Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi ★★★★

Reminds you of what this sort of thing can be with an actual director behind it instead of merely a gang of well-meaning producers. Johnson deploys a few basic narrative and visual tricks that haven't really popped up in a STAR WARS film before, along with his usual precise frames and tight technical craft, and a particular attention to emotional continuity. There's also a welcome preoccupation with collateral damage, both physical and psychic. One thing Johnson's films have never really been, though, is elegant. As in his previous stuff, certain beats here are sometimes actively clumsy, there's some serious tonal whiplash, and pacing stutters. But all of this, positive and negative, adds up to a genuinely idiosyncratic, maybe even auteurist work. Johnson may be the first guy since 1977 to make a STAR WARS movie feel like a personal one. At its very frequent best, it seems downright off-brand.

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