Bad Boys for Life
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This movie was everything I wanted. From the first time you hear Venom talk in Eddie's head to the first time you see him rise up in his full form, to the "armless, legless, faceless thing" like I was on board all the way. Our whole family loved it. Stay past the credits. Man is it worth it. I could watch this franchise forever.
SPOILERS: I sort of figure this is up late enough that everyone who wants to must have seen it by now...but still, spoilers.
Star Wars movies haven't disappointed me like this since the prequels--and even with the prequels, you could always still see the good story in there behind the lousy CG, terrible acting and writing. This movie? It's a mess, sure. But more than that it feels like it goes out of its way to insult the fans and wreck the franchise--with what feels like intent, out of malice. The character arcs of all the characters are rolled back. Finn goes from being fully on board with the Resistance to flopping around in a leaky water-balloon suit, to being a mutineer who only cares about ditching out to go find Rey. Poe gets reframed a flyboy who just wants to blow things up and spends the whole movie ineffectually trying to overthrow his superior officers. Rey goes from fierce and determined, with a real destiny she's pursuing, to utter weakness, just following along begging to be taught--right up until she doesn't need it? BB-8 is now a comic relief ninja, able to single-handedly (or no-handedly?) take out rooms full of armed guards by firing poker chips at them and commander imperial walkers without anyone noticing to clear entire bays full of walkers. And Luke--poor Luke. It turns out he wasn't headed to find the first Jedi temple in the attempt to unlock the riddle of the rise of the First Order, to figure out who Snoke was, and to be able to find a path to beat them after all. The map, as it turns out, wasn't something he left behind so folks could find him when the time was right. He's a sad old geezer now who's given up on the Resistance, on the Jedi, and who just wants to crawl away and die in the warm embrace of a green milk spewing sea-giraffe.
Which, y'know, fine. But the movie is all about space combat in the Star Wars universe, but doesn't understand how tactics work (none of the combat or plans hold together or make any sense). It's all about how rich people are oppressive and evil, but doesn't understand how economics work (selling arms to a tiny political faction is not the only way rich people get rich in a post-Empire Republic).
The comedy is absurd and cringy. It's not that there's too much of it--good comedy can all but take over in an adventure movie--it's that it's all bad and dumps cold water on whatever interest there might have been going on onscreen at the time.
But worst of all of this, it feels like they've just scorched the ground for a final movie. All the legacy characters are dead now. The final boss and his flagship are dead. The Resistance is all gone down to a couple dozen folks. All the mysteries have been wasted to a point where any answers don't even matter anymore. If they had just gone ahead and had a last fight between Rey and Kylo they wouldn't even need a third movie--because that's the only unresolved plot point left. I'm not even sure what the next movie, or any movies after this, even have left to work with.
So is it a dumpster fire? Yes it is. A big space dumpster fire. But at least do its own thing? Well, kind of. It's so intent on not being Empire Strikes Back that it sort of accidentally becomes Empire Strikes Back. They start out fleeing from a base under attack from a space fleet, end up splitting ways between a Jedi training scene where the hero confronts evil in a place of darkness and ends their training early to go help their friends and another scene set against an opulent space resort culminating with a failed confrontation with the dark lord from which everyone limps away. So yeah. There's even AT-ATs (sort of--they're gorillas now) on a snow planet (sort of--"It's SALT!"). They even do the one thing folks have been begging them not to do--they introduce another Death Star laser weapon.
It's really bad you guys. By now it's too late to help at all, but hopefully this helps you commiserate? If you're looking for good videos to help get out your ire on YouTube I can't recommend enough that you check out Angry Joe's Reasons Why Last Jedi Made Me Angry, the Screenrant Pitch Meeting for Last Jedi and Mr. Plinkett's Last Jedi Review. They are all worth checking out if you need some closure. There's also a great trailer for Last Jedi overlaid with "Hurt" by Johnny Cast that felt nice.
Here's hoping the next one is better.