Friday, January 1, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens *SPOILERS*

Warning this article contains spoilers regarding Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

I'm a huge Star Wars fan and have been from the a young age when I accidentally inserted The Empire Strikes Back backwards in the VHS ruining movie night for the family.
On the spectrum on crazy fan I lie somewhere in the middle of noob and dressing up as slave Princess Leia, I mean I did have a Star Wars corner in my apartment once, but that's not crazy, right?

I don't want this review to be too drawn out because there are a million already out there so I will break this down into what I liked and what I didn't like.

Let's start out with the cons that way we end on a positive note.

Cons:

1.) New age humour. I'm a big fan of the awkward obvious humour of the Micheal Cera's and Jonah Hill's but there is a time and a place for it and I just don't think that time and place is in a galaxy far far away. When the awkward situational humour was used it seemed very obvious and forced, drawing away from what was happening in the moment.

2.) Luke Skywalker is in the film for literally 30 seconds. I love Luke Skywalker and I use the alias Skywalker almost any chance I get, well Skywalker and or Buzz Lightyear but I felt ripped off when he popped onto the screen at the very end of the movie; blink and you would had missed him. People tell me that he will be in the second one more as if that is supposed to be comforting. It's not.

3.) The bad Guy Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). It was fine when he had the mask on but bad when the mask was off. Like really bad. Almost Jar Jar Binks bad but not quite. It was incredibly under acted and over acted simultaneously. The delivery of dialogue was bizarre and stood out for all the wrong reasons. There is a point in the movie where he tries to bring Rey (the main character) to the dark side and says, "I can teach you" he sounded so pathetic I actually started laughing. He didn't seem powerful or dark. I wouldn't even call him a Sith Lord.

4.) Rey learning to use the force so quickly. She learns her ability to use the force and within seconds she's mind controlling and force grab/pushing junk. As if! What skill have you ever mastered within minutes of picking it up? Let me answer that for you. None! I get it that she always kind of knew she was special but please, Luke wasn't very good at it until Empire Strikes Back and you're telling me she's better then Luke as a Jedi, yah right, not buying what you're selling.

5.) Daisy Ridley as Rey. She was fine but unfortunately fine does not land you on the pro list. I just felt nothing special watching her. I can't explain it, either you connect to a character or you don't, it doesn't matter the situation or dialogue and she just didn't have the raw energy that I believed the character needed. Won't right it off as this film is to set up a trilogy and lets be honest, anyone next to Harrison Ford will not make the cut but here's hoping she brings a little more to the role in the future films.


Pros:

1.) Minimal use of CGI. I hate CGI, it feels like I'm watching a cartoon and I find it hard to get invested into storylines that utilise too much of it as in the newest Jurassic Park movie. Side note, I love Jurassic Park but hated the new one because of the over use of CGI. This movie felt like a blast from the past wiht the use of robots, makeup and costumes. I felt like I was watching a movie, a story and it drew me into another world that could be possible due to the authenticity and when they did use CGI it was tasteful and limited in the most perfect way.

2.) Harrison Ford having a large role. I knew Harrison Ford was going to be in the movie but I thought it would only be a couple scenes. I was pleasantly surprised that he was in more than half. Harrison Ford is Star Wars and it just felt so right to have that smart ass sarcastic humour and dialogue that made Han Solo such a pleasure to watch in the first place.

3.) The new characters. Oscar Isaac as Po Dameron was a breath of fresh air. He didn't have too much screen time but when he did, it was scene stealing. He brought the wittiness of Han Solo and heart of Luke Skywalker. At times it felt that his shoes were a little too big or like a puppy trying to stand guard but he had the heart to carry the performance. John Boyega as Finn. I honestly didn't think I was going to like him based on the trailer that had come out but in fact he was a refreshening fish in the pond. He delivered some of the awkward observational humour which I didn't care for but his performance of kind of being an idiot/bafoon mixed with his struggle of doing the right thing balanced each-other out perfectly and I look forward to what he brings in the future films.

4.) C3PO, R2D2 and new comer BB 8. It was a great thrill to see all the droids again. I love C3PO, he's such a dink but in a good way and all tho R2D2 was only in it for a short amount of time it was still great to see him. The new comer BB 8 was awesome. Disney does have the gift of giving robots and other non talking creatures the ability to convey such emotion without ever using words. They almost do a better job telling a story without dialogue and BB 8 was a great example of this. He wasn't quite Wall-E but let's just say I felt more form him then I did Daisy Ridley.

5.) Harrison Ford dying. Now this isn't a pro or a con but with a heavy heart I thought it was necessary. Han Solo and Leia have a son who is dum dum dum KYLO REN and his son ends up killing him in the end. Did I like seeing him die? No, of course not it was very upsetting but let's be realistic, how long do you expect Harrison Ford to be around for? What if he dies or becomes ill or whatever before the next Star Wars is filmed and then they have to write a shitty side plot of the movie taking him out the franchise or do you feature him in the next movie as much as this one? He can't just be a cameo and he steals every scene he is in, there's no way the series could progress with him still in it. As much as it pains me, I respect that the director had the balls to kill him off as I found it necessary all though the fan girl inside is crying like a baby.

There are obviously more things I didn't like and more that I did but these are the ones that stood out. In the end it was a solid addition to the franchise and I think it sets up this next trilogy on solid ground. It has great nods to the past and promising elements for the future.
Where does it stand on the list of Star Wars films for me you ask? #5.

1-New Hope
2-Return of the Jedi
3-Empire
4-Phantom Menace
5-Force Awakens
6-Attack of the Clones
7-Revenge of the Sith

It may sound like I take Star Wars very serious but I don't (I do).



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