Bronn Stone

The Last Jedi (Spoilers): Force-Choke or Tour-de-Force?

313 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, felice said:

Now that one doesn't bother me; it's more in line with Han's desperate fast-talking. Poe is clearly in a bad situation, and Ren ignores his babbling, instead of being undermined like Hux at the start of TLJ. Most of the comedy in the original trilogy and TFA seems pretty natural and in-character, while in TLJ it feels like it's there to make the audience laugh, breaking the fourth wall. Not just Poe; "page-turners" isn't a term that belongs in the Star Wars universe, for example, and the Porgs showing up to make Chewie feel guilty and then befriending the giant predator that murdered and cooked one of their family and moving into its lair doesn't feel natural at all. The prequels had similar problems with inappropriate comedy, but it wasn't as all-pervasive as in TLJ.

 

I'm with you that the "Who talks first?" isn't as Spaceballs as some of the jokes in TLJ, but it's still on that side of the line for me. Han's desperate fast-talking was always an attempt to talk his way out of trouble, not anything which practically dared the villain to "Do your worst!" But Poe is not desperate in the face/apparatus of Kylo Ren, he's heroically composed. Unlike the Hugs thing(s) in TLJ it doesn't result in the villain feeling like a joke character, but it still feels like a distinctly different line of humour from anything in the OT.

I suspect the scene it's meant to mirror is that of the captive Leia acting defiant in the face of Tarkin, but her insults ("foul stench", "holding Vader's leash") have a very different tone from the self-aware, post-modern, meta-gag vibe of Poe's defiance in captivity.

 

1 hour ago, Week said:

As another fanboy, I'd recommend Ex Machina -- if you haven't seen it already.

Yeah, I'm a dummy for not getting to that one yet when everything about it seems like it was custom-made for me.

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1 hour ago, Annara Snow said:

That's exactly the thing. SW doesn't need a new Vader or Palpatine, because that would be incredibly repetitive. TFA was in many ways as repetitive as possible, trying to replicate the old storylines and dynamics, including a repetition of the Death Star plot, Snoke as a cheap Emperor knock-off and Hux as a young Tarkin wannabe. The only good thing out of the obviously repetitive stuff was that Kylo Ren was not a new Vader replica, as people may have been led to think initially, but he was shown to be intentionally trying to be Vader, in the most absurd way possible, and failing. In TLJ, they fortunately got rid of most of the repetitive plotlines and dynamics, killing Snoke (good riddance), making fun of Hux, and explicitly pointing out that Kylo Ren is not Vader (after playing with the idea that Rey was going to redeem him like Luke redeemed Vader, and then showing that it really wasn't going to go down "the way you think it is": Kylo kills Snoke, but for completely different reasons than Vader killed the Emperor).

And on the contrary, I think that a silly manchild having too much power can be very scary, both in real life and in fiction.

:) I see what you did there.

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1 hour ago, Bronn Stone said:

If I want cartoons, I'll watch Daffy Duck.

Your loss. It's a bit kidified, but IMAO Rebels is better Star Wars than the recent movies.

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4 hours ago, Davrum said:

Kylo Ren's the best-constructed and best-performed villain in cinema since Heath Ledger's Joker. Better than any bad guy in any DC or Marvel film certainly (yes, including my beloved Loki). His emotionally-unhinged, super-powered school-shooter vibe is legitimately terrifying.

While I like him, I would definitely not go that far. Luv from the recent Blade Runner comes to mind as a better villain, Immortan Joe from Mad Max was also pretty swell, Fletcher from Whiplash, etc. 

He's definitely better than the superhero trash villains we get, that I'll gladly sign off on :) 

5 hours ago, Davrum said:

The first time I noticed Isaac was in his beautiful small role in Drive, then kind of fell a little bit in love with him in Inside Llewyn Davis.

 Love that film, that was my gateway drug into him as well :) 

5 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Saw this on twitter just now:

 

She lost me when one of the tweets tried to excuse Starkiller base :ack:

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5 minutes ago, Veltigar said:

 

He's definitely better than the superhero trash villains we get, that I'll gladly sign off on :) 

Vulture was a good villain.

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2 minutes ago, Annara Snow said:

Vulture was a good villain.

Haven't seen that one, so I'll have to take your word on that one ;) 

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There's stuff I'd like to say in response to some of the recent debate here - but I just don't really have the energy.

