There's so much to like in this film. There's also so much to dislike, however.
- Holy crap the visuals. Great. The fight sequences are pretty fantastic. Some of the climactic scenes
-- such as when Kylo Ren and Rae face go to lightsaber town all through the throne room -- are great.
- It felt unique. Johnson's extensive use of close-ups really gave it a unique tone.
- Over all the story was solid-ish, and there were definitely parts where the opening night audience cheered.
-It's a good 30 minutes too long. As one professional reviewer pointed out, somewhere in there is a fantastic 90 minute Star Wars Movie
- The subplot
with Finn and Rose was abysmally bad and insulting. Felt prequel SW bad. Holy crap I couldn't believe how bad it was.
- By splitting up the characters, the dramatic tension was diluted. But when they get back together in the same place, man, does the film cook.
- One important moment is never really resolved
(the aftermath of Rae and Ben's fight): She just gets to the Falcon off screen. That's so silly. You can't just put the main character's story on pause and then resume it in a totally new place with an offhand comment like that.
- The humour was way too over the top and silly. Meta-awareness has always been Han Solo's job, and it just seemed out of place coming from other people.
-Trying to be cool and modern: Alongside the humour is the weird way language is used. A lot of modern vernacular and body language is used that just feels out of place in Star Wars.
- The music: John Williams is a living legend, but overall this had nothing new to offer and felt watered down.
- The tone: It didn't feel like Star Wars in the way I though The Force Awakens PERFECTLY captured the Star Wars tone. It was close, but it was it's own thing. Maybe that's fine. Wasn't for me though.
-Useless romance that seems incredibly tacked on.
Overall: I liked the movie, but there's much about it that bugged me. Some parts were FANTASTIC and others were just awful. Hammil was solid. There was very little in the way of character arcs for anyone though. It was all just kind of treading water. The film really had no pathos, ultimately. It just kind IS a Star Wars story. Felt more like Rogue One in the way it emulates Star Wars than just BEING a Star Wars movie. Also, like Rogue One, it felt more like a film about military operation than about a real adventure. Where was the adventure here? Larry Kasdan needs to write the rest of this series. His magic was sorely lacking here.
3.5 stars out of 5