I liked the movie when I saw it in theaters, and liked it again when I just rewatched it on Netflix a couple days ago. Certainly it has some flaws, but so did all the Star Wars movies. I can only assume anyone who thinks it’s worse than the prequels must be OK with cringe-inducing dialogue, terrible pacing (Canto Bight has nothing on the whole Pod Race), and way too many instances of “whoops, we somehow wandered into a video game.” Also, fart jokes.
Sure, the whole “wow, you made our heroes sad and old and disillusioned” is not my favorite aspect (I guess “old” was unavoidable), but that was established by The Force Awakens, not The Last Jedi. We already knew Luke had failed to keep Ben Solo from turning to the Dark Side, and he’d gone off to be a hermit and essentially abandoned his friends. His disillusionment in The Last Jedi was a logical continuation of that. The Force Awakens is also what gave us the tragic end to Han and Leia’s relationship, not to mention R2 basically just deciding to shut down because he was sad – which, IMO was the most out of character of any of the things we saw.
(Also, people seem to miss that Luke seems to have had a change of heart by the end. He rubs it in Kylo’s face that his death won’t be the end of the Jedi, because Rey will carry on.)
I don’t mind the “Rey’s parents are nobody” twist, first of all because I don’t like how Star Wars (especially the prequels) tries to make everyone related to everyone else. (Anakin built C-3PO? Seriously?!) And I really felt they were hinting strongly that her parents were Sith (the whole thing where Luke was horrified that she didn’t even try to resist the darkness, and then the bit where Kylo Ren says something like, “I know you’ll be the one who turns, because I saw who your parents were”), so that made it fairly effective as a twist.
But I can understand why some people didn’t find that a satisfying resolution to the mystery. What I really don’t understand is people complaining that the mystery of who Snoke is wasn’t resolved, because that was never established as a mystery! There was nothing in the previous film that suggested there’d be a big Snoke reveal – as far as I can tell that just came from fan theories. And moreover, we never found out anything about Palpatine’s back story in the original trillogy, so how is this any different?
The physics of space combat maybe makes even less sense than in previous Star Wars… but it never made that much sense.
As for the characters making stupid decisions (Holdo freaking out Poe by not being willing to even acknowledge she has a plan, and Poe and friends basically going rogue), and having some of their efforts completely fail to pan out and actually make things worse (Canto Bight), I can see how people wouldn’t like that, but it’s kind of realistic. Sometimes people do make dumb decisions, and sometimes their plans don’t work out. To paraphrase someone on the internet (I forget who), why is it cool in Game of Thrones when plans amount to nothing and major characters die unexpectedly, but not cool in Star Wars?