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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
 
Year : 2019
Country : United-States


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DokBrowne  [ 5.5 ]    [ add to preferred ]    [ email this review to a friend ]

I'm open to being persuaded over to the Light Side of the Force and better appreciating this farewell to the Skywalker clan, but my immediate impression is one of resigned disappointment. I'm one of those nerds who grew up watching the original trilogy a hundred times over, and I managed to enjoy the prequels, and was thrilled by "The Force Awakens", and recognize many sterling aspects of "The Last Jedi" even though the whole saga was starting to ossify for me by that point, but now "The Rise of Skywalker" has kind of taken me by the hand and guided me right out the door of my "Star Wars" fandom. I don't love the old movies any less, but my faith in this franchise and my hope for its value can finally rest in peace. It's all just a bland and repetitive amusement park ride. The first few times were exciting, but after 40 years and so many rides, who cares anymore. Do you still get a kick out of driving around in your car? Cuz that's what this movie is like. It's like driving your car to the store. From a certain perspective there's a lot you could get out of that simple journey - the scenery, the power of operating a vehicle, the freedom to go where you want, the music playing, the company you keep, the velocity of your car, wow! But on the other hand you've done this a million times and there's nothing different about today's journey to the store. Episode IX here has great special effects, likable actors, tons of callbacks, breathless spectacle, old friends stopping by to make you smile, an optimistic ideology, cool practical effects puppetry, cute little creatures and androids, momentous showdowns, long-awaited surprise plot revelations, bittersweet pauses, plenty of gif-able Oscar Isaac facial expressions, and many attempts to render everything you loved about "Star Wars" as profound as possible, plus it never once mentions midichlorians! Wow, so much to be thankful for.

Yet aside from an effective escalation of dramatic momentum toward the end (the whole movie travels at light speed actually, but only in the final act does it finally seem to matter) and a genuine investment in Daisy Ridley's character and performance, and sure the occasional delight at seeing an unexpected familiar face again, I was pretty bored by this same old journey to the store. They're serving nothing but the same old-school "Star Wars" ingredients yet again for the 3rd consecutive time in this new trilogy, some thinly disguised as "new" but not really, and no fresh ideas to absorb or mythologically amazing moments to remember (the ones that apply are all recycled from past moments, of course).

Once again I find myself wondering "what are they all fighting for? Just one side against another, for all eternity? Does either side really stand for anything? Do these people have personal lives they long to get back to after the fighting is over? If they weren't fighting, there wouldn't be a movie since it's called 'Star Wars', so it's just a depressing closed loop of infinite figurative good v evil conflict, that's all we really know about the lifestyle of these characters, that's all they're capable of existing for. For a few movies that's fine, but after decades and a whole lot of epic movies reminding us of what a small one-note universe this is, god how boring it's gotten."

Plus the script has a bunch of lazy explanations for why certain inevitable events occur, but I'll try to minimize my ranting here (just one really quick: why did that person have that sudden change of heart? Just because of what happened to that other person across the galaxy at the same time?). Also yikes on what happens to Kylo at the end. If that implies what I think it might, then what a goddamn slap in the face to him as a character. If I'm misreading the situation, as the Wikipedia plot summary suggests I am, then I'm relieved to be wrong, although that still doesn't feel like an earned conclusion for him. And give me a break on that final line of dialogue - both of these resolutions show that J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm and everyone making the big decisions for this trilogy only really cared about lionizing the old "Star Wars", at the expense of any honor for this excellent new class of characters. Kylo and Rey deserved better.

Oh and at one point late in the movie I was counting in my head how many fake deaths this movie has, 3, 4, 5--and then I was interrupted by yet another one happening! At least 6 big moments where somebody important dies in one way or another for a few minutes, until it's reversed and they turn out okay. Spoilers? Symbolic of this movie's creative cowardice, it is.

So long, Skywalker saga of "Star Wars". Thanks for sparing me the difficulty of this goodbye.

brandon   5.0  ]

 
Weighted Rating : 6.3
No. Ratings : 2
No. Reviews : 1


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