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A surprisingly underrated movie. Brandon Routh is a far more convincing Superman than Henry Cavill. I was disappointed when the obvious setup for a sequel (the floating piece of New Krypton) was never followed up on. With Routh reprising the role of Superman (albeit an alternate Kingdom Come version) I wouldn't mind seeing him take up the cape again for a feature film now that Cavill has flaked out.
My very first unaccompanied trip to watch a movie in a theater was to see Star Wars: A New Hope. It was the late 1970's, I was 7 years old and I was transfixed. I rode my BMX home from the theater with visions of X-wings in my head. I started reading every sci-fi writer I could get my hands on. From Asimov to Zelazny and back with all of Heinlein's juveniles and some 20 year old Tom Swifts for good measure. Two years later, The Empire Strikes Back, and I was again stunned. Three years further on, as a burgeoning surly teenager, not so much. What the hell were these fuzzy teddy bears doing hanging out with Luke, Leia and Han? This is ridiculous. Did they make this movie for little kids? But at least there was a good ending to The Return of the Jedi, by far the weakest of the three original movies.
In 1999, Lucas began crushing out the light in my heart that he had created more than 20 years before with Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom search for more licensed merchandise revenue. Not only did he stick it to Kenner, but to his fanbase as well. I actually felt the need to apologize to the young lady I had taken out on a date for subjecting her to Jar-Jar Binks and the stilted, poorly-written dialogue that came out of the actor playing young Anakin. "Are you an angel?" I almost puked. I kept my money in my pockets for the next two films, watching them years later on DVD. I was done with Star Wars. I considered myself well-shot of George Lucas, Star Wars and the blatant licensing tie-ins.
Fast forward another 15 years. It's been almost 40 years since I saw the first Star Wars movie. They've done nothing but disappoint me since 1983. A "new" sequel is being released. I have a young daughter that I want to take to a movie we can enjoy together, even better if the main character is a young girl that she can relate to. Unfortunately, The Force Awakens wasn't great. It was a thinly veiled, mediocre remake of A New Hope with a whole bunch more "Mary Sue" added to the mix. But it was watchable, and since I went at matinee time, I wasn't even mad at ticket prices.
Then, a lightning strike. Rogue One. The best Star Wars movie in almost 40 years. Believable characters. Good story-telling. That feeling of wonder that I last felt in a tiny two screen theater in Georgia during the Carter Administration returned. I'm hooked again. Surely Disney will improve the next release, right?
All of the above is prologue for the reader to understand my brief review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and my profound and utter disappointment in it and the direction that Disney has taken the franchise.
This was possibly the worst movie that I have ever paid money to see in a theater. I say that having once actually decided to go see Tank with James Garner instead of Splash with Daryl Hannah.
I could write pages, but others already have. This is my list of bullet points. To include:
Writing so poor, that it causes you to fall completely out of the little willing suspension of disbelief that you had been able to muster.
Years, nay decades of character development overturned. Luke Skywalker as a despondent would-be nepoticide. Dying in a scene intended to be reminiscent of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the first movie, he actually fails to accomplish anything.
A main character who magically gains all the skills necessary, in a fantastically brief period of time to perform her arduous task. The sci-fi trope known as "Ensign Mary Sue" from some spot-on tongue-in-cheek Star Trek fan-writing of the 1970's.
Strong female characters mysteriously absent. Replaced by insecure, shrewish, lecturing adjunct faculty member with purple hair who berates her second-in-command for exercising initiative and questioning her apparently psychotic actions after she failed to brief him on them.
Pointless scenes that do nothing to advance the narrative, like the trip to a space casino city where the ex-Stormtrooper and the not-especially-bright technician free some space horses, abandon some slaves and muse on the horrors of capitalism and patriarchy.
I found myself rooting for the Empire.
All in all, this is a horrible mess of a movie. But I have only myself to blame. As the old saying goes,
"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" I won't be fooled again. They didn't get a dime from me for Solo, and I'm waiting for the final movie to show up on Netflix.