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The Phantom Menace can be easily brought down to a 1/10 film if you were to simply dissect it like Red Letter Media did, and if I were to see it again I'm really not sure how I would rate it. But as it is now, I think it's okey. It's an okey film. It does have its fair share of cool moments. The whole Darth Maul fight is a stand-out scene from the whole franchise, and John Williams score during that part is amazing. I also think that the actual pod racing is gripping, despite the things leading up to it is a bit dull.
The problem with The Phantom Menace is mostly two things. If you look behind the obligatory comments about bad acting, writing and directing. The problem is that Lucas was too ambitious for his own good and don't realize his limitations, and that he felt the need to explain absolutely everything. He just tries to grasp over so much that it turns into an absolute mess, and seeing as he is very limited when it comes to writing and directing, he doesn't make it work. The last part of the film is trying to balance four different stories. It's an ambitious task, but he is quite simply not up for it. The result is that there are only portions that are entertaining. The pacing is uneven. Lucas is at his best when he is restrained to telling smaller stories with a limited set of characters, like he does in A New Hope.
Attack of the Clones improves upon a few of the weaknesses in , but it is still plagued by many of the same things, while adding one massive cardinal sin to it. The romance between Anakin and Padmé is horrible. It first and foremost shows George Lucas limitations as a writer and director. While he's great at creating an universe, dialogue has never been his strongest asset. This is painfully obvious in Attack of the Clones whenever Anakin tries to express his feelings. It's all made worse by the fact that Hayden Christensen delivers one of the worst performances ever in a film of this caliber. Awful acting combined with bad writing is rarely a good mix. Add to that the chemistry between him and Natalie Portman is basically non-existent, and you've got yourself a huge mess. At least Portman is very hot in this film. Her midriff is just... wow.
There are however enough moments in it for me pass it along as fine entertainment. The action and spectacle is possible a bit drawn out, but as a fireworks show it works pretty well. I do like the slight mystery that Obi-Wan has to uncover as well. It's a welcome distraction from the romance. Again, the rating would probably go do down if I saw it again, but not intending on doing that.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
While being a perfectly adequate action film, Solo can't shake off the feeling that it is redundant. The story offers no surprises and it goes more or less everywhere you expect it to go. Here's how Han got the name Solo, how Han and Chewbacca met, the Kessel run and so forth. It connects all of the dots that the original trilogy left open and it leaves nothing to the imagination. It's essentially just jumping from one event it's obliged to tell to the next one. At the center you have a very traditional and generic heist story that only feels like a Star Wars film in name and references, and not much else.
Alden Ehrenreich does his best in trying to capture the spirit of Han Solo, but he is ultimately brought down by the fact that he doesn't posses the natural charisma of Harrison Ford. Donald Glover does a fine job in copying Billy Dee Williams as Lando. The rest of the cast is just fine. Which is what you can say about the majority of the film. It's fine. The action is competently shot. The music, while feeling a little less inspired this time, is still fine. It's certainly a film that's been put together by people who know their craft. The problem lies entirely in that the story they decided to tell was a story that would have been best left untold.
After leaving the cinema for the first time after seeing The Last Jedi, I felt slightly underwhelmed. So upon hearing that a lot of people seemed to like it a lot more after a second viewing, I decided to go watch it again. It didn't help. The Last Jedi is an okay film. There are several good moments in it and it does some interesting things with Luke and Kylo Ren, yet the overall experience is brought down by a huge number of glaring flaws.
The most obvious one is that the film doesn't seem to know what to do with several characters. Finn, Rose, Poe and even Leia feels completely superfluous to the overall story. The main meat of this Star Wars film lies in the exploration of Rey and Kylo Ren's relationship, as well as our reunion with Luke Skywalker. Writer/director Rian Johnsen does a few interesting things here and he does a good job in subverting our expectations when it comes to them.
Yet the film constantly distracts from that because they have to go to whatever Finn and Poe is doing. Their storyline is boring and repetitive with plot holes and illogical character decisions. It also ultimately means nothing. Particularly Finn's subplot is atrocious, with him and Rose's visit to Canto Bight being reminiscent of the very worst from the prequels. This is a shame, as Finn was one of the more interesting things with The Force Awakens.
