While the narrative does ultimately work, there are quite a few speed bumps along the way. The opening and ending of the movie don't belong as they utilize uninspired tropes that make you feel like your watching a completely different thing. Then there are two separate moments where the score is overbearing and ruins some genuine heart to hearts or dispirits the final act. These problems all play into a bigger issue that goes beyond Pixar films. The act of cutting off emotional resonance with a joke or music cue is used to relieve the audience of brunting any emotional work. It's a modern problem that gives viewers a pass as filmmakers only want people to cry at the very end. I wish those moments could be given room to breathe.
Pixar has always seemed more interested in telling stories than chasing digital superiority. Unlike recent Disney Animation movies, there was never an instance where I thought I was looking at something real. The more stylized approach works here as the fantasy setting ends up validating itself by the end. Even though photorealism isn't achieved here, the animation technology on display is no slouch. The hair on characters melds the abundant strands with a course look that makes it the best hair I've seen in animation. Magical effects are wonderfully rendered and realized.
Onward is the best thing from Pixar since Up. It has the heart, it looks great, and my entire theater clapped... twice. It's a safe bet to take the whole family to when it comes out on March 6, and everyone will have a good time. Children and adults laughed, awed, and the adults teared up. I hope this is a sign that Pixar will go back to making moving animated stories that hit the mark. Not only would audiences finally be going to movies that are worth their time, but the whole industry would benefit too.
I hope this isn't an Incredibles 2 moment where I really like it then realize its not that good
The Rise of Skywalker is offensive because it was boring; it's terrible because the plot doesn't make sense. You don't need to bring up the rest of the series to prove this is a bad movie as it dies on its own merits. For the first third, I was having flashbacks to 6 Underground and how the continuous cutting and nonstop pace made it hard to settle in for the over two-hour runtime. The Rise of Skywalker is in a hurry to get itself over and done with as its breakneck pace never slowed down. Characters are continually jumping to their next objective as so much grown has to be covered.
While trying to erase everything that The Last Jedi stood for and having its own story, The Rise of Skywalker doesn't take the time to get everything right. It's sloppy, rushed, and offensive. In the place of substance, it relies on blatant uses of nostalgia in a weaponized form. Continually using music from the original trilogy to try and cover up everything wrong with the movie. I would go, "I remember liking this song, and it meaning something." It continually mines past films as a cheap party trick, and when it finally gets to its own story, all hell breaks loose.
The villain in this turd on fire is ridiculous. The way all of the antagonists are setup is a tragedy. The leaps in logic for Rey and her abilities in the force are unfounded. What ends up happening to certain characters is complete bullshit. Pretending like this is ok, that it would be fine to accept what has happened as normal, would be a mistake.
It surprised me that I wasn't angry while watching this movie. I usually can get irritated if a film gets on my nerves, but that didn't happen here. I think JJ Abrams's greatest accomplishment is that the presentation is good enough, so the only emotion I had was boredom. I was utterly bored, and none of the humor worked for me. Some will say that this is a hilarious movie, but if the stakes in your film don't matter and I don't care what's happening, then I can't laugh when forced humor is thrown at me. I genuinely laughed on three separate occasions, which is very low for the sheer volume of jokes that is put in every scene.
The actors tried to do a good job with the material that they were given. I think they were collateral damage in the decisions that were being made. They, along with fans, were wronged so they should not be blamed. Just because their characters suck, doesn't mean its their fault. Please do not harass them online for the failure that is this movie.
I can't believe I'm about to say this. Rise of Skywalker is the worst movie in the Star Wars franchise. While there are tons of technical and presentation problems in the prequels, there were still aspects to them that breathed life into the franchise. The Rise of Skywalker is devoid of any magic; it doesn't feel like the same thing. I can't think of one scene that you could watch on YouTube, and all of the music is ripped out of the old movies. This is bottom barrel stuff, and I couldn't watch it again. Star Wars is dead as a movie-going experience, and while I might have to see the eventual follow-up to review, I won't take pleasure in doing it.
There is no reason to see the movie if you are not a die hard fan, don't waste your time
by absurd dialogue. In second place again is Gillan as she continues to be the rock that is the foundation for the story. Since the cast expanded for the sequel, it would be remiss not to acknowledge Aquafina, who, at the ending of the movie, does the best acting.
Everything else just doesn't work. The story is worse this time around, which completely boggles my mind. There is too much filler, which usually comes from scenes designed to make the audience laugh without any actual substance. It can all be traced back to the plot's inability to have motives for its characters' actions. This lack of direction that slows everything down brings the pacing to a crawl. Instead of being a tight fun movie, Jumanji: The Next Level ends up being a frustrating experience that is nowhere near as enjoyable.
I know that for some viewers, the changes made to characters and pacing won't be a problem for them. But I would implore them to ask if the sequel really is as good as the first. It honestly felt like I was on an amusement park ride as I was whisked to different locations with little prompting. Though there are some funny moments and there is fun to be had, it just doesn't come close. It's not like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was an impeccable movie that knew what to do, but it was better than this. I was very excited about this film; I thought that I was going to get more of everything I saw from the first, and in a way, I did. Since the ending hints at a third Jumanji movie, I would like to advise for that not happen. They should have focused on this installment being fun instead of trying to make a Jumanji franchise.
It's time to stop