Thursday, December 24, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Director: J.J. Abrams

Writers: Lawrence Kasden, J.J. Abrams, Michael Arndt

Composer: John Williams

Starring: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Max von Sydow, Peter Mayhew, Gwendoline Christie, Simon Pegg, Warwick Davis, Tim Rose, Mike Quinn, Michael Giacchino, Daniel Craig

More info: IMDb

Tagline:  Every generation has a story.

Plot: Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a rag-tag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance.

My rating: 7.5/10  UPDATE: 12/29/15 - 8/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.


I liked it.  I didn't love it but I liked it.  It's a lot of fun but I have a lot of issues with it.  Some of the things I didn't like were the countless references to the '77 film.  The biggest problems being the huge similarities in the story...a droid carrying valuable information, a new Death Star (of sorts) which is bigger and more dangerous, a desert planet, a snow planet and so on.  The more I thought about those glaring issues the more the film felt less original.  It's almost a soft re-boot.  While I don't like having my hand held when telling me a story, I also don't think that you should have to think too much to connect the dots for a Star Wars picture.  I assume we'll find out in the next film (or two) Rey's lineage and more of Ren's background but this film had the vibe that someone dropped the needle in the middle of a song without any context.  How much of a coincidence was it that Han was right where his ship was outside of the planet?  That's a minor issue but there's a lot of that kind of little shit that adds up. Hell, what the fuck's up with Captain Phasma being such a tool and doing next to nothing?  I've listened to the CD soundtrack twice and I'm shocked at Williams' lack of good, new themes.  It's his weakest score for the franchise...and I LOVE Williams to pieces.

I'm done bitching.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Harrison Ford in this.  He's having more fun than I've seen him in decades.  If there's an MVP for this film, he's it.  Hell, the characters are one of the best things about this picture.  I really liked Rey, Finn, Poe and so on.  I liked Ren, too, but his character needed more fleshing out.  Han's death left a bad taste in my mouth and not for why you'd think.  The film hadn't earned it yet.  It should've been pushed to the next film.  It's easy for me to say that but I don't know what they've got in store for the next one.  His death was another instance where more time should've been spent in dealing with Ren's relationship with Han and Leia.  I know why he did it (it's not that hard to figure out) but it also requires more, "...well he probably killed him because of blankety blank".  That happens a lot in this film.  Shit, I said I was done bitching.

The humor worked for me every time.  I laughed my ass off.  Color my ass shocked at that.  The pacing was lickety-split fast, too.  Once Han Solo shows up the picture just flies like mad to the end.  I really had a good time with this despite my complaints.  Yeah, I wanted more than what this delivered but it's a damn sight better than the prequels, it looks and feels like it belongs to the original trilogy and it's a lot of fun.  I'm definitely going to see it again soon, hoping it'll be better the second time.  The first time was IMAX 3D which was great.  The next one will be lowly 2D.   I'm really going to miss Han.  Stupid writers.

UPDATE 12/29/15:  The second viewing proved even better.  Most of the issues I had with Rey, even Finn and Han were cleared up.  Han dying still feels too soon but it's easier to take the second time around.  I still don't like that there's another Death Star which makes it 3 similar devices in 4 movies (films 4-7) but it was easier to take this time. 

UPDATE 1/12/16:  I just saw it for the third and last time in the theater.  This time I watched it in D-Box (motion seats and my first D-Box experience) and it was fun.  The Death Star thing bugs me less and less now and I'm now enjoying the film more which is a good thing.  Is Poe gay?  I hope so.  It doesn't make any difference but I started to get that vibe this time.  It'd be cool to have a gay character in Star Wars besides C-3PO.  I didn't laugh at all of the jokes this time but some of them are still just as funny as the first time.  "Oh, really, you're cold?"  Hilarious. 

1 comment:

  1. This movie is a bad remake of the original Star Wars. Loved Harrison and the new droid (R2-D2 rebooted) but otherwise sucked.