If you haven’t seen The Force Awakens yet, please turn around and go check out some other equally cool review on my blog so that you don’t get any whiplash from spoilers. Cause this is going to be very spoilery.
Lets start out by saying I’d probably give this movie between a 3.5 and 4 star rating. Not because it wasn’t great and entertaining and all, but because compared to the original three movies, it had some issues. But let’s start with all the things I really enjoyed:
There are few openings as fun and awesome as “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” followed immediately by John Williams majestic score. Getting to see the opening crawl underscored by the Star Wars theme again in a theater was a true treat.
J.J. Abrams as director was a magnificent choice, and I think he did true justice to the original spirit of the first three films. There was a slightly grander scale to some of the cinematography, but that is thanks to modern film-making, and didn’t seem out of place. The space battles were much more realistic looking than the prequels, which were mired in CGI that looked like a video game. Visually, The Force Awakens is stunning; lots of great landscape and space shots that J.J. Abrams likes to use in his movies, but also more subdued than his flashy Star Trek reboot.
Our main girl Rey is an extremely likable character (not without some issues, which I’ll talk about later) who is an awesome action heroine who is neither objectified nor a damsel in distress. Daisy Ridley does a lovely job making a solid character that I’m thrilled to follow through the next two movies. She’s clever, talented (maybe too-much so), and has a mysterious past – TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS WHO YOU THINK SHE’S THE DAUGHTER OF!
Poe Dameron wins my favorite character of the movie. Oscar Isaac slays everyone’s hearts as the extremely positive and noble pilot with the map to find Luke Skywalker. In fact, I wondered why the movie wasn’t more about him since he’s so stinking charismatic and wonderful.
The re-emergence of familiar faces was fun, and probably meant more to the older crowd who saw the originals in theaters, but in some ways, it felt like the movie relied a little too much on them. Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Leia are of course, a welcome addition to the movie, and I think there was audible excitement in the theater when Han and Chewie appeared in the doorway of the Millennium Falcon. But they didn’t do a whole lot to move the plot along; most of the conflict was created and resolved by the newer faces. In a conversation with my brother, he mentioned that Spock (Leonard Nimoy) did a more seamless job coming in to the new Star Trek movies than the Star Wars crew did in The Force Awakens. Of course, I was thrilled to see the familiar faces as well, for sentimental reason, and because they are Star Wars, but from a critical viewpoint, I’m not sure how much they added to the movie.
Now onto what I didn’t like.
Finn. Oh Finn. I wanted to really like you. And you were fine. You weren’t terrible or annoying, but you seemed superfluous. And not really like a real person. You didn’t really do anything worth mentioning either. I mean, sure, you broke Poe out at the beginning, but it was all for your personal gain, and then I’m having trouble remembering anything else cool that you did. I think Rey pretty much stole all the coolness glory after your first few scenes.
Rey. I love this girl but she is way too good at everything. Like, she’s never piloted a ship, but somehow’s she’s better than Han Solo. And she’s never wielded a Lightsaber but somehow she can take down the First Order’s super
lame awesome jedi Kylo Ren.
Kylo Ren. I actually thought you were by far the worst character in the movie. 100% lame. You were supposed to be Darth Vader reincarnate (metaphorically speaking) but you had none of his gravitas. Darth Vader wore his helmet and suit because Anakin got chopped up into little bits and like, lit on fire. Kyle Ren did it because, what? He thought he looked cool? The entire Empire was so much more established in the originals, whereas the First Order was like “oh, here’s some bad guys, blowing stuff up”. I felt like the writers had a good idea of the Good Guys plot they wanted, and then they decided last minute that they needed a villain. We needed to like Kylo Ren more. He needed to be more handsome to get the “I’m Han and Leia’s son” sympathy card they were going for. We needed to actually feel his struggle between light and dark. As it was, he seemed like a child throwing a temper tantrum every time he didn’t get his way. And what were the First Order’s real plans? Universe domination? Nobody really knows because there was so little exposition about the bad guys. Remember all those scenes in the originals where we got to sit in on bad guy council meetings and see Darth Vader using his force choke hold powers? Yeah, that’s what the Force Awakens needed.
Ok, so I obviously thought the bad guys were lame, and some of the good guys were too good, but otherwise, The Force Awakens was an entertaining blockbuster that both fans of the originals and newcomers can enjoy. There are old, familiar faces mixed in with promising new ones, and I think the excellent direction, sentimental music, and awesome battle sequences makes for a very enjoyable trip to the theater.