Review: Star Wars Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017)

8

“Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you are meant to be.”
– Kylo Ren

SYNOPSIS: Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order. – via IMDB

Oh my gooooosh! I loved this. Yeah, I hear there is some hate, but there is a lot of love, too. I am one of those that thought this was really good. After The Force Awakens, I have been so amped to see where the story goes, and The Last Jedi totally rewarded for my excitement, for the most part (even with the little niggles).

Kylo Ren is baaaaack bitches, and he is freaking awesome! This is something my husband and I will debate for many years to come. This time around we get to see more of Adam Driver’s face and that gorgeous hair, and man, we totally got to explore more of his conflict. Imagine your legacy is Anakin and Luke Skywalker, the light side and the dark? Polar opposites. Imagine that you have been manipulated by someone and it was easy to do so because someone you trusted betrayed you (from what you could see), and you are a kid? Confusion! I love it. I could watch that battle rage forever.

There were new things introduced in this one, too. Kylo’s new plan  has definitely piqued my interest. War profiteering reared its head in here, too, so there was some social commentary on the go. I was so pleased to see BB-8 back in action, he is so adorable! Poe, too, is back in action. The Last Jedi brings up some really solid, strong moments for our female cast, and has some awesome action sequences, too. So it is great to watch like that. I quite enjoyed Beneicio del Toro’s appearance, and would like to see if he pops up again.

Let’s not deny that the movie had flaws – those freaking porgs annoyed me. Cute the first time you saw them, and then they were just jammed in all over the show. There is the super cheese between Finn and Rose, which also got a bit annoying quickly. Also, a lot of questions that JJ Abrams had set up in The Force Awakens were glibly answered here (I am hoping they go back and give us real, fleshed out answers, because if these are the answers, that is bitterly disappointing). Another thing, the story is not overly solid, and the pacing is a little off at times, but nothing too extreme. I was totally engrossed, even with the hiccups. I adore Andy Serkis, for reals, and I really wish there was more to Snoke than we eventually got – so short lived and a bit meh 😦

There is a lot of back and forth about Luke Skywalker and his role here. I expected to see more Luke Skywalker, and I didn’t think he would be quite so bitter and ready to end the Jedi lines like he has, though it brings up the notion that the Force is not just accessible by a small group of elite individuals. Not sure where this is going, but I will give them enough rope and see what they do with it. Anyway, it was strange to see him go the way he did, but I was really impressed with where his character went later on.

Continuing with unpopular opinion time, Rey is still a flat, bland, annoying character for me. I just don’t get the love man, not at all. Every time she was on screen, I felt like precious time was being wasted. I don’t like her, and it sucks that she is one of our new, major protagonists. Oh well. Also, the whole Skywalker legacy is something to wonder about – where are we going from here? I feel that the original characters have been handled a little more poorly than I expected, to be honest.

Ultimately, I still preferred Abrams’s The Force Awakens over this – it looked better, sounded better, and was handled better, though The Last Jedi is by no means a bad movie and does not deserve the hate being flung its way. There is a hell of a lot to like about it – it is fun, it is dark, there are some new concepts being introduced, and has plenty of action. I am seriously looking forward to watching it again sometime and seeing how it holds up. Maybe because I have mad Abrams love and want him to keep going with the story…

Rapid Review: Sicario (2015)

12

sicario poster

“Nothing will make sense to your American ears, and you will doubt everything that we do, but in the end you will understand.”
– Alejandro

SYNOPSIS: An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by a government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico. – via IMDB

sicario

GRADE 7I was so looking forward to this, especially seeing how much love it was getting. Plus I thoroughly enjoyed Denis Villeneuve previous two films. I thought Prisoners to be really dark and messed up but fantastic, and while Enemy won’t be for everyone, I liked that, too. But then there was this one, and while it was good, I think it is awfully overhyped. It is shot beautifully, and features some solid performances, without a doubt, and it is interesting. However, the downfall is that the movie presents itself as though it is far smarter and difficult to understand than it is, so even though you follow the movie the whole way through, by the end you feel as though you have theoretically missed something, but upon reflection and reading, you know you haven’t. It also didn’t help that Emily Blunt’s Kate Macer will work on your last nerve for the duration of the movie. I totally didn’t want to say that cause I really like Emily Blunt, but hell man, what a nuisance she was here, and so whiny! Sicario showcases some impressive violence – not anything I thought to be overkill, but then I have realised over the years that I do not have a very good gauge for that, I am too desensitized. Maybe someone else can comment on that. However, in the movie’s defense, it was never just gratuitous violence, it all served a purpose. I thoroughly enjoyed Benicio del Toro’s turn as Alejandro. His character fascinated and scared me in equal measure, and was shrouded in mystery. He worked incredibly well across Josh Brolin. Del Toro was definitely the big draw for me here, and he did not let me down. I wish I could talk more about the characters and what went down, but there would be spoilers, so I will be quiet instead, cause screw spoilers. All in all it isn’t a bad watch, is put together well, looks fantastic and is interesting, but it falls short of the mark at times, and seems to be striving to be so much more than it actually is.