Friday, December 25, 2015

Movie Review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (No Spoilers)

I just got back from watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the first time and Oh Wow!

No spoilers. You want to see this film with no preconceptions or foreknowledge. It's simply fantastic.

I've heard it compared to the original trilogy, but that's not quite true. Yes, it has the "feel" of "old school" Star Wars, but the characterization is much deeper. I can't really tell you much about it without giving away key plot points, but both Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) are complex characters with mysterious pasts, well, Rey's past is the more mysterious.

I'm not going to tell you a thing about Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). I can't, but who he'll never see it coming.

Max Von Sydow had a small part in the film and I've long been an admirer of his work.

There are particular parts of the film that will seem familiar, that are subtly or not-so-subtly derived from the original trilogy, but I didn't find that obvious or disappointing. More like meeting an old friend after many years.

Han was most like himself, just older. Leia...well, older but she's changed, and given what's happened to her, I can understand why.

Chewy? He's always Chewy. The same loyalty and growl. He's in for a shock, though.

I'm not saying a bloody thing about Luke Skywalker. There's a reason he's not in any of the promotional material including the trailers, but it's not what you think.

The various planets and other environments shown in the film are first rate. Deserts, jungles, forests, oceans, ice worlds, it's like the first three Star Wars films all over again (except for the ocean and the island).

I'm pleased to see the X-Wing pilots span the scale of thin, heavy, man, woman, alien, ordinary people, not supermodel actors.

Light saber battles, lots of explosions, space travel, light speed, Jedi powers, droids (and this time they find the droid they're looking for), this one has all of the familiar Star Wars tropes plus some damn fine acting. I almost was in tears for a couple of scenes.

There was one time when I started to miss Obi-Wan Kenobi as played by Sir Alec Guinness.

I happened to see the movie in 3D. I don't typically go for that. 3D, especially in live action, is distracting at times. I'll have to go see the film again without 3D just for the comparision, plus to catch all the stuff that went by in a blur the first time.

If you see no other movie on the big screen, see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. You won't be sorry. I promise.