Sunday, December 17, 2017

Movie Review … Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The ‘Star Wars’ movies need no introduction.  There is barely anyone on earth who either hasn’t seen or at least heard of the space saga since 1977.  It has generated a fortune for all involved with the franchise showing no signs of vanishing.  ‘The Last Jedi’ is the 8th installment in the series although there have been a few related films slotted in between.  Fans will lap this one up no matter the quality although there is no fear for anything approaching the awfulness of the dreaded prequels.  Fast, exciting and full of genuine awe, ‘The Last Jedi’ is a great addition to the enduring series.

After having finally found skilled Jedi warrior Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Rey (Daisy Ridley) is taken on a journey to become a Jedi herself.  She’ll need all the training she can get with the evil forces of dictatorial foe Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) closing in on the virtuous rebel army.  Aided by Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac) and others, Rey goes on an intergalactic adventure. Tackling the ways of the mysterious Force, her new abilities are needed to combat the power of the dark side.

One word describes ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ and that’s ‘courage’. Director Rian Johnson has gone out of the Star Wars comfort zone to generate something quite different.  There’s a new-found sense of genuine danger in the narrative with the ‘anything can happen’ feel ever present.  The cast do an amazing job in their roles, especially Ridley who makes Rey a strong heroine.  Whilst Hamill and the late Carrier Fisher are excellent as always, the focus is squarely on the new characters who hold their own against established ones.  This highlights the courageousness of Johnson’s direction as he presents a refreshing take on classic personas making events more watchable.

Although the longest film in the series, ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ moves fast.  The pacing never lets up from its opening moments with the action sequences superably realised.  This is a beautiful looking production with flawless CGI and the always fantastic John Williams providing a stirring musical score.  ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ truly embraces the epic expanses of the original premise with a story taking its time to breathe.  The surprises are genuine and add much to the tale without feeling gratuitous.  The script works on several levels but remembers to have that same light-hearted tone which appealed to audiences forty years ago.

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is one of the strongest entries in the series.  Consistently engaging and exciting, it utilises the big screen canvas very well.  The next chapter will have a lot to live up to as ‘The Last Jedi’ raises the standards by which future instalments will be judged.

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  9

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.



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