December 12, 2017

I’VE GOT A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS: Industry house organ Variety reviews Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

If anything, it demonstrates just how effective supervising producer Kathleen Kennedy and the forces that oversee this now Disney-owned property are at molding their individual directors’ visions into supporting a unified corporate aesthetic — a process that chewed up and spat out helmers such as Colin Trevorrow, Gareth Edwards, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. But Johnson was either strong enough or weak enough to adapt to such pressures, and the result is the longest and least essential chapter in the series.

That doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining. Rather, despite the success of “The Last Jedi” at supplying jaw-dropping visuals and a hall-of-fame-worthy lightsaber battle, audiences could presumably skip this film and show up for Episode IX without experiencing the slightest confusion as to what happened in the interim. It’s as if Johnson’s assignment was to extend the franchise without changing anything fundamental, which is closer to the way classic television and vintage James Bond movies operate than anything George Lucas ever served up.

Meanwhile, at NRO, Kyle Smith dubs The Last Jedi an “Unoriginal, Tone-Deaf Mess,” and that’s one of the kinder things he says about the sequel. But hey, not every Star Wars movie can live up to the fine special effects and operatic plotting of Star Wars: Empires are a Girl’s Best Friend.

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