THIS WILL BEGIN TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT. FROM THE OPENING CRAWL TO THE VERY LAST FRAME, THIS FILM OOZES THE STAR WARS PALETTE, THE MOVIE HITS THE GROUND RUNNING AND NEVER STOPS, DELIVERING MOSTLY ON WHAT OLD FANS HAVE COME TO EXPECT AND WHAT NEW FANS NEED JUST ENOUGH OF TO GET THEM INVESTED. THOUGH NOT A PERFECT FILM, AND ONE SHOULDN’T BE GOING IN HOPING THAT IT IS, IT’S STILL A THRILLING IMPACTFUL ADVENTURE AND WHEN THE MOVIE ENDS AND THAT LAST LINE OF CREDITS SCROLLS BY IT’S A WELCOMING THOUGHT THAT WITH CONFIDENCE WE CAN ALL SAY THAT STAR WARS IS INDEED BACK.
I was never a big Star Wars fan growing up, I appreciated the movies from a far but never felt engaged in them, it was only when Episode VII went into production that I found myself getting more and more excited and realized how invested I was in this franchise even if I wasn’t a huge a fan of it. Though one couldn’t blame me not being such a huge fan after the tragedy that was the prequels.
Rest assured though folks, the prequels this is not.
Star Wars The Force Awakens is Directed and Co-written by J.J. Abrams, and stars Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver and Mark Hamil. Taking place a little over 30 years after Return of Jedi, Force Awakens opens in fimilar territory. From the ashes of the absence of a certain Jedi knight, The First Order have risen to power. Without the help of this forgotten Jedi all seems lost. But hope comes in many forms and takes many shapes. On the desert Planet of Jakku a young scavenger name Rey (Daisy Ridley) is thrusted into a journey of peril and excitement when she runs across a little droid BB-8 and a young rogue stormtrooper name Finn (John Boyega). Together they are joined by Han Solo (Harrison Ford) the scruffy nerf herder himself and with his guidance the group embark on a dangerous quest to find the Jedi that can restore balance to the galaxy.
Where to begin? I guess the first place to start is with the movie itself. The film itself is brilliant. There is a nice coat of nostalgia in this particular film, with lots of nods that will most likely delight old and fimilar fans of this franchise, yet its the new and fresh takes that this film has that is what ranks it as probably the third best Star Wars film. The tone is striking similar to Star Wars (A New Hope), and even some of the same plot threads have been seeped into the story for fimilar purposes, but the films identity is completely of its own.
That is evident within the films new leads, specifically Rey, the young scavenger on Jakku who is the films bright shining star. Daisy Ridley gives an incredible performance in her film debut as an actress. She commands the screen with wit, charm and presence and presents a character that is very well rounded and three dimensional. While her character arch might seem very reminiscent of another character in this series, just when you think it’s going to go down the same fimilar path, it takes a turn and its welcome.
Her journey as a character is an emotional triumph and her chemistry with the other characters, especially Finn played by John Boyega is one of the films biggest highlights. Finn himself is a very interesting character who’s arch takes him in very unexpected places, a character which could have easily been one dimensional is anchored and saved by Boyega’s stunning performance. Boyega’s character is also where most of films central humor comes from, though it doesn’t take away from the danger and emotional depth this film has, it is still a welcome tension breaker and Boyega lights up the screen with his charisma whenever he’s on screen.
Then there is Kylo Ren, the films most interesting villain and character. While his development of a character isn’t fully fleshed out and three dimensional as one would hope, as time will grow so will his character. Though even still the character that is presented on the screen is very interesting. Adam Driver plays Kylo as a conflicted child trying to come to turns with his choices and the path that he has set himself on. Which is interesting to watch unfold especially as he interacts with the characters around him.
Among the other characters present in the film are Han Solo and Chewie whom it is great to see again and take a major role in this new installment. Carrie Fisher as General Leia is a welcome as well. Oscar Issac as Poe Dameron is electric and nearly steals all the scenes his in.
The actions scenes and special affects are magnificent. Everything from the dog fights to the light-saber battles, to the chase scenes are glorious to be hold. The final battle between that has been heavily teased in the trailers which involves Kylo Ren is one of the best light saber battles in this franchise. It ranks up there with Luke and Vader battle in Empire. The sheer emotion and physicality of it is just gripping and confident and feels real.
As for the negatives, some of the dialogue doesn’t work, there are sequences that feel out of place, certain plot points and transitions are rushed over, and I wasn’t a big fan of General Hux (Domhall Gleeson) a character I thought would be an interesting one turns out to be nothing more than a lesser version of his counterpart that appeared in Star Wars (A New Hope). Gleeson’s portrayal of the character was almost borderline cartoony and didn’t really mesh well together with the surroundings. And while I won’t reveal what it entails, the last shot of the movie though beautiful goes on for way too long and at a certain point stops being sentimental and becomes sappy.
The big question most people will ask is, “Is Force Awakens good?” and the answer is a resounding yes. The film is brilliant, though not as good as Star Wars( A New Hope) which the film borrows liberally from but never feels like a retread when watching, it’s only when you examine it do you know realize the striking similarities and while not as good as Star Wars or Empire Strikes Back, it certainly feels like the best Star Wars film since then (Sorry Return of Jedi fans).
Boasting with great characters, breathtaking moments of emotional resonance and grounded performances, and elevating by brisk pacing and great action scenes, Star Wars The Force Awakens launches the franchise to a welcome return by showing us the fimilar and laying the ground work for great things to come, now its up to you Rian Johnson to take this and expand.
EVERYTHING WAS AWESOME