Rise Of Skywalker worst-reviewed Star Wars movie since Phantom Menace, Latest Movies News - The New Paper

Rise Of Skywalker worst-reviewed Star Wars movie since Phantom Menace

LOS ANGELES : The Rise Of Skywalker, which is currently showing here, was meant to provide a satisfying conclusion to nine Star Wars films.

But for many critics, its aim was as wide off 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.

It has a score of 58 per cent from around 200 critics on movie website Rotten Tomatoes - the worst of any live-action Star Wars episode since the panned 1999 prequel The Phantom Menace, which scored 53 per cent.

The Los Angeles Times called it "an epic failure of nerve" with a "succession of cheap 'gotcha!' twists".

Added Time magazine: "In its anxiety not to offend, it comes off more like fan fiction than the creation of actual professional film-makers."

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 unfavourably to the previous instalment, 2017's The Last Jedi, now widely seen as a more experimental Star Wars film which critics enjoyed but which enraged a vocal minority of hardcore fans.

However, a few reviewers pushed back with their own glowing appreciations.

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

The much-hyped film has been tipped by analysts to take US$200 million (S$271 million) to US$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. - AFP/REUTERS