CineMarterStar Wars - The Force Awakens - Did J.J. Abrams and Disney Ruin Star Wars?
Thanks to a surprisingly funny script, solid action, interesting characters performed well, and great practical and computer-generated effects, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a film that will please both fans and newcomers alike.
The only points when that does become a problem is when the film constantly points out that, yes, the older films exist, and isn't it so cool that they've included Character X from them? At times, it feels like it's pandering to nostalgia, hoping to get "oohs" and claps from the audience because it referenced something that happened a long time ago. Doing this once or twice isn't an issue; when it happens three times in the span of fifteen minutes, that's when it starts to become a detriment.
Still, though, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, from start to finish, is quite an enjoyable ride. The filmmakers know what the fans want, and they provide the audience with a thrilling tale. There's solid action, great effects - both practical and computer-generated - interesting characters, pretty gorgeous cinematography, and just enough of a tease for future installments. You once again feel in awe of the Star Wars universe - a feeling I know I haven't felt since the original trilogy. You want to spend as much time here as possible, and it's because of that sentiment that you don't even start to question why the film is 135 minutes long - it really shouldn't be - or why we're taking far longer than we should to accomplish a rather simple task. You just bask in the glory that is this universe and soak it in for as long as the filmmakers let you.
John Boyega is an actor you've seen in maybe one other movie before but becomes an instant star as the co-lead of The Force Awakens. It's not a particularly deep part, especially since his character - particularly at the start - is less of a hero and more of a buffoon, but he settles in rather nicely. His comedic timing - the film's quite funny - with both Oscar Isaac and Daisy Ridley is fantastic. Ridley gets most of the action, and she, too, is instantly a star - another fantastic action-oriented female character from 2015. Oscar Isaac, in far fewer scenes than either of them, is just so good, and you almost wish that there were three co-leads, not just Boyega and Ridley. Adam Driver suffers from having to act mostly from underneath a mask, while Domhnall Gleeson feels like second fiddle most of the time. The returning cast members are all perfectly adequate, although the only one who shows much in terms of acting is Harrison Ford - likely because he's the only one with more than a few scenes.
It's easy to get swept up in the Star Wars phenomenon - the movie's going to break records, after all - and it's incredibly exciting that we've got a very good entry with The Force Awakens. Thanks to a surprisingly funny script, solid action, interesting characters performed well, and great practical and computer-generated effects, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a film that will please both fans and newcomers alike. It only suffers from its derivative screenplay, which copies the original film in enough ways as to be noticeable, and its constant nostalgia showcasing. It overcomes both of those and becomes a very fun journey from start to finish, and will leave audiences waiting with bated breath for where the Star Wars franchise will take us next.
Bottom Line: A really enjoyable movie, derivative as it may be, Star Wars: The Force Awakens sets the franchise back on the right course.
Recommendation: You're going to see it anyway, but if you were on the fence, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is very much worth the watch.
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