Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens Review

For months I have been waiting with faded breath. Watching every teaser, every trailer, and every late night talk show interview. My inner child has been bouncing off the walls of my subconscious for the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. After seeing the film on Saturday, I’d say I feel quite fulfilled. You see as a lifelong Star Wars fan I, and I’m sure many other fans, felt a small amount of worry when it came to the idea of more new Star Wars, after the disappointment of the prequel trilogy. 

Now I’m not saying the prequel movies were absolutely horrible, they just were not to the same quality of the originals in terms of story and acting. No one can deny that the special effects, even to today’s standards, still look great in those movies. But the use of actors Jake Lloyd and Haiden Christianson annoy many fans, as well as the directional choices for Anakin Skywalker’s emotional moments. So it was no wonder that I and many other fans were initially hesitant. But the saving grace was J.J. Abrams taking the captains seat. Abrams has definitely put in his time and produced a lot of fantastic work in television and film. Notable to science fiction fans, is his recent reboot of the Star Trek franchise with two well received films. The idea of a talent like J. J. Abrams taking over from the aging George Lucas made many sigh with relief.

But who really knows in the end? A movie can seem perfectly lined up to be a smash hit and end up falling way short. Look at Water World! So I had to see for myself, I had to reserve my tickets and get this scratching Star Wars monkey off of my back. I booked my seats for an AVX theatre back in my home town and planned it all out with my old Star Wars bro Chris. I was ready.

On the 18th, I white knuckled my whole hour long drive, as visions of storm troopers danced in my head. Weather stayed calm, traffic was dead, and everything felt in line. I got into town, picked up my tickets and met up with my friend without a hitch. A little while later, it was finally here (pinch me). I leaned back in my seat and focused in with fingers crossed and bladder empty.

For those who don’t know, The Force Awakens is the 7th installment in the multi-billion dollar Star Wars franchise. The film stars Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones, Bladerunner) as Han Solo, Adam Driver (Inside Llewyn Davis, Girls) as Kylo Ren, Daisy Ridley (Scrawl) as Rey, John Boyega (Attack the Block, Imperial Dreams) as Finn, as well as returning cast members Carrie Fisher (The Blues Brothers, 30 Rock) as Princess Leia, and Mark Hamill (Kingsman: The Secret Service, The Joker) as Luke Skywalker.

Now, what made The Force Awakens a great experience for me was having almost no details about the plot before seeing the film. And for the most part many Star Wars fans are opting to not reveal ANY plot points and keep explanations vague. I will do the same. Overall, Star Wars The Force Awakens was a brilliant film. For fans of the series, there is enough of everything that is required of a Star Wars movie but without making it inaccessible to the casual movie-goer.

The new cast members, as well as the returning cast, were all top notch. There was none of the cheesy, “bad” acting, that the prequel trilogy films were full of. Standing out in the Force Awakens is the tough and beautiful Rey who is a constant surprise and joy throughout the film. The CG in all points and aspects were absolutely top notch, as well as the cinematography. Overall the soundtrack was composed of many of the themes Star Wars fans love, from veteran composer John Williams, but felt lacking new music. The only other slightly negative thought I have towards the films is that parts of the story felt extremely familiar (not giving more detail into that) but it really doesn’t take away much from the experience. Oh, and the new droid BB-8 will win you over very quickly with his cuteness

After the smoke has cleared I can say I was overall very satisfied with the film. I did not feel let down as a Star Wars fan and have become even more excited to see what Disney is going to do with Episode VIII. I suggest fans rush out now and see it before someone on Facebook ruins it for you! I give Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens 9.5 Wampa’s Stompin’!

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