Thursday, December 17, 2015

REVIEW: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILER FREE)

I'm not sure how to begin this review.  Because as I sit here, I'm still kinda just reflecting on how special this Star Wars movie is to me.  I was told by my family that this was a movie my father personally wanted to see.  I'm not sure why.  I am older than he was when the first movies came out, and when the prequels came out, let's just say that I was too young to get anything that was going on.  And now that I've seen Star Wars 7, I'm wondering if in spirit, this movie reflects what it was like all those years ago to see the words "Star Wars" grace the screen for the very first time.

Fans will be pleased to know that J.J. Abrams has given this franchise the new blood it has so desperately been needing for years now.  Fans will be treated to the nostalgia of the original trilogy (maybe a little too much if you ask me), the light-hearted humor that was welcoming in all the movies, and the glory of old familiar faces, while introducing us to new faces with characters that are just as interesting and entertaining.  Yes.  It needs to be said that Star Wars 7 is easily amongst the best of the franchise.  From the time you start reading the opening scroll, to when that all too familiar fanfare is playing during the credits.  It steers away from the complexity that made the Prequels so weak, and goes back to just giving us that old fashioned space-fantasy adventure that we all loved to begin with, and...that's about all I can say.

Now no, that's not my review, it just needs to be said that...there really isn't a lot done in this film that hasn't been done before.  I don't wanna call it a carbon-copy of the very first Star Wars movie (the 1977 movie, not Phantom Menace), but in many ways it very much feels like that, and I'm not sure if that's something I like or not.  It literally feels like there was a checklist of scenes that were fun and iconic from the very first Star Wars film, the slightly redone to fit this film.  From beginning to end. And I know a LOT of fans might roast me for pointing that out, but...I didn't come to see a redo of the first film.  I have a feeling that a lot of fans who go, hoping to see something new, might be disappointed.  BUT don't let that stop you, because the movie is by no means bad.  

In fact, that little jab at the movie up above might be my only problem with the movie on a whole.  And despite it feeling very familiar, it does do things new, and it can be incredible to witness.  I absolutely loved Fin.  His attitude was laughable, enjoyable, and when he held that light saber, man he just channeled a badass for me.  In fact he has my favorite line of the movie, and my favorite background as far as new characters go.  But as I said, I'm keeping this spoiler free.  

The galaxy is as detailed as ever.  But if that wasn't enough, the combat has been taken to new heights.  It's not as clunky as it was in the late 70's and 80's.  It's energetic and tense.  And I'm gonna say, the light saber duel might just be my new favorite.  That Sith lightsaber that so many people have rebuked for its broadsword design?  It's actually pretty well done, and I must applaud them for taking risks in trying something new for that.  And speaking of risks, there are plenty done in the movie.  There will be some scenes that will leave you with your mouth open.  You might find yourself asking "did that really just happen?"  How the community reacts to those circumstances, I guess I'll find out in due time.

All in all, the film has succeeded in what we were hoping for.  J.J. Abrams was the perfect choice to direct this.  With his previous work in Star Trek (which I still like, even if it's different), he did have the practice under his belt.  He's reached into the heart of the franchise, and birthed something that the fans will love, no matter what age, and that was what made Star Wars great to begin with.  It starts well, keeps that energy, and leave you on a high, which only leaves you wishing the film were maybe 15 minutes longer.  But as for what awaits us in Star Wars 8...time will tell.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is issued with tough love, with small criticisms, a three and a half out of four stars.  If you're a Star Wars fan, you will want to see this movie.  With the legacy of this franchise, you'll have the time.  I fully expect this movie to not only break records, but give us a firm base for what to expect in the future.  THe bar has been raised for future Star Wars films.  Disney now has a challenge.  With a new Star Wars film to come out annually...I still have my doubts that they'll be able to keep up the pace.  But who knows?  Again, time will tell.

Feel free to share your opinion on the film down below.  And as always, thanks for reading.

Final Verdict: 3.5/4