Review Roundup: Is The Force With STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI?
In Lucasfilm's STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.
The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Kathleen KENNEDY and Ram Bergman. J.J. Abrams, Tom Karnowski and Jason McGatlin are the executive producers.
Check out what critics thought of the latest STAR WARS installment below!
Manohla Dargis, The New York Times: "Evil is ascendant. THE RESISTANCE - an intrepid, multi-everything group whose leaders include a battle-tested woman warrior - has been fighting the good fight for years but is OUTNUMBERED and occasionally outmaneuvered. Yes, the latest STAR WARS installment is here, and, lo, it is a satisfying, at times transporting entertainment. Remarkably, it has visual wit and a human touch, no small achievement for a seemingly indestructible machine that revved up 40 years ago and shows no signs of sputtering out (ever)."
Peter Debruge, Variety: "THE LAST JEDI possesses the same reverence for the galaxy Lucas created, paying homage in all the right places (from the chills we get from John Williams' iconic fanfare to the new-and-improved walkers that appear during the climactic siege) while barely advancing the narrative. Ultimately, there's only so much wiggle room Johnson has to play with a property that seems destined to generate a new installment/spinoff every year until we die - which means that however many Death Stars or Sith Lords THE RESISTANCE manages to defeat, there will always be more, and no matter how few Jedi remain, there can never be none."
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter: "Narratively, Johnson has a tendency to create digressions within digressions, not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that as long as you're skilled enough to keep multiple balls in the air, which he mostly is. The humor does at times strike notes unusual for the franchise, more often to the good than bad, and John Williams' vigorous eighth STAR WARS franchise score never sounds rote or tiresomely familiar. Maybe the film is a tad too long. Most of the new characters could use more heft, purpose and edge to their personalities, and they have a tendency to turn up hither and yon without much of a clue how they got there; drawing a geographical map of their movements would create an impenetrable network of lines. But there's a pervasive freshness and enthusiasm to Johnson's approach that keeps the film, and with it the franchise, alive, and that is no DOUBT what matters most."
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair: "On that front, THE LAST JEDI is a pure success, accessing the molten core of its drama and grappling with it in nuanced ways. Johnson expands the psychology of STAR WARS, bringing shading and moral ambivalence to this mythic tale of dark versus light. No STAR WARS has ever made a better case for the Force than this film, which finally mends the damage done by the midi-chlorian humbug introduced in the disastrous prequel films. One could make the corny assessment that Johnson himself has tapped into this elemental magic, has learned how to tease out its true power, the ways it can manipulate and enrich the film without drowning it in pseudo-religious pretension. That's no easy feat, and for achieving it, THE LAST JEDI will connect with many a die-hard and newbie alike, I suspect."
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: "Despite the flabby mid-section of the film and its menagerie of new alien creatures that are a mixed bag (Yay, Porgs with their squat guinea pig bodies and sad Anime saucer eyes; boo to the others that look like exiles from The Neverending Story), Johnson really delivers with the third and final act. The climactic last 45 minutes of the film is as thrilling and spectacular as anything STAR WARS has ever given us. There are cool, mythic hand-to-hand battles, breathtaking aerial sequences, and one mano a mano showdown that's as epic as anything Sergio Leone ever dreamed up. And again, the film ends on a note that feels...just...right. THE LAST JEDI is a triumph with flaws. But through those flaws, it leaves us with a message as old as time. Our heroes don't live forever. Death is inevitable. But their battle, if passed down to the right hands, will continue along with their memories. Both in front of and behind the camera, Star Wars has been passed to the right hands. The Force will live on. In these troubled, angry, and divisive times, that message of resistance isn't just the stuff of innocuous tentpole diversions, it's the closest thing we have to A New Hope. B+"
Brian Lowry, CNN: "Running more than 2 ½ hours, the eighth STAR WARS movie built around the Skywalker clan is the longest under that banner and showcases an abundance of action. But despite the enormous scope and visual spectacle, too many key components of the film -- including those that have kept die-hard fans guessing and debating -- prove unsatisfying...Optimistically, THE LAST JEDI leaves plenty of intriguing possibilities for the climactic installment. But there's also the kind of room for improvement that remind us when it comes to STAR WARS, such hopes -- new or otherwise -- spring eternal."
Kara Warner, People: "Writer/director Rian Johnson's entry into the STAR WARS canon is rebelliously bold at times and full of rousing surprises, which make up for a few lulls in the lengthy two-and-a-half-hour run time. And the film's foundation is built firmly on the franchise's strong (and timely) message of optimistic resilience, which always keeps us coming back for more. Ridley's Rey and Driver's Kylo Ren leave lasting impressions here, particularly when looking ahead to what might happen in Episode IX. Franchise newcomer Laura Dern also enjoys an important scene-stealing moment as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. However nothing tops the nostalgic high delivered by the moving performances from Luke and Leia's Hamill and Fisher, made all the more memorable knowing it's the late actress's final, fitting bow in the role."
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