Tue | Oct 23, 2018

The saga continues in ‘The Last Jedi’

Published:Monday | December 18, 2017 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy
Daisy Ridley as Rey in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’.
This December 3 photo shows John Boyega posing for a portrait during the 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' press junket in Los Angeles. Boyega stars as Finn in the latest installment of the franchise.
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After the end of The Force Awakens, it's safe to say the films are decidedly safe. Since its return, the franchise has remade one movie, and made another as a tangential story. So, walking into The Last Jedi, I was as underwhelmed as one can be for a Star Wars film. That is to say, extremely excited, but not as excited as I should've been.

Thankfully, The Last Jedi is exactly what should have always been - picking up what feels like literally minutes after the last instalment.The Last Jedi is a very good venture in a well-paced adventure. The first 15 minutes of the film are not for the faint of heart, and it stands as perhaps the best opening to a Star Wars film yet. It only goes up from there, as The Last Jedi combines what made the previous films so iconic, all the while feeling wholly unique.

The film is a testament to expert timing. For a runtime of 2 hours and 30 minutes, it never feel as though it drags. That's not to say the film is your typical popcorn fare. There's action to spare, yes, but it's not overblown. Rian Johnson seemed to have taken note from last year's Rogue One and opted for a film that treats its sweeping epics as a backdrop, rather than the main focus.

 

FOCUS ON THE FORCE

 

The film is much more interested in its characters, their internal struggle, and of course, the force. Expect a lot of talk about the force. If you've never been a fan of the series' ill-defined, mysterious plot device, The Last Jedi is not the film for you. To that end, the film mostly succeeds at crafting an enjoyable narrative, but a few glaring moments keep it from feeling as tight as it could have been.

The Last Jedi is a Star Wars film through and through. It has all the staples that have made the series great, but at the same time, it eradicates so many things holding it down. It's by no means perfect, and at times, its plot suffers for the sake of character moments that feel unearned or needlessly convoluted. That said, the film is one of the best-looking movies of the year, and crafts images never before seen in a Star Wars film. I'd definitely recommend seeing it in the cinema.

damianmichaellevy@gmail.com