So instead, I'll make myself the target of derision from pretty much everyone on a totally different front.

I actually thought Phasma was quite ok in this movie. I agree she was woefully underutilised in TFA. I went into that movie expecting her to play a significant role and she wound up being a big fat nothing. I went into this movie not expecting anything much and found her to be perfectly serviceable. I think she got decent closure to her arc with Finn. The first movie had her initially treating him with scorn wielding significant power over him - and closed with him turning the tables on her. And if her story ended with her being thrown in the garbage shoot and dieing, she would have been the most worthless character since Boba Fett. But the logical conclusion to her story would be for her to have a final reckoning with Finn. And she got the opportunity to do so. We got a decent fight between them along with a completely bad-ass shot or her armour defelcting blaster bolts. Job done, in my opinion.

Sure, she still wasn't a major character. But, at least in this movie, I wasn't expecting her to be. Nor do I think she needed to be. The movie had plenty of other things to focus its time on. All I needed from this movie was a satisfying resolution to her conflict with Finn. And that's what I got.

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It's too bad Finn didn't use the opportunity when General Hux and Captain Phasma were together to inform Hux that Phasma also betrayed the First Order by lowering the shields on Starkiller Base.  She's actually a worse traitor than Finn, from a certain point of view.

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2 hours ago, Veltigar said:

While I like him, I would definitely not go that far. Luv from the recent Blade Runner comes to mind as a better villain, Immortan Joe from Mad Max was also pretty swell, Fletcher from Whiplash, etc. 

He's definitely better than the superhero trash villains we get, that I'll gladly sign off on :) 

C'mon, you're going to bring Whiplash into the mix? How is that even fair!?!

I did consider the awesome Fury Road and have Driver's multi-facted, multi-layered as Kylo Ren comfortably above Keays-Byrne's fun-as-hell but cartoonishly one-dimensional Immortan Joe, but for some reason didn't consider Luv. I guess deep down I consider Blade Runner 2049 a drama, like Whiplash, so didn't stack it up against the popcorn flicks. Luv is amazing though.

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3 hours ago, Rubicante said:

It's too bad Finn didn't use the opportunity when General Hux and Captain Phasma were together to inform Hux that Phasma also betrayed the First Order by lowering the shields on Starkiller Base.  She's actually a worse traitor than Finn, from a certain point of view.

That's actually a deleted scene.

And I thought Hela from the new Thor was a decent villian.

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6 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

That's actually a deleted scene.

And I thought Hela from the new Thor was a decent villian.

I liked her too. 

I think Kylo Ren is better than any of the ones being mentioned here though. 

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Posted (edited)

It was kind of meh.

It had some some good parts (Luke and Rey, Kylo, some gorgeous shots) stuff that was meandering or just plain bad.

To be fair, a lot of the problems were less of TLJ's making, but stuff that TFA had already done, and they decided to lean into rather than fix. (eg. the complete lack of context for anything,) 

EDIT: Also, the speechifying. Star Wars didn't need that. The OT didn't have it, the PT was bad when it had it. Show, don't tell. 

 

Edited by Galactus

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6 hours ago, AndrewJ said:

I actually thought Phasma was quite ok in this movie. I agree she was woefully underutilised in TFA. I went into that movie expecting her to play a significant role and she wound up being a big fat nothing. I went into this movie not expecting anything much and found her to be perfectly serviceable. I think she got decent closure to her arc with Finn. The first movie had her initially treating him with scorn wielding significant power over him - and closed with him turning the tables on her. And if her story ended with her being thrown in the garbage shoot and dieing, she would have been the most worthless character since Boba Fett. But the logical conclusion to her story would be for her to have a final reckoning with Finn. And she got the opportunity to do so. We got a decent fight between them along with a completely bad-ass shot or her armour defelcting blaster bolts. Job done, in my opinion.

Sure, she still wasn't a major character. But, at least in this movie, I wasn't expecting her to be. Nor do I think she needed to be. The movie had plenty of other things to focus its time on. All I needed from this movie was a satisfying resolution to her conflict with Finn. And that's what I got.

After 2 movies I'm still yet to understand the point of Phasma, other than to sell toys and look good on movie posters. Her and Finn are real wasted opportunities to delve into the mentality of being within 'The Empire', and their storylines and back story appear to have been thrown to the side due to lack of time or will to tell that story. 

