Joel Lake’s review published on Letterboxd:
Caution- Minimal Spoilers Below:
Star Wars: The Last Jedi starts second after the Force Awakens ends and is the continuation of the Skywalker Saga. The Rey-Luke storyline was by far the best aspect of the film. Mark Hamill turns in one of his best performances as Luke and his mentorship of Rey was compelling and the scenes showing what led Luke to isolate himself quite meaningful and poignant. The training of Rey really paralleled Luke's training by Yoda quite well and will hopefully see this "Mary Sue" vibe go away from her as we see her evolve throughout the film in her abilities.
Adam Driver as Kylo Ren continues to be such an intriguing villain and he brings a lot of depth to his character. His interactions with Rey gave the story a lot of depth as we see some many different emotions from them and it just deepened the story going forward.
Andy Serkis continues to bring great performances to cinema as Snoke and his inclusion was menacing and push the narrative just the right amount that the film needed.
John Boyega as Finn seems to be given the Poe treatment from the Force Awakens as he is relegated to a side story and disappears from the overall story for most of the film. He also mostly interacts with Kelly Marie Tran's Rose who he shares no real chemistry with. Their storyline detracts from the narrative which annoyed many but I felt it fit well in the world so I wasn't so upset by it.
Oscar Isaac's Poe gets a lot more to do here and his evolution as a character along with his chemistry with Carrie Fisher's Leia and the opposition he faces from Laura Dern's Holdo was compelling and the heart of the film.
The decisions made with Leia especially with the passing of Carrie Fisher seemed odd at first along with other decisions that are heavily spoilerish, but Rian Johnson made those decision with the hope of making a great Star Wars that fits well into the mythology laid out, tell a compelling story and make a film uniquely his and succeeded with flying colors.
Not my favorite Star Wars film, but a damn good one for sure.
Still the mishandling of Phasma and the minimal use of Maz Kanata was kind of sad. Just saying.