I like that The Last Jedi more or less spits in the face of those who've spent countless number of hours trying to make up weird theories in regards to certain characters back stories and so on. I appreciate that the film dares to go in another direction than what the fans wants them to do. This specifically with Luke Skywalker and Snoke. Snoke's death was extremely satisfying and it served the character development of Kylo Ren well. It was also nice to not get another Darth Sidious. Luke's death, on the other hand,
falls in the same trap as Han Solo's death from The Force Awakens, in the way that it fails to provoke the emotional reaction it should have. Instead it just passes as a thing that happened.
It does look very good. The visuals are nice, the music is wonderful and some of the action is spectacular. The porgs are cute. Overall, it's fine. It's somewhat interesting. But it should have been much better.
It's been two years since I saw the prequel trilogy, so I'm not that much against it as most people seem to be. I do appreciate that George Lucas tried to do something new and original with the, and despite all of his shortcomings, he has still directed some film that are mostly visually pleasant (despite all the CGI) with a few cool moments in them.
Anyways. Revenge of the Sith is easily the best of them. It might be because the story naturally got a lot darker, meaning that there wouldn't be too much room for some of Lucas childish humour, but the result is nonetheless a solid film. The romance between Anakin and Padmé is slightly cringe-worthy. Hayden Christensen's performance, while not being as awful as it is in Attack of the Clones, is still not on the level he should be to deliver that forceful performance this role need in this film. His decision to join the dark side is also a bit clumsily written, and while I do buy his basic motivation, there are nuances there that doesn't work very well, and it sort of diminishes the coolnes of Darth Vader. It is also hampered by weak dialogue, absent directing, dull performances and that it tries to connect too many things to the original trilogy.
I do like the ultimate confrontation between Anakin and Obi-Wan. The whole trilogy have leaded up towards it, and while the fight scene certainly is a bit overlong and ridiculous in its overkill of CGI spectacle, there's still a hefty amount of emotion to be found in it. The film is generally full of moments that I remember as being pretty cool. I like the scene-chewing that Palpatine does throughout the entire film.
My rating for this film is probably a bit higher than what it should be, and while there's only one half star between Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens I feel it's necessary to point out that there is a huge leap in quality from Revenge of the Sith to The Force Awakens. The Force Awakens is a much, much better film. But as I've got no plans to re-watch the prequel trilogy any time soon, I'm sticking with the rating I gave it upon revisiting it two years ago.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Rogue One feels like fan fiction. For better and worse. It's different from the rest of the franchise as its tone is very reminiscent of a gritty war film, yet at the same time it's all too similar in that it puts in a lot of familiar elements, characters and unnecessary references. That's not to say that it isn't entertaining. Because it is. The action sequences in this film are spectacular and the last act is thoroughly entertaining. The visuals are spectacular and the music is wonderful.
The biggest flaw of the film is however the characters. Aside from Felicity Jones, who I think delivers a hardcore performance as a very nuanced character, none of the other characters manages to stick out and are instead reduced to superficial elements that'll have you to only recognize who they are. But nothing beyond that. Ben Mendelsohn puts in a solid performance as the bad guy, but he feels under-utilized. The plot of the Star Wars films have always been very simple and straight-forward. This is also the case with Rogue One. The plot is simple and fan- fiction-y, and there are no overall themes and ideas in it that manages to stick around once the film ends. So it needs the characters and action for it to be able to work. The action is top-notch, the characters ain't unfortunately.
That being said, I think Rogue One is totally fine. It's not as good as I would have hoped it to be, but it's certainly not a bad film either. It's solid. It's a solid entry in to the Star Wars franchise and it's a solid war film on its own. There's a bit too much fan service and reliance on nostalgia for it to reach greatness and the characters ain't properly developed. But in the end, it's very entertaining.
