It’s time for another Star Wars film but will it live up to the hype? It will surely make boatloads of money but is it good at least? You bet it is!
Synopsis: Having taken her first steps into the Jedi world, Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past. (IMDB)
Starring: Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, and Adam Driver
Writer: Rian Johnson
Director: Rian Johnson
Rating: PG (Canada)/PG-13 (United States)
Running Time: 152mins
For showtimes and more, check out Star Wars: The Last Jedi on movietimes.com.
The first film new episodic film, The Force Awakens, breathed new life into the Star Wars series despite arguably being a little too similar to A New Hope. It was just nice to see the characters we know and love on the screen again alongside some new characters hoping to make an impression which they did for the most part. Most of these characters, as well as a few new ones are back for this newest entry, The Last Jedi. Now who can the title be referring to? You’ll just have to watch the film to find out.
There was quite a lot going on here as the story picks up from the end of The Force Awakens. General Leia (Carrie Fisher) and the rebels are forced to evacuate their base one the First Order reached their planet. A pursuit ensued between the rebels and the First Order, causing the rebels to exhaust their resources in the process and making things tense for everyone involved, causing rifts between Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and various members of the rebellion authority.
Meanwhile, Rey (Ridley) was still on the remote planet with Luke (Hamill) trying to convince him to help her and the rebellion. This did not prove to be easy. Through this, we get some backstory for Kylo Ren (Driver) and how it may have led to Luke’s current whereabouts. The most compelling part of the film by far was how deep it takes the dynamic between Rey, Luke, and Kylo Ren. Rey has been on a quest to find her parents since the last film and this continued here.
This made her relationship with Luke something more than just teacher-student as Luke filled a father role. She wasn’t the only character conflicted as Kylo Ren was trying to satisfy his master Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) while still reeling after killing his father Han Solo, and Luke was conflicted with his past. While this went on, Rey and Kylo Ren grew closer to one another over living in the shadow of their parents after a series of conversations through the force where Rey tried to take advantage of Kylo Ren’s vulnerability in the hopes of bringing him back to the person he once was which wasn’t easy either.
For a film featuring many big moments, there was a surprising amount of nuance and comedy. The script had many great moments, giving each of the characters enough time to shine, but the best part arguably was its unpredictability which just made the film more exciting to watch, especially when all the characters come together in the second half. The second half provided quite a few emotional punches, however, not all of them landed as some were more satisfying than others.
The story did encounter a few speed bumps along the way which included a slightly convoluted subplot that took Finn (John Boyega) and a maintenance worker named Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) on a side mission to the casino city of Canto Bight. This showed us a different kind of evil within the galaxy and the many people who are affected. To the film’s credit, it moved quickly enough so it wasn’t a big deal.
The production values were what we’ve come to expect from a Star Wars film. Like The Force Awakens, it didn’t rely on CGI and other flashy special effects to tell its story. The film still had a considerable amount of special effects but it was also well shot with beautiful cinematography and set pieces, accentuated by an always reliable John Williams score. There perhaps wasn’t as many action sequences as The Force Awakens though what we did get was very well done with a few entertaining sequences standing out although they ended way too quickly.
The acting here was excellent all around, notably the returning core actors and their great chemistry. Hamill, Ridley, Driver, and Fisher are all asked to do much more here with their roles. They all dug a little deeper and brought plenty of emotion and nuance to their performances. They all had different weights on their shoulders and this inner conflict was what made them compelling to watch and the best part of the film. In regards to the late Fisher, her performance and her words as Leia hold even more meaning.
Overall, this was an excellent Star Wars film featuring always reliable production values and score, complementing a deep and compelling story that was elevated by excellent performances from Hamil, Ridley, Driver, and the late Carrie Fisher.