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Old 22nd September 2022, 01:40 AM
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MacBlayne MacBlayne is offline
Cultist on the Rampage
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Japan
Default The Last Jedi


I'm not a Star Wars fan. I like the originals fair enough. I will admit to The Empire Strikes Back being a great adventure with barely any fat to it. As close to brilliant as the series got.

My ambivalence towards the original films means that I hold no ill will towards the prequels. They're not great, but I don't think they the disasters Mr. Plinkett calls them. Terrible writing, yes, but as examples of experimental filmmaking, they are fascinating.

I enjoy a lot of the video games. Dark Forces was a staple of my childhood. Battlefront 1 & 2 (the originals) frequently ran on my PS2. The Knights of the Old Republic games were also superb.

I saw The Force Awakens long after release, and I thought it was okay. A little boring. Was falling asleep at the end. Overall, unnecessary, but inoffensive.

Now that you know that I hold no strong opinions towards the series, then hopefully you understand that I'm not being hyperbolic when I say The Last Jedi is a complete and utter disaster of storytelling. It's a film that is somehow everywhere, without actually going anywhere. The pacing is the definition of clunk. Scenes don't transition, they just happen. Rian Johnson's screenplay is smug wank, announcing it's setting up something, then not doing it. Which would be fine IF Johnson replaced the undelivered payoff with SOMETHING! It's like when somebody tries to play a trick on you by shouting, "LOOK! A BLIMP!" You turn, see no blimp, and expect a surprise when you turn back. Only there isn't.

And I'll say this too: I don't think Daisy Ridley is all that great in it. She's fine in other stuff, even The Force Awakens. But all she does in this is pant, or grit her teeth. Mark Hamill is walking circles around her. I suspect the reason is, Ridley is trying to make Johnson's script work, whereas Hamill knows it's dogshit, and hams it up. Adam Driver is okay, but at least he has some villain stuff to chew on. Laura Dern is wasted.

But the biggest miss is not focusing on John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Kelly Marie Tran. Here you have a trio of outcasts that the Resistance has no faith in, who set off of a journey to crack into the new Death Star's (or Star Destroyer or whatever the f**k) defences. It's the setup for an exciting caper that would allow our miscasts transform into true heroes.

But we can't have fun in our Star Wars film. Oh, no! That's what audiences will expect, so Johnson pulls away this thread as much as he can without ejaculating all over the editing booth. Gotta have more scenes of Ridley crying about unknown parents and force powers and kindred spirits while Hamill rolls his eyes at the tortured dialogue. The start-stop-start-stop approach pissed me off to the point that it felt like I had been watching it for four hours. I checked the timeline, and I had only watched 71 minutes.

No, I said. I'm done. And to all the critics that raved about this film, pull the other one. This is not a clever deconstruction of the series, or of the hero's journey. If you want to see something like that, I recommend the works of Jim Jarmusch (particularly Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai). This is snotty, self-congratulatory dribble for dickheads who never found a flower that smelt as good as their own farts. And worst of all, this is the only Star Wars that got me worked up. So at least Johnson got that.

Okay, fine - the set design was rather nice.
"We're outgunned, and undermanned. But, you know somethin'? We're gonna win. You know why? Superior attitude. Superior state of mind."
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