One of the more interesting elements of TFA was Finn deserting his role as a Stormtrooper. I thought it would lead somewhere more interesting than it did in the end. Instead apart from that pointless fight between him and Phasma in TLJ it wasn't really explored at all. The fight itself just felt like a box ticking exercise, something that they needed to get out of the way. Maybe this is the problem with just handing over writing duties to new people, they don't really want to always tell the same story you did. 

 

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7 hours ago, Davrum said:

C'mon, you're going to bring Whiplash into the mix? How is that even fair!?!

Fairness does not enter the equation old chap, only victory counts :P

7 hours ago, Davrum said:

I did consider the awesome Fury Road and have Driver's multi-facted, multi-layered as Kylo Ren comfortably above Keays-Byrne's fun-as-hell but cartoonishly one-dimensional Immortan Joe, but for some reason didn't consider Luv. I guess deep down I consider Blade Runner 2049 a drama, like Whiplash, so didn't stack it up against the popcorn flicks. Luv is amazing though.

Fair points about Immortan and Luv is indeed awesome :D Thank God for great fictional villains, how bland would our entertainment be without them :) 

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I'm curious, for people who like Driver and his role, what makes him a good villain? 

I just don't see it, he's not really scary, the characterization is nothing special, I can't understand the comparison to Heath Ledger's joker, like at all.  He isn't even particularly competent.  I have no feeling that he will possibly win in the end or even that he is very dangerous.  He carries no menace.  Even granting that Vader is one of the all time great villains in cinema history, he doesn't seem to measure up, and by measure up I don't mean he has to be 'like' Vader, Smoke was lame also.  But he should still seem like a serious, powerful antagonist.   Is his appeal then really about macro commentary on arrogant boys and deconstructing the SW 'myth' so it's somehow 'fresh' to have the arch villain be a bumbling immature loser?... If so, I count it as weak sauce.  CGI Peter Cushing is 100 times a better villain to me.

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I think I'm more interested in the potential of Kylo Ren as a character and a villain than where he actually is right now. Him being a conflicted young man with something to prove and a great deal of rage inside him makes him pretty interesting and some of the scenes where he goes mad and smashes stuff up are when he is at his best. I like that he is unstable and has something to prove and a motivation for his actions. 

However, that doesn't mean he doesn't too often come across like a whiney baby, and most of the time is more irritating than scary. I don't think these movies have enough time to allow Ren to grow into the imposing villain he could have been. 

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21 hours ago, Maithanet said:

Both of those explanations strike me as even worse than what I came up with. Although I suppose "no one thought of it" works from a continuity perspective, it is just bafflingly stupid. 

I'd have bought this if the captain of the ship _and HUX_, who is otherwise a cretin, did not almost immediately realize what was happening when they were informed that the hyperdrive was spinning up.

If an absolute idiot like Hux can know what's up within mere seconds, this should be well-known throughout the galaxy far, far away.

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We're two movies in, so I am inclined to think what we see is what we'll get with the character, other than whatever final twist/end is going to be.  I know they're planning to make these SW films forever, but how much more will he evolve?

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11 minutes ago, Ran said:

If an absolute idiot like Hux can know what's up within mere seconds, this should be well-known throughout the galaxy far, far away.

I can get why they would make Kylo Ren to be an angry manchild who lacks the gravitas of Vader.  SW already did Vader, and I see what they're doing with Ren.

I have no idea what they are doing with Hux.  Virtually every scene he's in, he's made to look foolish.  He is a shouty, ineffectual joke.  Why?  What purpose does it serve to have the face of the Imperial Fleet be incompetent and foolish?  I get that he needs to have some failures (this is a Star Wars movie), but his cartoonish overacting and bumbling stupidity makes the entire Fleet seem much less threatening.  I miss Grand Moff Tarkin, Admiral Piett and General Veers. 

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14 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

We're two movies in, so I am inclined to think what we see is what we'll get with the character, other than whatever final twist/end is going to be.  I know they're planning to make these SW films forever, but how much more will he evolve?

I'm inclined to agree with you and that is quite disappointing. I liked Kylo Ren in TFA, but by the end of TLJ where he was basically still storming around in a strop like a teenager I had lost interest. If the whole of the New Order is going to get behind him then he needs to have a lot more gravitas and instil some fear in people. It seems rather silly having him in charge of anything.

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