This is long over-due. But now that I’ve seen the movie 3 times, and have had lots of time for it to sink in, I feel like I can give a real review for ‘The Force Awakens’.
The basic truth is, it lives up to the hype and is my favorite movie of 2015. Glad to get that out of the way. To delve a little deeper, I want to address a thing or two about this movie that has been showing up everywhere else, in regards to how others feel about it.
The biggest complaint I see is that it’s too much like ‘A New Hope’. Okay. And?
The six Star Wars films that came beforehand followed this form of poetry between trilogies as well. Why are people just noticing this now? Could they have taken a few more liberties to make it slightly less like the structure of Episode IV? I guess so. But at the same time, these parallels did not in any way, shape, or form, diminish my overall enjoyment of this new Star Wars.
I have but one complaint with ‘The Force Awakens’, and it has nothing to do with the actual movie itself, but with social media. Many have complained that the prequels should have been more like the originals, and when this came out, many said that it was too similar to the originals. Make up your damn minds!
But whatever. I got what I wanted, and so did millions of other fans across the world. This movie was never going to please everyone, but I’m just simply saying that I’ve seen people who dislike ‘The Force Awakens’ just for the sake of disliking it, and trying to upset those that loved it. And their arguments are just plain stupid.
Enough about trolls.
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (in my opinion) is as good as the original trilogy, and even ranks above Episode IV for me. It’s everything I wanted for this reintroduction to the universe, and it left me super excited to see more.
J.J. Abrams was the man for the job, and all of the action was filmed excellently. I’ve seen all of Abram’s movies, and just last summer I re-watched his directorial debut ‘Mission: Impossible III’. I must say that he has grown so much in regards to how he films action. I notice a lot of the action in both ‘M:I 3’ and ‘Star Trek’ is a bit hard to decipher. It’s tough to see every detail of what’s going on, because he was new at it back then. There are a lot of weird close ups in those movies, and although the action itself is good in them, I always felt like they could have been filmed a tad bit better. Here, the action is fantastic. I especially loved the lightsaber fights. You feel so much tension, and none of it feels choreographed like they did in Episodes I-III. The aerial fights are also amazing, and displayed some of the best movements ever seen in the saga.
Aside from the action, Abrams did an excellent job directing the actors. Harrison Ford felt like Han Solo, and not Harrison Ford mailing it in. It was amazing to see Han again, as this is something I never thought would ever happen.
The other new characters were very interesting and this is all thanks to J.J. making them that way.
Come to think of it, I’ve haven’t cared about characters so freshly introduced as much as these ones since the first Harry Potter movie. All of them have something to do for the story, and they all have a unique personality. Finn is extremely funny and adventurous. Poe Dameron automatically comes off as this loveable guy, and even though he’s not in a majority of the film, I’m excited to see more of him. Rey is another amazing character, and some of the most fascinating scenes revolved around her.
Lastly, there’s Kylo Ren, who might actually be my favorite movie villain of the modern era. I still want to see more of him before saying that he’s better than Darth Vader, but at least just in this movie alone, I find him more fascinating than Vader. He has all of these temper tantrums, and has a menacing presence; but at the same time, you see how damaged he is. He’s conflicted with the light side of The Force while trying to embrace the Dark fully. Him and Rey were the most interesting characters of this movie, and I’m outrageously excited to see their stories unfold in the future of this new series.
Oh and just a side note; the bromance that occurs between Finn and Poe displays more chemistry in 2 short scenes than what was displayed between Obi-Wan and Anakin in a span of 3 whole movies.
Also, BB-8 is dope.
The first time I saw this, I did initially think that the musical score was a bit underwhelming. Upon further viewings, and listening to the soundtrack though, I’ve discovered that it’s actually quite good, in the sense that it’s different. There’s nothing like ‘Duel of Fates’ or ‘Imperial March’ that evokes a sense of “oh something is about to go down”! But the score in this is a lot more…subtle. ‘Rey’s Theme’ is extremely pleasant and will likely become very recognizable, and the music that plays before the credits roll should be enough to give you chills. It’s a very different score from previous Star Wars films, but that doesn’t make it bad. It fits the tone of the movie, and its characters excellently. John Williams is still the master, and this new score gets better each time I hear it.
The same can be said for the movie itself. I’ve seen it 3 times now, and each time I’ve viewed it, I’ve enjoyed it more and more. I intend to see it at least 1 or 2 more times too.
Going into a Star Wars movie, I don’t think anyone should expect perfection. Even the original movies, which are considered by many to be masterpieces, have flaws all over the place. That’s because Star Wars, to many people, is bigger than just being a movie. I went over these things in my previous post on the original movies. Lovers of Star Wars will love ‘The Force Awakens’. Anyone that claims that they love Star Wars and dislike this movie, should probably stop telling themselves that they’re fans of Star Wars. One can’t try and look at movies as objectively as possible all the time. This is what ruins the art. What should matter more is how a movie makes you feel, regardless of what issues a movie might have. If there are issues, and they don’t bother you, don’t let them bother you. This isn’t like the prequels, where there are aspects that might seem off. Filled with poor chemistry, bad dialogue, and boring plot exposition, this is not.
This is good, classic Star Wars fun. There’s humor, spectacle, good story-telling, great characters, emotion, and everything else that should come along with a great movie.
Bring on ‘Rogue One’ and ‘Episode VIII!!!