Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

3:02 PM

Every Generation Has a Story
 Star Wars: The Force Awakens is directed by J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Lost) and introduces Daisy Ridley who stars alongside John Boyega (Attack the Block, Imperial Dreams), Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Indiana Jones), Carrie Fisher (Star Wars, When Harry Met Sally...) and Adam Driver (Inside Llewyn Davis, What If). "30 years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat rises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of Heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance". Possibly the most anticipated film of all time - it is worth the incredible amount of hype or is it also one of the biggest disappointments of all time?

Right, I'm putting it out there right now - I have never seen a Star Wars movie. They've always been a series I just thought weren't going to be my thing. However, since becoming a big film fan over recent years, I don't know why I have never seen one! From the point of view of a newbie to the series, I (I think) understood the whole film which shows that this can work perfectly as a standalone film also. Over Christmas, I will definitely try to watch the other 6 films as this one was so so good - believe the hype! I have also heard from big Star Wars fans that this film is really good and critics are thoroughly enjoying it too (around 95% on Rotten Tomatoes) - this film is a real people pleaser! This film deserves to be one of the biggest (financially) of all time - it is a great film. This review will contain spoilers but I am splitting up my points, the first half will be spoiler free and the second half will not.

SPOILER FREE

This film is generally very well acted. I thought for people who haven't had much experience in the industry, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega were very very good. Ridley really held the film which is hard to do when you are a new actress, playing a new character surrounded by experienced actors, playing well known characters. This is definitely Ridley's show and her performance is absolutely fantastic. Boyega is generally very good as well - my only minor issue with him is at times, he overacted but he is new so that is easily forgiven. I was actually surprised by how good Harrison Ford is in this movie - I thought he was wooden in The Age of Adaline but I think roles like Hans Solo are made for him as he was very good. The chemistry between him and Carrie Fisher was very strong. Fisher was also good and I liked how her role has become far from your typical 'princess role'. The whole cast (it is a big one) did a fantastic job - even those who had small roles made their mark. The acting definitely isn't flawed. 

Another thing that was fantastic was the visual effects and the cinematography. The visuals were fantastic and I wouldn't be surprised if this wins an Oscar for best visual effects - in my opinion, the previous front runner was The Martian and this definitely blows that out of the water (or out of space if you want to be topical). Even when there were no CGI or effects added in, the film was still aesthetically pleasing - the variety of locations in this film is fantastic - whether it is the desert or snowy mountains - this film makes it look beautiful. 

Like Jurassic World, the music was as iconic as ever - when the theme tune played at the start of the film, you could tell the whole audience were captivated. The music throughout the film was really well suited - this film could easily get an Oscar for best score also. Even though I haven't seen the previous films, I thought that (I make this conclusion from friends and family) this was really faithful to the original films - the beginning was the same and similar transitions were used. Speaking of the transitions, I did find them quite annoying and amateur ish until I was informed that this is what the original films were like - I now respect this creative decision. 

One minor problem I had with the film is that it kind of came to a rushed conclusion. I thought there was a lot more time left but the end battle was quite short and kind of an anti-climax. When the film started to come to a conclusion, I was thinking to myself 'that can't be it' but it was. I suppose that is a good sign in a way as it shows that I was enjoying it that much that I wanted even more! Another minor issue with the film was that it brought nothing new or mind-blowing to the table. Abrams would know that the biggest spotlight ever is on this film so it was his chance to introduce a new creative decision and make everyone come away thinking 'wasn't it really cool and different when that happened'. However, it is not exactly bad nothing new was brought to the table but it was just a missed opportunity.

I would like to quickly touch on that I really liked the amount of diversity in this film - from race to gender, everyone was portrayed well and I really liked that. 

SPOILERS AHEAD, If you proceed and haven't seen the film - May the Force Be With You.

So the story, I thought it was actually quite good. I hear from some that it is almost a replica of the first film but having not seen that, I can take it for what it is and I liked it. I was happy that BB8 had such an important role as I was worried he was just going to become a useless sidekick who was just there to be funny or provide emotion. BB8 is a really nice addition to the original Star Wars robots. I like how you see where each character comes from and how they all cross paths. I was actually surprised by how much Harrison Ford was in the film. From the trailers, I assumed his role was going to be quite small but I was wrong! The film followed the popular 'rebel' storyline which has almost become a necessary plot detail for a film to be successful. There was lots of action and lots of dialogue - I think the final two Hunger Games films would have been received a lot better by audiences overall if they included a balance like this. The action was definitely not disappointing - whether it was a spaceship chase, a light sabre battle or just a good running scene, it was all very enjoyable. I won't spoil the ending (even though this is a spoiler zone) but I thought the whole 'mystery behind the mask' idea could have been carried out between more films. Even though Kylo Ren was generally a very good and ruthless villain, I thought he was easily defeated which was a little underwhelming. 

The film had its fair share of emotion and humour. The film said goodbye to one of the most popular, loved and famous characters in the series - this is kind of predictable once you know a character is going to die but it was still a shock. That character is Hans Solo. The film was also very funny - that humour was mostly brought in by either BB8 or Chewbacca - both characters were very humorous. I particularly liked when BB8 had a lighter as a thumbs up - was very funny. 

The thing I loved most about Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the new character it introduces - Rey. Rey has got to be one of my favourite film characters of all time. She is a proper female heroine. Like Katniss Everdeen, Rey is empowered and says herself that she doesn't need a man holding her hand. Rey is so likeable and that is definitely partly down to Ridley's fantastic performance. Even when she could be portrayed as a damsel in distress, Rey figures her own way out of it and is fantastic. There was once scene in this film that sent shivers down my spine - that is when Rey realises she is a Jedi and actually uses the light sabre. I thought this was sensational and mesmerising. Rey is a phenomenal character - strong, empowered, independent, friendly, intelligent - what wouldn't you want from a heroine in a film?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is one of those rare films where I advise you to believe the hype - it is very good (and that is coming from someone who has never seen a Star Wars movie so has no bias). It only loses out on full marks because there are quite a few little things that I had problems with. All in all this is a fantastic film that has created sensational characters, added new depth to the universe, shot beautifully with amazing visual effects and just flows really nicely. The Force within me has awakened and I will now make it my mission to watch all of the other Star Wars films. The Force is definitely with this film.

4.5 STARS
A+

What did you think of THE FORCE AWAKENS? How does it compare to the other Star Wars films? - COMMENT BELOW

See You Soon!

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