Latest 'Star Wars' gets worst reviews in decades | Inquirer Entertainment
Close  

Latest ‘Star Wars’ gets worst reviews in decades

/ 06:37 PM December 19, 2019
Star Wars

Darth Vader and stormtroopers at the European film premiere of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” in London. Image: AFP/Tolga Akmen

“The Rise of Skywalker” was meant to provide a satisfying conclusion to nine “Star Wars” films but for many critics, its aim was as wide of the mark as a stormtrooper in a blaster battle.

Director J.J. Abrams’s return to the space saga has been slammed as unoriginal and slavishly pandering to the franchise’s rabid core fanbase.

ADVERTISEMENT

It has a score of 59% from around 200 critics on movies website Rotten Tomatoes — the worst of any live-action “Star Wars” episode since the panned prequel “The Phantom Menace” two decades ago.

The Los Angeles Times called it “an epic failure of nerve” with a “succession of cheap ‘gotcha!’ twists.”

FEATURED STORIES

“In its anxiety not to offend, it comes off more like fan fiction than the creation of actual professional filmmakers,” said Time magazine.

For The Hollywood Reporter, the movie’s “more-is-more approach ultimately leaves one both bloated from too many courses and uncertain about some of the ingredients.”

Many reviewers have compared it unfavorably to the previous installment, “The Last Jedi” (2017), now widely seen as a more experimental “Star Wars” film which critics enjoyed but which enraged a vocal minority of hardcore fans.

‘Too cumbersome’

A few reviewers, honoring the balance that is a central tenet of the Jedi Order, pushed back with their own glowing appreciations, however.

Variety called it the “most elegant, emotionally rounded, and gratifying ‘Star Wars’ adventure” since 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back”, while the Daily Telegraph in London said the film “gives our heroes the swashbuckling, heart-rending ending they deserve.”

A three-star write-up in British newspaper The Guardian noted that the “vast, hulking Star Destroyer of a franchise has become too cumbersome to pull off any genuinely nimble maneuvers, but at the same time, it never falls out of the sky.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Indiewire declared it “spectacular and uninspired at once.”

The much-hyped film has been tipped by analysts to take $200 to $225 million at domestic box offices this weekend, which would place it among the biggest openings in movie history.

“A massive opening weekend is in the cards irrespective of reviews or audience sentiment,” said Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

Positive reviews are a “bonus” but the “true test” will come when the first fans get to see the film and form their own opinions, he said.

“The long term prospects will depend on solid word of mouth propelling the film to greater and greater heights worldwide week after week,” he added.

‘Through the roof’

Hollywood’s iconic El Capitan theater, which is hosting a sold-out, back-to-back “Star Wars” marathon of all nine films culminating in the new release Thursday, said the reviews were not expected to dampen sky-high demand.

“Not really… it really is a love letter to the fans and the people who have stuck in there for these 40-some odd years to be able to see this film,” said James Wood, the Disney-owned theater’s director of special events and production.

“The Rise of Skywalker” had the longest list of people requesting to be notified when tickets went on sale of any movie in a blockbuster-filled year, added Wood.

The film opened in several markets Wednesday including France, Germany and China, ahead of its arrival in United States theaters on general release Friday.

French fan club Planete Star Wars leapt to the film’s defense following its release there Wednesday.

“The task was far from easy and satisfying every fan would be impossible anyway,” it said. “In any case, J.J. Abrams worked hard to give us the best possible conclusion to the saga and who knows… reunite the community?”

The New York Times had a less charitable view, declaring director Abrams “the most consistent B student in modern popular culture.”

The film “is one of the best (in the franchise)… Also one of the worst,” it concluded. “Perfectly middling. It all amounts to the same thing.” RGA

RELATED STORIES: 

‘Star Wars’ grips Hollywood with ‘Rise of Skywalker’ premiere

‘Star Wars’ bows after 42 years as Carrie Fisher heads reunion

The hottest entertainment news straight to your inbox

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: J.J. Abrams, Movie Reviews, Star Wars, The Last Jedi, The Rise of Skywalker
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our entertainment news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.