First half of the film:
Second half of the film:
The movie starts off good with the suitably dramatic if not a bit predictable opening.
But then it has a big lull where the story is kinda meandering from planet to planet and it's over written and not enough time is given to the characters to "bond" in the 1st half.
But in the mid point of film with Vader shows up and we get into the second half of the film is all Star Wars fan boy porn. It's a little shameless in trying to please Star Wars fans, but for Star Wars "action" scenes this is the best Star Wars action film since Return of the Jedi. The space battles are awesome and a direct call back to ROTJ/ANH. And the Darth Vader bit at the end .... oooooohhh my. I was grinning ear to ear, not even gonna lie.
It has probably higher highs than The Force Awakens (though Rey wrecking Kylo Ren was pretty bad ass), but it is a much more uneven film. The first half of the film needs a re-write.
By the end of the film you do begin to care for the characters, but it reaches a somber climax just as you're really getting a feel for the characters, which is in part a failure of the first half of the film to properly give them time to gel.
Also the lack of John Williams' music is noticably huge, the score is bland. Well worth the admission price though. Will be seeing it again this weekend.