Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Star Wars: The Last Jedi review.

Finally broke down and went to see Star Wars last night, and I can see why this thing is faltering in the box-office.

Spoiler free review has to not discus the plot. Luckily, there is no plot to discuss. Really. There's a couple of surprises in there that build the suspense (a little) but apart from the over-all pacifist, anti-organized religion message being soft-pedaled, the whole plot is in the trailer.

Being Hollywood, there's an overt anti-Capitalist message to go with the pacifism, that is also, thankfully, a subtext. They didn't ruin the movie by banging us in the face with it a hundred times, they only brought it up once.

There is a more subtle message on view throughout the movie, which is more interesting. The message is that you, the viewer, are a child. An idiot child. Someone who needs their food pre-chewed and delivered in nice bite-sized spoonfuls.
In this movie, space weapons have a ballistic arc. In space. The bullets leave the gun, arch up, then fall down onto the target.

Space weapons have projectiles moreover, that travel like bullets do. These are energy weapons that none the less fire discrete bullet-ish blobs of energy that move and shine like artillery rounds.

Space ships fly like airplanes. In space. They bank, they turn using aerodynamic forces, they have wings for this purpose.

There is air in space, most of the time. When bombers open their bomb-bay doors, all the air does not rush out of the spacecraft.  Except one time in an explosion, -then- all the air rushed out. Oh, and bombs fall down by gravity too.

There are a few more space things things like that, one really glaring one central to the plot, you'll know it when you see it.

Animals are always good. They're nice. Pet the nice funky alien animals and they will save you from the bad guys.

Storm Troopers still can't hit the broad side of a barn. From the inside.

Despite being old, scarred and bitter, Luke Skywalker is still a cocky dumbass who doesn't understand anything.

Hope will see us through. No matter how many people die stupidly, no matter how idiotic the plan is, no matter how much people NEVER EVER follow orders, Hope will see you through.

And more in that vein.

Now, it has to be said that this is a beautifully photographed movie. The CGI is flawless, the cinematography is smooth and accomplished. There are no shots of characters standing stiffly, saying their lines. Everything moves, everything is fluid.

Unlike last time, this time they managed to make me believe Carrie Fischer was Princess Fricking Leia, galaxy scouring bad-ass and admiral of the Republic. Carrie Fischer does not look like a wee sick old lady this time. It was sweet that her last part was as well done as this.

Kylo Ren still looks like Justin Trudeau, and he's still a whiny bitch.

Rey gets lost this time, her character spends a lot of time dithering and fiddling about. Strong female lead = not.

The token black dude actually gets some good screen time, and he gets a token Asian chick to riff off. The two of them form a really nice sub-plot. I don't know why it needed to be in the amazingly long movie, but it is really nice.

Lots of stuff blows up in a very satisfying fashion, even though it is very, very long. And did I mention, holy crap is this thing long.

Nice in 3D. Go see it if you're bored stiff, you will feel like you got your money's worth on length alone.

The Phantom


Reziac said...

Nit: it was established way back in the original trilogy that we have "magnetic shields" that keep the air inside open hangar bays and the like.

Side thought: Black dude and Asian chick make for an outstandingly unattractive couple.

The Phantom said...

A fair nit, well picked. Although how a magnetic shield keeps air inside an open hangar bay... handwavium!

But the question remains: gravity bombing in orbit? Come on.

Black dud and Asian chick make a nicer couple than Ray and Asian chick, and you KNOW that's where they want to go with that whole thing...

Lela said...

But with all those explosions, they didn't really need a plot, right?

The Phantom said...

That appears to be what they thought, that explosions would carry the day. But you gave it a three-out-of-five, which means rubbish on your scale, and the box-office shows them not even keeping up with Rouge One. That one actually had a plot, it was The Guns of Navarone, in space. ~:D