STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS (transfer) spoiler-free review

These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.

Oh man, it’s finally here. Whether you were or weren’t waiting to see this movie, it was on your radar and chances are, you’re seeing it like everyone else. Oh yeah, you can bet your sweet bippy that I was excited for this movie. I may not have appreciated that they were sidelining the established extended universe that’s been around since before EPISODE I, but that gave it a new direction to work with that couldn’t be predicted by the fanboys (like myself). What more is there to say? Let’s get to it.

Starring: Daisy Ridley (SCRAWL [2015] and the upcoming STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI [2017]), John Boyega (TV shows MAJOR LAZER, 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY, TINKERSHRIMP & DUTCH, and upcoming films THE CIRCLE [2017] and STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI), Harrison Ford (THE AGE OF ADALINE [2015], THE EXPENDABLES 3 [2014], ENDER’S GAME [2013], and upcoming films BLADE RUNNER 2049 [2017] and an as-of-yet title Indiana Jones movie [2020]), Adam Driver (PATERSON [2016], INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS [2013], J. EDGAR [2011], and the upcoming STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI [2017]), Oscar Isaac (THE PROMISE [2017], X-MEN: APOCALYPSE [2016], A MOST VIOLENT YEAR [2014], and the upcoming STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI), Carrie Fisher (FANBOYS [2009], WHEN HARRY MET SALLY… [1989], TV show FAMILY GUY, and the upcoming STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI), and so many more.

Directed and co-written by: J.J. Abrams (STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS [2013], SUPER 8 [2011], and STAR TREK [2009]). Co-writing is Lawrence Kasdan (DREAMCATCHER [2003], STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI [1983], RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK [1981], and the upcoming untitled Han Solo anthology film [2018]) and Michael Arndt (A WALK IN THE WOODS [2015], THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE [2013], and TOY STORY 3 [2010]). Composing the score is John Williams (THE BFG [2016], THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN [2011], HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN [2004], and upcoming films STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI and READY PLAYER ONE [2018]). Cinematography by: Dan Mindel (ZOOLANDER 2 [2016], THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 [2014], MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III [2006], and upcoming films… wait, the hell?? CLOVERFIELD MOVIE [2017]?? More info, please! And PACIFIC RIM: UPRISING [2018]). For what little info I’ve found on this “Cloverfield Movie,” here’s a link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2548396/?ref_=nm_flmg_cin_2

(SUMMARY)

In an isolated village on the planet Jakku, ace Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) has arrived to visit an ally of now General Leia (Carrie Fisher) who might have information leading to her missing brother and Jedi Master of the new Jedi Order, Luke Skywalker. But hot on Poe’s trail is the sinister remnants of the defeated Galactic Empire, the First Order, in hopes of finding Skywalker as well. This company of stormtroopers, led by the fallen Jedi Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) slaughter the village in order to get Poe and the Resistance ally. The ally is killed, and Poe is taken prisoner, but not before Poe gives his trusty astromech droid BB-8 the map leading to Skywalker and tells BB-8 to flee, to which the droid obeys. However, not all of the stormtroopers agreed with killing innocent people. The one with the biggest problem was Finn (John Boyega), a stormtrooper who now wants to leave the First Order and accomplishes this by helping Poe to escape, and the two succeed. They crash back onto Jakku, but Finn doesn’t find Poe in the wreckage of their escape ship. Deciding to carry on his friend’s work, he sets out to find BB-8, who’s been pretty busy. BB-8 meets up with a young local scavenger woman named Rey (Daisy Ridley) who seems to be waiting for something, but doesn’t take long to become fond of BB-8 and roped into its cause. Eventually, the two and Finn meet up with the First Order right behind and escape via another ship. So begins a journey across space in order to return BB-8 to the Resistance and end the threat of the First Order.

(REVIEW)

Heads up to all my readers, this review might be a tad short. Why? Because all the **** that’s worth talking about it SPOILER-INFESTED. And as I despise people that spoil movies for those that care about that stuff kept under wraps, I will keep this review SPOILER-FREE.

I REPEAT: NO SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW. So let’s get started.

Yes, it’s a VERY GOOD!!! The hype is well earned. It’s very well done and already superior to the prequel trilogy (not that they set the bar very high). Boyega and Ridley are both great as their respective characters and share great chemistry. Most everyone’s given a fair amount of development and screen time to give us, the audience, time to identify and empathize with or hate on. The worlds that are created are gorgeous to look at (albeit, Jakku does feel a hell of a lot like Tatooine).

And there’s no lens flares (at least, I don’t remember seeing any).

I know, it’s not much to go on, but trust me, the protagonists of this entry in this beloved franchise are very welcomed in my heart.

However… this movie isn’t without it’s flaws. Without diving into it too much, there’s a lot of conveniences. I wouldn’t know if I should blame it on awkward editing, or bad story-telling, but that happens more than a few times and it left me with a couple twitches in my eyes.

Also, and this one kills it for me, Kylo Ren is the worst villain in the Star Wars movies (yes, worse than Christopher Lee’s EPISODE III Count Dooku), and only just more tolerable than Jar Jar. What a whiny ******* bitch. Again, I can’t get into it much, but despite an incredible introduction to the character early in the movie, Kylo Ren just got more and more annoying as he was developed and I seriously wanted to spank him more than anything and is just nowhere near as intimidating as Vader, Maul, or even Dooku. But whatever, Jar Jar’s the set-bar, and he doesn’t hit THAT obnoxious levels, but… man, was he trying. And this is nothing against Driver, I rather like him as an actor. But… I think this was a mishandled role. Oh, there’s a lot more to talk about, but yeah… not a fan of this character.

In any case, much as I dislike the villain, what this movie does right does an amazing job of hiding those flaws. It’s a joyous ride and I highly anticipate the next installment, whatever it may be. J.J. Abrams, you did right.

A strong 4/5

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