Thirty years after the Empire was defeated by the rebel forces a new force now threatens the galaxy. Rising from the ashes of the Empire the First Order are a dark force led by the shrouded Kylo Ren who seek to re-attain complete control over the galaxy. The Resistance must destroy the First Order’s new superweapon before it is too late.
Just a heads up everyone, this review will contain spoilers. But fear not, I shall also post a non-spoiler version.
In case there was any doubt, it is brilliant. But for me the most overwhelming feeling was that of satisfaction. It fulfils my expectations completely and I went in honestly expecting a little too much from this film. It very rarely makes false moves and when it does they are surrounded by fantastic bits that cover it. I’ll talk about these missteps later on. As a Star Wars fan it could definitely said that I’m more willing just to like whatever film they made just because it involves the millennium falcon, I mean I really like the Phantom Menace and I’m not ashamed of it. But there is a difference between me plain liking a film, and me acknowledging how “good” a film is. The Phantom Menace is not a “good” film, but I love it because I first watched it when I was 5 and it contains Darth Maul – the coolest character in the entire star wars franchise. But I don’t just love the Force Awakens, it’s also a “good” movie. On a technical level I’d put it up there with Empire Strikes Back and probably above A New Hope to be honest.
As I mentioned I think there are some missteps. I think there are a few characters who are definitely underutilised. I wanted far more Captain Phasma because she genuinely seems like the new trilogy’s Bobba Fett. I also thought that those strange tentacle beasties would have worked better as Rancors or something a little more threatening, but I still enjoyed the sequence.
But there is just so much to love about this film. Ok if you missed the earlier spoiler warning, for real now stop reading if you haven’t seen it. Because I want to talk about Han Solo. And how pleased I am with how the situation in general was dealt with. I feel like the decision for his early exit was probably one made by Harrison because I doubt he really wanted to revisit Star Wars all that much. But it was dealt with very emotionally and I feel they got as much out of the Han Solo character as they could given the age difference and Harrison’s probable reluctance. But you also don’t notice any of this in his performance, from the off Han Solo is back and it’s wonderful.
The Force Awakens is definitely the best acted Star Wars film yet. The prequels I actually thought were as well acted as the poor dialogue would allow, especially Ewan McGregor who bore the brunt of the rubbish lines. Although of course they did contain the abomination that is Hayden Christiansen whom I personally think is the worst part of all the prequels (that’s right worse than Jar Jar). But everyone involved in the Force Awakens is terrific. Newcomers John Boyega (Moses from Attack the Block) and Daisy Ridley (whom has been in virtually nothing before this) are both superb and instantly settle into the rhythm of the film and are the two main emotional reasons you connect so well with the film. Adam Driver gives us Kylo Ren – the most interesting villain Star Wars has ever had – and I think is the standout performer from this film. Elsewhere Domhall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac are other standouts.
If you like any Star Wars film, you are going to love this. And you know what if you don’t like any Star Wars films you just might love this one any way. Fantastic stuff.