MOVIE REVIEW: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (SPOILERS)

SPOILER WARNING

Theatrical poster for Star Wars: The Force Awakens/courtesy of starwars.com

Give The Flak Rating: 9.5/10, Rave, Give The Flak Writer’s Choice

“There’s a perfect amount of nostalgia and references, whilst creating depth for the new characters. There’s a perfect amount of balance between action, comedy and story building. It’s a near perfect film that will fit alongside some of the best films ever.”

We speculated, we impatiently waited, and now the movie that we’ve been anticipating for so long now has finally come to screens around the world. Here’s our long awaited (not really) review.

Quick recap for those still here; Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has disappeared. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver),who is a Darth Vader-esque villain, is part of the First Order (basically the Empire), and is trying to find a piece of a map that will lead them to Luke. The Resistance (basically the Rebellion) is trying to find it before the First Order. To do so, Leia (Carrie Fisher) sends her best pilot, Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), to get it.

(This has spoilers. If you haven’t watched it already (which is surprising, considering it came out several weeks ago), go away.)

The opening shot is simple. It’s not as symbolic as A New Hope’s Star Destroyer fly-by, but it’s not as intense as Revenge of the Sith’s thousands of flying ships.

The special effects and CGI are really good. They blend practical with generated well most of the time, with the exception of some characters who stand out against the practical sets.

The movie is very fast-paced, not giving the audience much time to breathe between scenes. They could slow it down a bit, making the movie longer, however the pacing does not ruin the movie.

Harrison Ford is great in this movie. He thickly spreads what is left of his Han Solo charm, and adds a brilliant element to the film. What the prequels lacked was someone who said “this whole thing is stupid”, and this movie proves that. There are instances in which people are trying to create plans, and Han Solo basically ignored them, just doing what needed to be done. However, Han Solo as a character has evolved, gaining more wisdom and depth than he ever did before.

They handle his death well, too. You know at the moment that he walks out onto the bridge that it’s going to happen. He falls off that bridge, too, which hopefully completely gets rid of the idea that he can come back from the dead. The only problem I have is that Leia doesn’t have a good reaction to his death. She just looks slightly miffed when she feels it, and it doesn’t compare well the reactions of Rey, Finn and Chewbacca.

The reveal of the Millenium Falcon is perfect. It’s set up perfectly, and not in a predictable way. They don’t have a lingering shot of the ship, they don’t even mention it by name for quite a while after the review.

The action is very good. There’s a good amount of it, and it all has a purpose within the film. Finn, as a non-Force user, using a lightsaber is awesome, because I’ve always wanted to see something like that in Star Wars. Also, watching Rey learn how to fight with a lightsaber, and her realisation that she can use the Force during a battle, is beautiful to watch.

There’s quite a lot of comedy in this, and almost every scene has a moment where you chuckle a bit. I could see how people could get a bit annoyed because of the amount of quips, but I didn’t mind it.

BB-8 is a perfect representation of how you do cute and a bit of comedic relief in film. I loved BB-8’s scenes, and his chemistry with the characters is great.

The new characters are great. Rey is a loose portrayal of Luke, Finn is a very good character all round, Poe Dameron is a rad dude, and Kylo Ren is an interesting villain, as he should be. They’re developed well in the film, they have chemistry with each other, and they have charm and wit which makes you like them and feel empathy for them when something happens in their life.

And maybe one of my favourite things is the characters. The old characters make perfect appearances, and has the perfect amount of nostalgia. At the same time, they give the new characters a great introduction, and hand off the role of being the faces of Star Wars nicely and neatly.

Han Solo says “we’re home” to Chewbacca when they first step back onto the Millenium Falcon, and that reflects the feeling that many fans had whilst watching the movie. There’s a perfect amount of nostalgia and references, whilst creating depth for the new characters. There’s a perfect amount of balance between action, comedy and story building. It’s a near perfect film that will fit alongside some of the best films ever.

-KT

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