Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

IMAX 3D is quite good! Rey force-juggling rocks and all those space ships crashing into space junk and BB8 spinning in the quicksand and the trippy editing & camerawork of the dual-location fight scenes and Kylo ripping fools in half and the Emperor's face getting the Ark of the Covenant treatment... it all looks really expensive and it really pops.

Daisy Ridley's face is lovely; something about how the edges of her eyes are framed by her lashes to make a slight upward curl that complements her lips, which have a slight downward curl on the edges. Good casting. Never got sick of those close-ups.

Shame she never displayed great sabre-fu. It's unfair to expect every action blockbuster to put their stars through months of THE MATRIX training, but I wish her moves and fight choreography had been a little more complex. She often just looks like a kid swinging at a piñata.

The spy's death scene is also a disappointment, as you consider what could have been an exciting fight/chase scene. Maybe Hux takes a random trooper hostage and turns the situation into a shootout, a standoff with collateral damage as Domhnall Gleeson gets to do more petulant sniveling in his final act as a heroic mole. Nah, it's just a quick moment with very little sense of gravity to what should have been the dramatic end of a suspenseful subplot about this surprising character turn. Reminds me of how the previous episode wasted the casting of my favorite Indonesian action stars.

When Kylo crushes the "wayfinder" and Rey screams in anguish, it should be a devastating moment, like in HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH when Hedwig tears up his bandmate's passport. Instead, of course, there's *another* "wayfinder" and the moment barely represents an obstacle in her journey. So many things have backups and clones and easily attainable alternate solutions in this movie. There's a spare lightsabre. There's another droid introduced out of nowhere who proves useful. Characters die but then they aren't dead. There are no boundaries to the way everyone communicates, no matter the distance or chaos between them. During the attack on Exegol all the pilots talk to each other and know exactly what everyone is looking at and what the targets are somehow despite minimal planning.

I enjoyed it nonetheless, though not as much as Lando enjoys flying through a fiery combat zone. Dude was laughing while his mates were being slaughtered around him. He knows exactly how low the stakes are.

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