This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Andy Hampton’s review published on Letterboxd :
This review may contain spoilers.
A movie that I must describe in the only way I know how: lists.
Rashomon moment - Very cool to see this kind of thing in a movie of this size and clout, especially with regards to portraying Luke in such a negative light.
Cast - Still feels spot on in many instances with Adam Driver of particular note.
Crait - Almost everything about this is awesome, particularly the imagery of it all. Luke's foot not moving the "salt" is brilliant storytelling.
Luke's arc - Undoubtedly controversial, but Luke sinking into a depressed hermet-like existence after (perceived) failure is great and perhaps the greatest evolution of the saga. And yes, this includes the "milking" scene which I think is smarter than most realize on initial viewing; it certainly sticks with you. It makes perfect sense that Luke feels like nothing has changed since he was a child, and he feels responsible, so he just does what Kenobi did before him and ran off.
Subverting expectation - The greatest single thing for which I can compliment this movie. Luke's not a hero, he doesn't get in the X-wing and save the day, Rey doesn't have a special lineage, Rey doesn't know all the answers and defeat evil, the resistance is decimated instead of triumphant (which is refreshing considering their early victory), the (seemingly) biggest bad is dead, and the list goes on.
Risky - I think Johnson should be rewarded for taking the risks that are here regardless of how well they seem to work or not work (and I think most of them do) because it's time to turn the saga into something else. Much of the criticism lobbed at The Force Awakens was that it felt too safe, so I appreciate the willingness to change that.
Throne room scene - The fight with guards is quite a highlight because the stakes are properly set up and the characters involved are awesome
Length - Simply too long and there are too many things in it that feel unnecessary that could have easily been removed. Most of the other cons mentioned below can basically trace directly to this or in some way caused this.
Too many characters and too big in scope - When considering the original trilogy and why it is so great and I love it so much, one of the chief reasons I come up with is that the scale still feels so small despite the galactic-peril with a cast of main characters counted on one or two hands. So much is crammed in to service the "plot" that the characters we want to like aren't together and interacting like they have previously, which just really hurts. This needed to be simplified. The rebellion is scrappy, so make it feel like it. Just to name a few, del Toro's character is useless, Holdo felt unnecessary given all the other great Star Wars characters that are still around (Ackbar would have been so good in this role), Rose (as much as I like the actress and performance) is not needed, etc.
Unnecessary "Tension" - Holdo hiding things from Po is stupid no matter how you look at it. The 45-minute "car chase" in space should have been over in 10 with no inconsequential Finn-Rose side-plot. We know what's at stake, so why keep trying to outdo it?
"Casino" planet - This whole thing doesn't go anywhere.
Stagnant narrative and character development (for new characters) - As mentioned previously, the new characters we actually like are not together and don't get enough time to actually grow (besides Kylo Ren, Luke to a great extent, and Rey a little bit). Especially egregious given all the other stuff that didn't work.
Execution is lacking - Something I often thought while watching was that I liked the plotting of given elements even if the execution felt a little jarring (Leia's Force-floating, the resistance's escape from pursuers, etc.).
Humor - Some have been pretty critical of the "modern" humor that may not age, but I challenge those to watch the original trilogy with the same lens.
First Order cleanup - As noted above, way too many characters introduced but at least Snoke and Phasma are "seemingly" gone. Not going to list as a positive though because of the additions.
Felt like an ending rather than the middle of a trilogy - The democratization of the Force, Luke and Leia's likely last appearance, and the "broom boy" all feel like natural conclusions that need a bit of time before the next movie.
Overall, it feels like a 2017 blockbuster, albeit with some genuinely fascinating things and notable risks. I absolutely love the pros of this movie but the cons really make it hard to enjoy as a movie, which ultimately weighs heavier on me than my own fandom.