Most critics love the eighth chapter in the 'Star Wars' saga. So why aren't right-leaning journalists singing from the same hymnbook?
The critics have spoken. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a worthy extension to the grand film franchise.
The eighth chapter in the series currently sits at 93 percent “Fresh” at RottenTomatoes.com. That’s as good a snapshot as any when it comes to the critical community.
Here’s a sample rave, courtesy of Rolling Stone:
Rian Johnson’s middle chapter in the current Star Wars trilogy is the epic you’ve been looking for. Capped by Mark Hamill in the performance of his career, it points the way ahead to a next generation of skywalkers – and, thrillingly, to a new hope.
Redeemed in part by a solid final half-hour, The Last Jedi (henceforth TLJ) is not (quite) as bad as the prequels, but it’s like hearing 1980s hits as played by a mediocre cover band. So many elements in Episode VIII are recycled that it could have been called Rerun of the Jedi.
…writer/director Rian Johnson also borrows from the prequel trilogy’s shoddier storytelling impulses and action set pieces….
Unfortunately, we keep getting dragged away from the only emotionally resonant portion of the film to watch Finn and Rose engage in sub-prequel hijinks on the casino planet. Everything here is forced and awful, visually uninteresting and often dark to the point of unwatchability, lousy with mawkish little kids making bug eyes at the camera as we marvel at the horror of economic inequality, and drowned in an atrocious patina of truly terrible CGI.
The Daily Wire’s Harry Khachatrian dubs the movie a “152-minute long mess.”
Here are more scathing takeaways from the new film.
Nothing in THE LAST JEDI approaches the fun of Harrison Ford in THE FORCE AWAKENS.
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) December 15, 2017
There’s a moment in THE LAST JEDI where someone turns into a combination of Superman and Mary Poppins so if that’s your kind of thing please to enjoy
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) December 15, 2017
1) Here’s the thing about Star Wars movies: The initial reactions to the film are always inflated. We talk ourselves into wanting to enjoy the experience. We don’t want to pick apart plot holes. We paper over everything. I think of it as audiences wearing Star Wars Goggles.
— Jonathan V. Last (@JVLast) December 15, 2017
It’s incomprehensible to me that anyone could have the opinion that The Last Jedi was a good movie. It was not. It was terrible. I would say easily worse than The Phantom Menace.
— Leon Wolf (@LeonHWolf) December 16, 2017
The Last Jedi is a film where the longer you think about it, the more you dislike it. Came out of the theater underwhelmed, and I’m now in a place where I honestly think it was just a bad film.
— Griswold Christmas Vacation (@HashtagGriswold) December 15, 2017
You can add this critic’s pointed review of “The Last Jedi,” too.
What do the aforementioned comments have in common? They’re all from conservatives, either right of center film critics or political scribes.
The new film does offer a clunky “bash the rich” subplot. It’s hardly reason for anyone to smite the film in toto. “Jedi” features an aggressively diverse cast, a sign of our PC times, perhaps. So did the last film in the saga, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
So … why?
HiT reached out to Griswold for his thoughts as to why the right/left divide is invading The Force.
“I guess the self-serving explanation is that conservatives tend to be skeptical when it comes to Hollywood/cultural groupthink, and liberals tend to get a bit more caught up in it,” Griswold offers HiT.
One point needs to be stated but rarely is in journalism circles. Film critics, like their hard news peers, are overwhelmingly left of center politically speaking. I’ve worked as a film critic for more than 15 years. I’ve spoken to my fellow critics, read their countless tweets and examined their reviews.
It’s the truth.
The best of those critics camouflage their biases while filing reviews for mainstream outlets. Too many either don’t or refuse to acknowledge how their ideology filters into their work. The latter has gotten worse in recent years, as critics integrate their Social Justice Warrior values into their commentary.
That still doesn’t explain the ideological gap growing with “The Last Jedi” reviews. The franchise, for the most part, has remained free of the partisan bickering that consumes the culture of late. Some scribes tried to transform “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” into an anti-Trump triumph with little impact.
The new trilogy’s embrace of the term “Resistance” began before the colorfully clad resistance formed following the Nov. 8, 2016’s election results.
A key “Last Jedi” figure has made it his mission to battle the president on Twitter.
As a proud member of #TheResistance since 1977 please allow this #RebelScum to point out that losing the popular vote by 3 MILLION is far from a “landslide”. Nice try, though. #LOLandslide https://t.co/8UP7MnQWJ7
— @HamillHimself (@HamillHimself) December 11, 2017
That’s hardly the reason Bunch, Smith or yours truly smited “The Last Jedi.” For once this Hollywood observer is baffled. Happy to hear any thoughts readers have in the space below.
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