Film Reviews

The Last Jedi: Flawed But Entertaining

After much reading and extensive discussions with close friends and family I decided to reverse course and went to see “The Last Jedi” last night. Tuesdays are half price everything so I had nothing to lose but time.

I believe I know what the problem with the “audience’s” reaction to the film is (at least the segment that’s screaming blue murder) they’re Star Wars nerds.

They’ve probably read every Star Wars book and “graphic novel” ever published. (We called them comic books in my day. It’s basically the same difference between a janitor and a “sanitation engineer”, same thing, but it sounds better.)

The bottom line: These people set up rigid expectations for this film and when it didn’t meet them or in their universe “follow canon” then in their eyes the film was a failure. Subsequently they felt the need to do everything in their power to destroy it including “trolling” sites like Rotten Tomatoes. To a large extent they’ve succeeded. The numbers are no where near where they should be for this type of outing. Many have also said they will never see another Star Wars film again. To that I say, good riddance to bad rubbish.

The originals are nothing more than “popcorn films.” Movies designed as escapist entertainment, nothing more, nothing less. Truth be told the whole concept is no more than a modern update of the “Flash Gordon” serials of the 30’s and 40”s right down to the stolen credit crawl. It’s sad that some people’s daily existence is so tied into something like this. As William Shatner so eloquently put it, “Get a life!”

From the perspective of the casual fan I found it to be quite entertaining. I didn’t nod of once and that’s saying a lot. The only major problem I had with it is the same problem I had with “The Force Awakens”, the villain is not compelling.

I care nothing about “Kylo Ren” aka Ben Solo. It doesn’t matter to me if he “sees the light” or not. He’s an annoyance, a piss ant, a “bad seed.” That is the series major flaw. Since he was apparently no good to begin with, there’s nothing to redeem.

A good villain needs to be more than a one dimensional character and films like this are only as good as their villains. You have to have a proper bad guy for the heroes to play off and he ain’t it. (Also he comes across as a “closet case” which I think is intentional on the part of Disney in order to appeal to another demographic.) Even the other bad guys in this movie are clearly annoyed by him.

All that being said, it was a good two plus hours distraction from everyday life. I didn’t feel ripped off and I will go back to see the third installment provided, I’m still alive and kicking.

Image Copyright Lucasfilm LTD

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