If you’re curious, here’s my review process.
(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there ARE MANY BIG SPOILERS in this review)
SW SCORE: 26
2.6 out of 5 🐙
OK. Let’s do this. Do you want the good news or bad news first? The bad news? You’re my kind of people.
THE BAD NEWS:
The jokes don’t land. I was in a sold-out opening night screening and I heard the audience chuckle three times. Chuckle. Not guffaw. Not laugh out loud. Not chortle. Chuckle.
The writing is mediocre, clichéd, and haphazard.
It is lazily derivative of other huge franchises. Two examples:
Kylo Ren’s Knights are a straight rip of the Ringwraiths from the Lord of the Rings except in that franchise, they are actually given meaningful screen time, an interesting backstory, and important shit to do.
The desert bikes ridden by the stormtroopers are a straight rip of the motorcycles in The Dark Knight Rises.
But it doesn’t just rip off other franchises. It steals from itself:
Leia sacrificing her life to reach out to Kylo Ren is a straight rip of Luke sacrificing his life in Episode VIII.
Kylo sacrificing his life to save Rey is a straight rip of Leia sacrificing her life…IT’S A RIP OFF OF SOMETHING IN THE SAME FUCKING MOVIE.
The reveal that Rey is Palpatine’s granddaughter is a straight rip of the scene in Episode IV when Luke finds out Darth Vader is his father.
The moment when one of Kylo Ren’s Knights…
(Also, these guys were never introduced, fleshed out, explained, or anything. This was a rich area to explore and maybe an exploration didn’t fit this movie but still, it left me wanting more info about them because all I knew about them is that they like to wear masks like their boss)
…follows a ship full of good guys is a straight rip of the scene in Episode IV when Bobe Fett follows the Falcon after it detaches from the Star Destroyer.
The scene where Rey encounters herself in a weird battle scene is a straight rip from the scene in Episode IV when Luke sees his face under Darth Vader’s mask in the Dagobah cave after killing that Vader.
THE GOOD NEWS:
So besides the NO-luster writing, the movie looks good most of the time. But looks don’t do enough.
The corporate masters at Disney will hopefully look for new talent to shepherd the next slate of Star Wars movies. I think they need look no further than the boutique studio under their umbrella. You may have heard of it; Marvel Studios? Or just let Jon Favreau make a Mandalorian movie. Or just let him do whatever he wants. The guy is Midas.
(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.
(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)
(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so
(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)