for Cinetalk.net

The force is not strong with this one. The one?  Writer- director Rian Johnson, who’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi is by far, far away the weakest entry of the popular franchise.

We were asked not to give away any plot twists. Anyway we can’t, the plot is too thin. One full sentence about it would give away too much. You probably already figured out Luke Skywalker is returning since Rey found him at the end of episode 7 (plus, why else would Mark Hamill do promos for it?).  So yes, that Rey girl (Daisy Ridley) will try to convince ‘Master’ Luke to get back and kick some Stormtroopers while her Rebel friends (Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, John Boyega are back) fly around in every direction. The outcome being your usual hide and seek game between good and Evil (as in Dark Side of the Force) and trying to know who’s your next of kin. Carrie Fisher is also back, looking and sounding more and more like Marlon Brando in The Godfather. Benicio Del Toro plays an unnecessary character (but plays it well). Laura Dern portrays a rebel officer going at war dressed like she’s waiting on the red carpet at the film’s premiere. The late John Mollo (the costume designer for the original trilogy) probably died last October to avoid seeing this nonsense.

So rushed are the producers to capitalize on their billion dollars investment (there is a star wars episode every breath we take nowadays) these ILM guys hire more subcontractors to rush the F/X and it shows. For instance, the things that are supposed to look organic, like this army of ludicrous chickens trying to influence Chewbacca into becoming a vegetarian, simply look… digital.  The kind of subplot sequences which takes  Last Jedi two minutes over the 150 mark. Way too long for such tiny filled simplified plot.  Boring you said? As it is Christmas season, someone should give the director this book on editing by Oscar Winner Walter Murch (he did the sound for Apocalypse Now) and bookmark the chapter about unnecessary subplots.

At this point, it would be interesting to start a sentence with ‘screenplay wise’. But sadly, when it comes to the wise parts and the wisdom of our Jedi master (Luke) everything coming out of his mouth (this filling custard called dialogues) ends up being as boring as the stuff on which the rest of the cast is also fed. And Alec Guiness was angry at Lucas in the seventies…  By the third (digital) film reel, tired of shouting rubbishes Luke tries to shake it and it gets worst. Over a period that seems like 24 hours he goes from having a real (I’m too old for this) hard time to restrain a few inept apprentices to suddenly being able to fight a whole fleet alone. Of course it doesn’t have to be logical except within the boundaries of the own mythology you create. And it fails.

Mark Hamill said in interviews he ‘initially’ disagreed with Johnson on his portrayal of the pivotal Luke (he also disagreed with Lucas for 30 years) but he was ultimately convinced. Of what? Dig me. I guess even if the Force is strong with him, Mickey’s big corporate lawyers are tougher than the emperor’s new groove.

The only sure thing is the music. John Williams was available to go on with his iconic score – otherwise we might have end up with some fast food providers of the Hans Zimmer type. And who knows, with these talks of Disney buying Fox maybe we’ll make it in time to retrieve Alfred Newman’s famous Fox logo music who used to open the original  films…

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