After the prequels trilogy, it was clearly important to bring Star Wars back to what it was. Just to kind of remind us of why we love Star Wars, and in doing so, J.J. Abrams have essentially remade A New Hope, at least if you look at the biggest brushes. Which is not necessarily a bad thing as it sort of let them put the biggest focus on the characters, new and old.
Because the thing that The Force Awakens really gets right is its characters. Not only is Harrison Ford really bringing it home as Han Solo, but every new member of the franchise is great. I absolutely adore Rey (is there anyone out there who doesn't have a crush on Daisy Ridley now?), and I think that her chemistry between Finn is amazing. They're instantly likeable, funny, charismatic and relateable. When things happen to them, you feel real emotion. So it manages to capture the essence of Star Wars. Fun and emotionally engaging characters in a massive space adventure.
I've also grown warm to Kylo Ren as the villain. He represents some sort of a change from what we usually see from most of your typical villains, and manages to distinguish himself enough from just being a Darth Vader clone.
Besides the characters, the film looks and sounds awesome. The visuals effects are amazing, and I love the fact that they've gone back to the visual style of the originals. The action is great, the pacing is fast and there's never a dull moment. It's also very funny. Probably the funniest Star Wars we've had. I was surprised by how many of the jokes actually landed. BB-8 in particular is comedic gold.
The Force Awakens is of course flawed. It does mimic a few too many plot points from the original trilogy for it to be put on the same shelf as the original three, and there's one very important scene that I feel could have been handled a lot better. One that didn't strike me with as much emotion as it should have done. There's also a scene in the middle that feels slightly out of place. But besides that, Star Wars is truly back. There are several other positive things I could (and should) have mentioned, but I'll settle on this. It did exactly what it should do, and because of that, it's great.
Most people seem to think that Return of the Jedi is a lot weaker than A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, due to increased silliness with the ewoks and some retreading of the plot from A New Hope with the second Death Star. But I don't have any issues with those things here. The ewoks are mostly just adorable, and the destruction of the Death Star is mostly just a scenery for the real drama, which is the moment that the whole original trilogy have been leading up to. The final confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader.
The original trilogy was ultimately about Luke's journey to be a hero, and about Vader's final redemption. This film couldn't have handled that any better, as every part in the Emperor's throne room is extremely powerful, with Luke unleashing his rage on Vader being the most powerful and the best scene in the whole franchise, and one of the greatest character moments in film history ever.
One side-note. Leia is freaking gorgeous in this film. Not only is she's incredibly sexy in her gold bikini, but throughout the rest of the entire film she's just insanely beautiful.
There's not really that much left to say about the the very first Star Wars film. It might be a bit flawed due to George Lucas inability to direct actors and write proper dialogue, but for all of its flaws, everything is elevated to a level beyond awesome due to George Lucas amazing vision, simple story of good vs. evil, world building and its engaging characters.
The story and premise of Star Wars is actually very simple, but it's made so easy to fall in love with because of the fantastic storytelling and because we're constantly given reason to care for our heroes. This is a film that is so successful because it knows the importance of crafting characters that you can emotionally connect with in one way or another, and enjoy seeing them on the screen. Star Wars is fun entertainment in its purest form, and a terrific way to kick of and establish this wonderful universe. Then there's John Williams score. Which is just outstanding.
The Empire Strikes Back takes everything that was great about its predecessor and cherishes it, while massively improving upon the flaws that it had. Much of the weak dialogue and directing that slightly detracted from the joy of A New Hope is gone, leaving The Empire Strikes Back as a very strong film, and a perfect sequel.
It have always been my favourite Star Wars film. It's just so filled with emotional and iconic moments that I find myself getting goosebumps every time I see it. It's just so great. It's storytelling and character development at its absolute finest. Even characters that just appears in a few scenes manages to leave a huge impression. Which is why Boba Fett is one of my favourite characters in any medium. I love The Empire Strikes Back.
Ranking the Star Wars films in a worst to best order. I am not including the animated stuff.
8 votesFilm Franchises Ranked (9 lists)
list by Bml93
Published 3 years, 9 months ago
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