Friday, December 18, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Movie Review

STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS (PG-13) Starring Harrison Ford, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Greg Grunberg and Max von Sydow.
Written by Lawrence Kasdan, JJ Abrams & Michael Arndt.
Directed by JJ Abrams.


Rewatching the first six movies reminded me of something - the cognative dissonance required to enjoy the prequels. I have to ignore the stilted dialogue, stiff performances, over-reliance on CGI to get to the parts I like. None of that is required here. This movie is a pleasure from beginning to end, reimursing us in the original Star Wars galaxy.

One of the joys of the movie was seeing everything I didn't know was going to happen. We've gathered certain scenes and characters in general - i.e. the Millenium Falcon will fly again!  This one dives right into the action from the opening scrawl. (And yes, there were cheers when the Star Wars logo hit the screen.) We may start with some of the new characters, but we know we'll eventually see all of our old friends.

Of the new characters, there is Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger on Jakku, a junkyard planet that makes Tattooine look like a luxury resort. There is Finn (John Boyega), a stormtrooper who grows a conscience. There is Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), a cocky but skilled pilot. And there's BB-8, a roller-droid that kids will love as much as they did R2-D2.

Every scene builds on the next. It hits a lot of familiar beats but it also managed to build a lot of suspense as to what direction it was going to ultimately go. I can't wait to watch it a second time to look for things I missed.

I hope this movie makes enough money that they'll decide to make Episode VIII.

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