nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk) wrote,

The Last Jedi: Evil Hugh Hefner says hi

Anticipating a busy week, and having discovered that the Odeon is £6 Mon - Thursday, I decided that I would pretend to be doing something while actually just sitting in a comfy seat and bought myself a ticket to the final showing of The Last Jedi. This turned out to be a particularly good idea as I came down with a slight cold, and anticipating that I would have to leave in good time and could then relax kept me going through a frustrating afternoon yesterday. I had seen it a couple of weeks ago, but a second viewing turned out to be a very good idea. The things that had annoyed me a bit were less annoying when I knew they would come to an end, and the things I had enjoyed I really enjoyed. Though it still had obvious weaknesses in construction, and like a lot of films would have benefited from being half an hour shorter, I ended up liking it more on a technical level, too.

The audience

As heard, in this order, on leaving the cinema.


- So that was subtext.

- Yeah. Subtext.


- That little green guy turns up, burns down a tree, then buggers off.


- That stupid Disney ending.


Not a bad summary!


One day I shall write beautiful polished reviews, but not this day. Today, I use bullet points.

* I enjoyed it a lot. I'm not a Star Wars Fan (TM) - no action figures in childhood, first saw the complete films at the cinema when they were re-released, so although of course I'd picked up a lot about them before that I don't really feel a sentimental attachment. But I do enjoy a fun adventure film with spaceships, and I've really enjoyed the new trilogy for delivering me a fun adventure film with spaceships.

* Overall, for all the spaceships and planets and the Force, it's a very character-driven film. The weakest parts are where that gets away from it. I found the Canto Bight casino section dull: the best comment I've seen on it suggested that its weakness is that it reminds one of the prequels with its pointless chases and CGI.

* Speaking of character-driven plotlines, I don't think the execution of the Poe vs Holdo sub-plot was particularly successful, but I appreciated what they were trying to do. When Poe remarks that Holdo isn't what he had expected, one knows exactly whohe had expected.

* Someone sensible has had the First Order install some surveillance tech at last. It's still a bit baffling that a civilization that has developed Droids doesn't have remote control/autopilot, though. Those bombers don't need people in them! Or perhaps they just put a higher value on people being involved in combat than people not dying in combat. Or the Resistance could only afford the cheap version and the sophisticated electronics cost extra. Also, the First Order don't appear to have learned how to aim their guns yet.

* After two films with design that went heavy on the DW Griffiths/Leni Riefenstahl/John Martin inspiration, The Last Jedi didn't really go there. I admit that Skellig Michael looks beautiful and the plot didn't really allow for much by way of big crowd scenes and "disasterscapes" though.

* I loved the iron. I've seen the laundry on the royal yacht Britannia, which is pretty small compared to a Dreadnaught but was still coping with a ridiculous 8 uniform changes a day at times (crew were of course charged for having their uniforms laundered).

* Hol(e)y Freudian symbolism, batman! Though Star Wars symbolism never has been exactly subtle. Is that a lightsaber in your pocket?

* I am one of the people who loved the Rey/Kylo Ren dynamic. I'm not sure that I'm a shipper, because really I'd be happy with any ending. The world's most awkward ride in a lift! The terrible attempt at chat-up lines (when you're quoting what your granddad said to your uncle in an attempt to impress a girl, it's possible you're doing it wrong...*). Awkward Force Skype - who doesn't find it tricky getting to know a penpal? I liked both characters in the first film, and I like them even more together. People who each think that the other is everything that they stand against and yet find themselves working together †, and the erotic potential of corruption... Together they could bring order to the galaxy! Or at the moment, not. I'm not sure that I've seen Adam Driver in anything before, but he's perfect casting in his ability to give of a constant whiff of petulant desperation, as if he were spraying it on from a can of Lynx every morning.

*I have to link to twitter's glorious emo Kylo Ren here.

†I think that I may need to re-watch Babylon 5.

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Tags: audience reactions, film
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