Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
Cast: Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Carrie Fisher, Billie Lourd, Andy Serkis, Oscar Issac, Laura Dern, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kelly Marie-Tran, Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Daniels, Warwick Davies, Frank Oz, Jimmy Vee, Joonas Suotamo, Adrian Edmondson, Mark Lewis Jones, Hermoine Corfield.
You can’t keep a good franchise down; lord knows they tried with the release of the much maligned episodes one and two of the Star Wars saga, but no matter what, eventually the licence to entertain and print money, sell merchandise and hopefully the true point of making a good story realised on screen will see the series continue.
For a series that has been either one of utter brilliance or descending so low that the sound it makes from inside the barrel is painful on the ears, The Last Jedi sits happily and thankfully towards the top end, but that doesn’t mean it is without its faults.
Some of the casting, especially in those to whom the two latest films is their first foray into the run of films, is inspired, their presence adding great depth to the universally loved characters already having been part of this cinematic world. Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, John Boyega are now joined by Benico Del Toro and perhaps surprisingly by Adrian Edmondson, a man to whom nothing bad can be said but just seems right at home on screen working with Domhnall Gleeson.
Where the film perhaps touches the realms of injustice to the fan then it does so with remarkable tenacity, almost mind bogglingly with absurdness in its heart to just prove a point on how infallible some aspects of Star Wars are, how some characters are to be seen as Gods and not mere mortals with a few extra gifts up their sleeves.
That said there are moments of pure genius, the continued antagonism of manipulation and the hand in belief of hope between Daisy Ridley’s Rey and Adam Driver’s Ben continues to be a highlight across the entirety of the film’s 40 year cycle, Mark Hamill bringing a light of introspection to the proceedings and the tenseness of his all round ability to play what could be a depressing scene with a sense of pure comedy, the ever brilliant Andy Serkis’ portrayal of Snoke and the evolving of Domhnall Gleeson’s character General Hux.
These are the times on screen to savour, alongside the epic battle scenes and the attention to detail in the way that the world itself has become and the mirror it holds up; you can’t undo the pieces that make your senses rage and cry foul but you can appreciate the art that has gone into making The Last Jedi.
Towards the top end of the franchise’s offerings, some moments of cinematic brilliance which will have the fan no doubt excited for more and the 40 year cycle will continue onwards. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is flush with anticipation and story-telling.
Ian D. Hall