Brett Schutt’s review published on Letterboxd:
H O L Y C R A P.
THAT WAS SOMETHING ELSE.
Let me take a breath, this is gonna be a long review.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is truly one of the most stunning, revolutionary and epic films I've possibly ever seen.
Hyperbole? No, it really isn't.
Rian Johnston was able to come in and direct a blockbuster franchise with a very unique vision while not sacrificing the Star Wars brand or feel.
When the opening title scroll came up, I got choked up and started tearing up, the tears didn't end for about two and a half hours.
I'll state this clearly- I adore The Force Awakens. It was my favorite film of 2015 and it's still the single greatest time I've ever had watching a movie. I got to experience Star Wars for the first time as an event, with a group of people who loved it. In that regard, I probably like Awakens more, that movie means so much to me and completely represents a point in my life where I was inspired to do filmmaking, it was my 1977 Star Wars.
The Last Jedi, however, might be The Empire Strikes Back of this series (which is totally fitting.) It's more uncompromising, unrelentless, perfectly paced and just overall an epic beyond epic proportions with stunt action scenes that can be compared among the likes of Kurosawa.
This really made me wanna binge some of those Samurai movies I've been meaning to watch for years, that's all I'm saying.
Star Wars The Last Jedi is a lot like Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in the way that it isn't a concise plot beat by beat. The conflict kinda ends up being created by the characters interactions and where they go- and I really love this style of writing. It makes it all feel so much more real, and in the moment for me.
The stuff with Luke is incredible. Mark Hamill steals this movie and gives one of the best performances of the entire year. He's able to still capture the boyish giddiness of Luke from the original trilogy while showing his hard, warrior side. I was really worried what they would do with Luke here, and lets just say I was 100% satisfied in the directions they took the character.
Talk about some risky choices throughout this as well. It got to the point where I had absolutely no idea what was gonna happen next. I was just stunned by what I was seeing. I couldn't predict this movie. This was as shocking as some sequences in Three Billboards, and this is a ACTION BLOCKBUSTER STAR WARS MOVIE.
As much as I adore The Force Awakens, it very much is a reskin of A New Hope. This isn't a reskin of anything. This feels like its absolute own thing while still feeling very Star Warsy and apart of the universe as a whole. I just love how people complained that The Force Awakens was too similar and now that this is too different. Like, you can't please everyone I guess.
Rian Johnston put his all in this and made one of the most refreshing and grand event movies ever made. I think as this ages, like Empire Strikes Back, people will look back on it as one of the most revolutionary, big spectacles that changed the game at the way we look at creating blockbuster films. I'm really hoping The Russo Brothers are taking notes on how expertly crafted every single element of this movie is when making Infinity War.
On a side note as well, a lot of people are complaining about the Casino sequence but I still love that entire bit. I think it gave us needed character development, great world building and a really interesting themes that are kinda relevant in our own society right now. I thought it was really well done.
Also, you all probably know me as a fan of creatures, Jim Henson fanboy here. All the different creatures created here and all their functions in the world were so well done and each time one showed up I got the biggest grin on my face. I loved all of them. Especially the Porgs, the world needs more Porgs.
I've seen a very very diverse reaction to this film, and the discussion will be fun. I'm here to say though, that I really have no problems with this movie. I think it is one of the most incredible, sweeping things I've ever seen and for 2 and a half hours I was lost in a world of pure imagination yet. I couldn't have loved it more if I tried, and yes, as much as I love Baby Driver and Lady Bird, this has taken the top spot as film of the year to me.
I'm gonna be seeing it in Theaters again (maybe a few times) and I'll go into specific spoilers that I'm dying to discuss now.
"May the force be with you."