By Jacob Mello (Austin, TX, US)

 

I can’t say that this was the best movie of the franchise, but I can say it’s top 3, hands down.

I can also say, the arrogant belief I’ve held over the past ten years (that artists were in the untouchable category when it came to A.I. taking over human jobs), not only came into question during this film, but was completely demolished by the time the ending credits began to scroll. After laying witness to this monstrosity, it’s now painfully clear that the good folks at Disney have cracked the code on the formula front, and can now safely make groundbreaking art out of 0’s and 1’s.

They know exactly what they’re doing. Learning from past successes and failures they’ve exacted an algorithm that hacks directly into the dopamine receptors.

The set pieces and pops of color; The infectious characters, so archetypical they border on religious; The sidekick’s reverse engineered straight from the toy factory line; The last-minute rescues and triumphant cacophonies of cheers – All told through a cinematic world that runs three generations deep! Grab your go-bag and get the hell off the grid for good while there’s still time, or just stop trying to fight it. I don’t see a third option anymore.

In a world of Netflix and binge watching, Star Wars has us by the short and curlies. A franchise that’s essentially become a never-ending series with distilled 2.5-hour long episodes, each released a year apart. We’re not watching to see how it ends, or to find out who wins and loses anymore. No, we’re tuning in every Christmas, after 360+ days of anguish, merely to get our fix. Drug dealers don’t have this kind of job security.

With the rebellion on the ropes and so many pieces moving at once, a majority of the characters spend their time seemingly bobbing and weaving, buying time for the other plans and circumstances to align. This doesn’t come off annoying as one would think: it’s frustrating, sure, like being on the horn with an adult hotline as they prize your money out of your wallet one sweet nothing and innuendo at a time. But frankly it’s the only game in town, and we’ve all been pent up waiting on word from Rey, Finn, Poe and the gang for months and months. We damn well know what we signed up for here.

Along for the ride came a fresh crop of characters, all equally refreshing and interesting in their own right and we’re treated to some major story and character development. After last year’s installment, I was a bit disappointed on some levels, and a part of me was starting to wonder, with no end in sight, how long I could keep this love affair up. Enough of that silly talk. After this addition, masterfully helmed by writer/director Rian Johnson (A man to seriously keep your eye on!) I can safely say I’m back in my seat feeling honored and privileged to go wherever this franchise’s heading.

If you aren’t a fan of the series, first off: GET BACK YOU DEMON!!!! And second off: while I’m confident you’ll agree this is a highpoint for Star Wars as a whole, I’m not sure this will do anything to 180 your opinion. I can say, if you’re on the fence, this is the basket to put all your eggs into.

PRESCRIPTION:

Go see this movie with a big pumped up crowd, grab some Pedialyte on the way home and try not to dehydrate while you spend the next few seasons withdrawing.

Rating: 4/5

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