Star Wars: The Last Jedi achieves the near impossible task of making the wretched prequels look like beautifully written masterpieces and George Lucas’ dialogue seem brilliant. It’s unmitigated crap from the very get-go.
After the obligatory text crawl, this 152-minute agony-fest leaps right into General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) pacing his bridge as he closes in on the Resistance base. Apparently, Mr. Gleeson thought he was in a theater-in-the-park production of The Pirates of Penzance. I expected him to burst into a rendition of “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General” at any moment. And then things started to go downhill fast.
It would take a novel to detail all this movie’s sins, so, for the sake of readability, I will limit myself to the most egregious infractions.
Adam Driver, reprising his role as Kylo Ren, once again fails to be even slightly menacing. There’s just no way to take this guy seriously as a Big Bad, no matter how many force powers he throws around. Even so, he comes off better than most by simply managing to be an actual character. No one else in the film accomplishes this. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Leia (the late Carrie Fisher), Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac), and vapid newcomer Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) are all soulless puppets, blandly performing their assigned tasks and reciting seemingly endless speeches. Rey (Daisy Ridley), supposedly the main protagonist, is little more than a piece of uninteresting scenery. The worst failing in this department is Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis). He has zero character development and zero backstory. Without so much as a hint about who he is or where he came from, he becomes nothing more than a stock bad guy figuratively twirling his mustache and cackling as he ties Rey to the railroad tracks.