After seeing the unbelievable rating of this movie, I have never felt further removed from the average Star Wars fan.
I wasn't a fan of The Force Awakens, feeling it was derivative of previous Star Wars movies. But, in spite of my distaste for the movie, I understood what there was that people liked about it. It was nostalgic to see old faces. Rey, Finn, BB8 and Po were each likeable characters that I felt worthy of leading future movies. The action and effects were excellent. There were hints that we were going to see more with the force in future movies. Most of all there was promise. Therefore, yes, I get how people can see that movie in a different light to how I see it.
But this? I just don't get it.
The Last Jedi was so tedious that were it not a Star Wars movie, I would have walked out of the cinema within an hour. I'm not talking about a slow burn here, I speak of unrelenting tedium and mediocrity. There are fundamental problems at the story level that made it impossible to get hooked by this movie and should have been fixed long before it went into production. The pace was glacial, and when things finally happened, they were anticlimactic at best.
Talking of fundamental problems at pre-production levels, why don't we talk about the script. Not only is the story underdeveloped and poorly plotted, but the dialogue is attrocious. When it's not being cheesy and cringe worthy, it is more wooden and unbelievable than even what we saw in the prequel movies. There was cheese in the original trilogy dialogue, but it was earned off the back of powerful characters, great performances and other genuinely inspired lines.
Being as there are such strong problems with the story and script then, it is hard to hold the actors at fault for the lack lustre performances in this movie. All of the acting fell flat in The Last Jedi. None of the emotion (what litlte there was) felt real to me, and as such I just didn't feel any steaks to get me hooked.
*** Now we move into serious spoiler territory... you've been warned. ***
I am not an editor, but even I could easily cut a third off this movie with a single paragraph. If when Po first confronted the admiral about her plan she had simply explained it, Finn's entire storyline could have been cut from the movie and they would have ended in the same place. Finn would have no need to go off on his hunt for the 'Code Breaker' and the story would have been tighter for it. I get that the film makers didn't want to give the plan away to the viewer, but considering that part of the movie takes up the majority of the second act, it is a really weak premise to hold to. Not only this, but if you cut away this farce, the movie would have been considerably shorter, much cheaper, and the pacing would have been infinitely more bearable.
Now let's move onto Snoke. You know, this strange being that was teased in The Force Awakens as the next big thing and has sparked so much speculation in the Star Wars community for the last two years? Yeah, that guy. Well he is little more than a plot device. Insanely powerful in the force, yes, but a plot device none the less. He exists only as a way of bringing about Kylo and Rey's story which just made their story seem artificial and forced. So there's another third of this movie wasted.
So the last third of this movie is the Luke Skywalker and Jedi story. Surely that's going to make up for it, right? No. Sadly not. Luke has returned to the spoiled, flawed character of the first movie who just wants to sulk about the fact that he cant go off with his friends to pick up some power converters. There's even a moment in the movie where Yoda actually points this out. That means that it was a conscious decision to tear down the protagonist of the original trilogy that has spawned 4 decades of love and an enormous universe of stories. The decision to do that boggles the mind.
Basically, this movie was a mess from beginning to end. It gets 1-star for the visuals (though there was a lot of bad CGI in this movie), and one more star simply because I don't think this movie is the worst movie in cinematic history. It's watchable at the very least, which is reason enough for that second star.
I certainly have no hope for the new trilogy Rian Johnson has been employed to write.