It's a heat-wave evening, and failing to come up with any better ideas, we settled—for a change—on what Netflix was pushing on us: the controversial newest main-saga Star Wars movie.
- Opening is bad. Lots of cringey Whedon-esque humor dialogue ("Hux v. Hugs").
- The Rey/Luke stuff is off to a bad by-the-numbers start too.
- Movie starts picking up during the casino scenes. Cool political messaging in space-Monaco, especially the two-sides weapon salesmanship.
- Yoda talking to Luke near the tree feels like the directors talking to the older Star Wars fans, telling them why the movie is the way it is.
- The Rey/Luke/Ren stuff works really well. Adam Driver lends his role a surprising amount of credibility.
- The mid-movie climax has solid fight choreography, and the way it is set up is excellent
- Some beautiful shots, purely from an aesthetic viewpoint (the cut ship, the traces in the snow).
- Some cute references ("I know").
There's also some nice symmetry in that the last movie cribbed a lot from the originals, down to the hail-mary resolution and reminiscent plot devices, whereas this one has everything going wrong and having to be rejigged anew (symbolized both in the bold plan being a huge failure favoring strategy borne out of wisdom, and the big bad swordfight at the end being ethereal).
Pleasant surprise. A fun movie with pertinent political messaging, cool plot twists and visuals. Tone down the dumb humor and silly slapstick and I basically have no complaints. It maybe falls short of what it aims for but it is not completely uninspired by any means.