This profanity-laced review of The Last Jedi by novelist Larry Correia is far superior to the movie itself, as it is not only more entertaining, logical and emotionally satisfying than Rian Johnson’s curious act of cinematic arson, but it should be required reading in film school for its astute analysis of the movie’s many unforgivable sins. Here’s a sample:
While I’m still on characters, the greatest example of Rain’s fucked up perspective of how to use even the 2nd tier characters… Holy shit.. Admiral Motherfucking Ackbar.
Think about this. Everybody in the world knows Admiral Ackbar. I could hop on a plane to Kazakhstan right now, get a rental jeep, go up in the mountains, find a goat herder in a village that doesn’t have electricity, show him a picture of Admiral Ackbar, bad ass lobsterman, and that goat herd would immediately shout IT’S A TRAP!
Admiral Ackbar has transcended being a character to become a cultural icon. He’s like the #1 meme on the internet. Everybody loves Admiral Ackbar.
Now watch as Rian Johnson pisses in your eyes.
He took this cultural icon, this HERO, and capped him so casually that I wasn’t even sure what happened. Like, wait, what?
But not only that, in this dumbfuck plot some assholes threw together after smoking way too much weed, there’s another new character, Admiral Evening Gown, who struts in and does everything that he easily could’ve had Admiral Ackbar do, big heroic sacrifice moment and all that jazz, but nope. Fuck Ackbar, and fuck your memories. Here’s this totally unlikable new character.
It’s true. Look, I’ve never been a Star Wars nerd, but the movies were part of my childhood, and it’s annoying to see familiar characters die meaningless deaths or otherwise be humiliated or defiled by some punk filmmaker who thinks he’s being clever and subversive. That sort of casual subversion of expectations might “work” in a black-and-white indie film, but in an epic space opera it’s just rude. And that’s not even the movie’s worst crime, as Correia explains:
Despite Rey being the best at literally everything in the universe EVER, there were some possible character arcs that could’ve been taken after TFA. But nope, Rain is SO EDGY, but he couldn’t possibly do anything to humanize the uber character. Same with Kylo. One of the only things I’ll give this movie is that at least he was more interesting that the mopey emo crybaby they made him in the last one.
You could not possibly write a more boring, featureless character than Rey if you tried. What a waste.
Characters it’s all about rooting for someone. When your characters do nothing but stupid shit, it’s hard to root for them. Your antagonists need to be menacing, not clowns, or worse, just thrown away! (hey, Snoke is interesting… and never mind…). Or Phasma. Hey, wow, she must be super bad ass to have the silver armor and…. Garbage chute… Maybe some menace this time and…. Oh fuck it.
The Ewoks had more character than this. AND THEY COULDN’T BLINK.
As for plot… The Last Jedi freely violates the established rules of the Star Wars universe (this is bad):
Then we’ve got the scene with the space bombers. Because gravity totally works in space… What the hell was that nonsense?
The plot doesn’t even make a lick of sense:
There’s this thing in writing, where you couldn’t have a plot unless the characters are really stupid. You see it mostly in low budget horror movies. Where if the characters were smart, they wouldn’t get in trouble, but instead it’s like hey, there’s an axe murderer, let’s go off by ourselves to smoke pot and have sex. Yeah…. That’s this level of writing. The plot only exists because all the characters are too stupid to live. […]
So then we’ve got this absurd subplot where Fin and Rose go off to get some specific hacker on casino planet. Except remember, the whole goal was to get somewhere to send a message… Why doesn’t Fin just send the message on Casino Planet?
But anyways, let’s shove in some hamfisted message about the military industrial complex or WTF ever that was supposed to be. (Trust me, before I was a writer I was in the military industrial complex, it’s relatively boring, and I never once got to swim in a Scrooge McDuck style money vault). But then they rescue space horses, and after all that recruit the totally untrustworthy guy who like totally won’t betray them… And the only reason they got caught was because they parked their shuttle someplace stupid.
Seriously, bad horror movie writing. If Fin and Rose had taken a break to get high and make out in the forest and then gotten killed by an axe murderer, it would have made just as much sense as this shit. When teenage characters make those kinds of decisions in movies like Night of the Demons, the audience gives it a pass, but when a bunch of supposed military rebel professionals do stupid shit like that, the audience groans.
As for the spectacular scene where Laura Dern goes kamikaze on Snoke’s flagship:
Let’s break this down, and why it is so obnoxiously, incredibly, painfully stupid.
If you can take a cheap ass freighter and easy button instakill an entire carrier battle group, then why haven’t they done this in any of the previous movies? Why fly down the trench of the Death Star? Or into the interior of the 2nd? Why have big fleet battles at all?
In writing, this is a basic fuck up that you usually see from newer fantasy authors.
Here’s the scene by the way:
(I note in passing that John Williams, who wrote the score, is still
going strong doing okay for a guy in his mid-80s. Much respect.)
Yes, it’s pretty. The problem is that The Last Jedi throws any pretense of coherent storytelling and characterization out the window. It’s just a bad movie, and the scale and intensity of its badness has comprehensively destroyed what remains of the world’s most valuable film franchise.