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Saturday, December 26, 2015
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
|By Sati.||Saturday, December 26, 2015||2015, fantasy, JJ Abrams, movies, review, S, Star Wars, Star Wars: The Force Awakens|
I was 10 years old when Phanthom Menace came out. I remember how the toys inspired by the movie were everywhere and everyone was talking about this film. I had not seen this one in the cinema but I did see Attack of the Clones. By the time Revenge of the Sith came out the new trilogy was already such a subject of ridicule I watched it solely for the laughs.
I wish I was born 15 years later or 20 years sooner. It must be so dope to be a kid and grow up with actual good Star Wars films. But what George Lucas tarnished for my generation, the new one is getting thanks to Disney and JJ Abrams. I'm not gonna sit here and lie - this film has one of the least ballsy scripts of the year. It follows the formula of A New Hope, it relies so heavily on nostalgia and it plays everything very safe. But I think this is a small sin comparing to the alternative - Lucas' prequels were no doubt creative. Creative to the point we wanted to rip out our eyeballs and shove them into our ears as plugs, just so we don't have to experience that creativity anymore.
The blessing here is that people can just forget the prequels and focus on the sequels instead. After 32 years we return to the original timeline and we see what happens after the events of Return of the Jedi. We meet a young scavenger Rey (luminous Daisy Ridley), a Storm Trooper gone rogue Finn (John Boyega) and a pilot Poe (Oscar Isaac). When the evil First Order tracks down Poe, he sends crucial info for the Resistance in adorable droid - BB-8. Very soon Rey discovers BB-8, helps him out and soon she meets Finn too. Rey, Finn and BB-8 embark on a journey to return BB-8 to Resistance, all the while escaping from The First Order.
The best thing about the film is its main character - Rey - and Daisy Ridley's lovely performance. Rey is someone we like from the very first moments, someone who is good, noble and brave. She has such innocence to her and the moments when she fangirls over Millennium Falcon and Han Solo were so adorable. I think even Harrison Ford's legendary grumpiness died a little in the face of such childlike, sweet enthusiasm.
What is truly impressive is that Ridley sells every single emotion she shows in this movie. Fear, hope, courage - it all rings true. She acts with her face so beautifully - the movie's ending is just fantastic and the magnitude of the events that are happening cannot be denied, but it is in Rey's eyes that you really see the importance of it all. I almost shook myself seeing her raise her hand with saber in it and tremble with tears in her eyes.
Kylo Ren is a good villain. And the film promises some ambiguity here - we know the light is calling to Ren. We also saw the pure anger with which Rey was fighting. I've seen so many theories about how these two will switch sides in next movie. While it would rob Rey of her innocence and I don't think anyone wants to see that, it's good that there is at least some ambiguity to the story here.
I've seen people bitch about how Leia has no reaction to what happens. I'm not sure if they got out to pee in this very moment or they passed out from seeing one of the most iconic characters in the world of cinema ruthlessly slaughtered, but there is quite a long shot of Leia looking devastated right after Han dies. Do people associate grief and heartbreak solely with yelling and welling? Leia's way of showing grief was perfectly in line with her character whom I actually found to be quite cold while watching the trilogy. So really, that complaint is a strange one.
Domhnall Gleeson, who was in about 100 movies in 2015, shows up as the general for the Order and basically goes full retard here. I've just seen him deliver beautiful, subtle performance in Brooklyn, but whatever he was trying to do here, he failed in miserably. But I'll say one more thing about acting - in his 30 seconds of screen time I found Mark Hamill to be better than in the previous three films. Combined.
I think things will get very dark with Johnson at helm, but that's good. The Force Awakens successfully delivered great entertainment while still containing one of the saddest moment in cinema this year. And in Rey, Finn and Poe we have new characters to root for and have adventures with.
We will meet again soon, my friends.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
(2015, 135 min)
Plot: Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a rag-tag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance.
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writers: Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Arndt (written by), George Lucas (based on characters created by)
Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac