Title: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Director: J.J Abrams (Star Trek)
Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong’o, Mark Hamill
Plot: Set 30 years after Return of the Jedi, lowly scrap collector Rey (Ridley) and new friend Finn (Boyega) find themselves involved in a fight to save the universe that involves a few familiar (if slightly more wearied) faces from times of old.
“There’s been an awakening. Have you felt it? The Dark side, and the Light“
Review by Eddie on 18/12/2015
For Jordan’s take on The Force Awakens click here
(This below review is based on the IMAX 3D version of the film)
Star Wars fans, and fans of baggage free thrill ride blockbusters for all ages rejoice, as not only is the Force Awakens the return to the galaxy far far away we’ve been waiting these many long years for, this is a Star Wars film that is arguably the most well made of the entire beloved series.
Master of entertainment J.J Abram’s film is an event that puts many other big budget extravaganzas to shame with a near perfectly paced and plotted narrative, rip roaring old school action that molds the new with the old seamlessly, a heavy doseage of humour among the emotion and a general sense of fun that flows through the very veins of Abrams and associates love letter to one of cinemas most liked properties.
With what seemed like the worlds expectations waiting with baited breathe on its shoulders, The Force Awakens successes of blending the old with the new and paying remembrances to past glories while also crafting its own is quite the feat, and while it may not rip the rule book up and craft a totally unexpected or even an overly original story (a slight gripe is the ‘dark sides’ new major weapon which seems far too like devices of old), Star Wars has never been the film to craft a unique story of good vs evil, rather put it in a special place with unique characters, which The Force Awakens once more does to great effect.
The original films found themselves so adored thanks to the rise of Luke Skywalker, the feistiness of Princess Leia, the friendship and adventures of the Millennium Falcon’s Han Solo and Chewie and the battle they faced to save the universe, and while all old cast mates from the films return here and do so extremely successfully in varying degrees of screen time (Han and Chewie especially, as they threaten to steal the show with their on point repertoire), Abrams has found a willing and effective batch of newcomers that will undoubtedly lead the property forward in an exciting way.
While they may not be as instantly iconic as the first time we saw the Lukes, the Leias or the Hans, Daisy Ridley’s determined and resourceful Rey, John Boyega’s good natured Finn, Adam Drivers fearsome yet somehow sad big bad Kylo Ren and thankfully even the lovable and not overused BB8 quickly become new members of the universe that we can get to know, love and loathe. Its great to rest on the fact that as our treasured original cast become far to old to continue their intergalactic battles, these newest members of the series will be taking over the drivers seat as seen sometimes quite literally in this film.
Particular mention must be made of Ridley and her turn as Rey. It’s a star making turn and also a brave directional decision from the filmmakers to hand the mantle to a genuine unknown, but both the actress and character are fantastic. Driver on the other hand is now a well known talent and his Kylo is a volatile, short tempered and even vulnerable villain that may alienate some fans but win an equal amount of new ones, and every time he is on screen the film sizzles and his lightsaber is all types of epic.
In regards purely to the story Abrams, Michael Arndt and series veteran Lawrence Kasdan have crafted, there really is nothing overly new here but it’s done in such a fun, fast-paced and often breathtaking manner that it quite truly doesn’t matter. There’s moments to make the audience clap, cheer, jeer and even shed a tear and a few fabulously designed scenes and scenarios that will be sure to bring those goose-bump chills. It’s also a film that suits itself to little pre-knowledge, so going in with little knowledge of the story will make the experience that much more enjoyable.
The Force Awakens is far from perfect, yet when we take off our rose tinted glasses and forgo all nostalgia are any of the Star Wars films?
The Force Awakens has delivered on the unparalleled hype and the high expectations that have encompassed it from the day it was announced from all corners of the globe, and managed to be the film long serving fans, more recent appreciators and fresh recruits can all be taken away by.
The force is indeed strong with this one, so let the countdown begin for the next exciting chapter in this now safely back on track saga that looks set to live long and prosperously for years to come yet.
4 1/2 Mad Dogs out of 5
P.S – For Aussie Star Wars fans how cool is this! A great new way to enjoy breakfast over the Summer break and a unique Star Wars product in amongst the abundance of new merchandise that has hit our streets –
Kellogg’s Australia has teamed up with Disney and Lucas films to bring Star Wars action to breakfast time with a limited edition range. The new cereal is inspired by Star Wars and features some of the most iconic characters from across the seven films. The cereal hit shelves in early December, just in time for the release of the new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and will be in store until July 2016.
The cereal consists of Star Wars inspired chocolate flavoured wheat and rice stars and moon shapes and has received a four-star health rating. The packs with cost RRP $4.99 and are sold exclusively at Woolworths.
Nice review. However 4 and a half mad dogs is not a ‘far from perfect’ score if ya get what I’m saying. That makes it only a half away from perfect. ;O).
Good writing, dude. How much of a difference does it make in the enjoyment when we are knowing VERY little?
I wish more projects would do this.
It would make more money (obvioulsy I’m talking about the biggies) and everybody would win, this only works if the film is any good though.
More of that though, I say.
Ha man there are all types of things you could bring down about the movie but I think that’s missing the point with this tpe of adventure so it is far from perfect but dang is it a lot of fun.
So good to see this with little pre knowledge they’ve done a great job keeping it low key story wise.
Nice review. I can’t wait to go see this next week :].
Your in for a real treat mate. Here’s hoping you can avoid spoilers.
Since I don’t read many things about this film I don’t think it’ll get spoiled for me :].
Sounds just like me man. It’s the way to do it.
You guys and your cereal..
Nothing like some good cereal mate. Perfect way to start the day. Find these boxes at a Woolworths nearby!
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Great review. You capture the spirit of the audience well. I’m right there with you. I want to know what you think of spoilers, but won’t get into that here (check my nerdy Theory article). The pacing is perfect, like you say, with new and old characters balanced perfectly. I loved all the new character introductions, especially Rey’s. I can’t wait to see how this familiar hero myth actually unfolds with upcoming chapters!
Can’t wait for the next chapter mate. Stoked you enjoyed this one like I did buddy.
Great work Eddie, you echo many of my thoughts. The film is such a delight; Abrams and co. have done tremendously well given the stakes. That cereal looks pretty delicious too!
Very glad your with me on this one my man and on the cereal ha. Can’t wait for the next episode in 2017.
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Great review. This was so much fun!
Saw it again last night Abbi and it was just as fun as the first time 🙂
I think Mr O and I are going to try and go again soon too!
Hope you both enjoy it just as much as the first time.
Positives- the new cast is pretty terrific and, Harrison Ford aside, better even than the Original Trilogy cast ever was. It ‘looks’ like Star Wars. It ‘sounds’ like Star Wars.
Negatives- alas the script is almost fan fiction. It tries too hard and too many things feel forced (sic). Its almost an Original Trilogy Greatest Hits. And typically JJ Abrams, the coincidences just pile up too high. Finn crashes on the planet near to where Rey lives and the Falcon just happens to be in the local junkyard and Rey flies it like a pro, and later, Finn (a StormTrooper Janitor no less) without any training goes head to head with Kylo Ren in a lightsabre duel and holds his own when he should have been headless in seconds. And how did that Po fella get back to the Resistance before Rey and company, and why did he abandon BB-8 and those plans with the bad guys hunting for it? As usual all the plotholes are hidden by the relentless pace and tight cutting. Very Modern Hollywood.
Overall it was fun and a step in the right direction, but all the relief from the fans that it’s better than the prequels is getting the film too many soaring reviews.
Some interesting points there man and some I may find hard going up against but I think the fi factor wins out here and can confirm it holds up in a repeat viewing.
You’re right on every point! It’s interesting how you’re not the first to point out how the story itself isn’t all that original, and while it hits me for a moment and I’m sad, I think about that point and realize how correct it is. I think originally I did notice that, but paid little attention to it because of J.J. Abrams. My bias knows no bounds.
Ha man I think with these type of films it’s really a non issue as the fun factor is all we need to get us through 🙂
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