, however, came from a moral of book burning in the movie. The moral of Kylo Ren. The moral for which the good and evil characters of Star Wars are evidently united, to spread this message: let the past die.
Star Wars is run by iconoclasts who evidently hate the history. It’s a message that I hate it more than anything else in this dreadful movie. I wasn’t even a fanboy of Star Wars as a kid, and I feel insulted. Everything was stupid and nothing mattered. It is another piece of American culture discarded in the progressive march.
I could write a few good things about the The Last Jedi—the character moments between Rey and Ren, the growth of Finn as a character, the appearance of a familiar puppet and his voice actor, and a few good captures of action. But nothing to assuage a rockbottom rating.
I rate Star Wars: The Last Jedi 1 out of 5 artichokes.
TL;DR Total cringefest. This movie is cultural vandalism.