Movieman630’s review published on Letterboxd:
Watching Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a frustrating, if not quite negative, experience. There's an unexpected sense of sloppyness to it, a far cry from the very well put-together Force Awakens and Last Jedi. It also largely shifts gears, eschewing much of the ongoing storylines of this trilogy in favor of telling a brand new story, one which had no buildup in its predecessors. This odd choice, one of several in the film, leads to a movie that feels somewhat slapped together and empty, as though it was more concerned with appeasing angry fans than it was with making a meaningful piece of art.
Now for the good: this movie is still very entertaining throughout, avoiding the pitfall of boredom that befell Attack of the Clones and Solo. There are also some truly rousing moments, especially towards the end. In truth, the film does mostly improve as it goes along. With the setup out of the way, the characters can finally start bantering and sort of "get on with it" in a sense. It's still a very disappointing end to this trilogy, but ultimately it isn't a complete failure.