Monday, December 21, 2015

Movie Review: Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

So I recently went and saw the new Star Wars movie almost on accident (basically the thing we wanted to do didn't work out so we saw this instead) and it was a fantastic choice.

Overall, up front, the movie was awesome. I'm going to try my hardest not to give away any spoilers so this post might be really vague.

I think one of the movie's greatest strengths was its use of humor. I never thought of it before, but all past six movies were lacking in humor and this movie was not shy about it. I also loved the little digs occasionally at itself and the way the actors reacted to some things. It gave the movie a slightly more lighthearted side that I think is more reflective of 2015 then the other movies. I think its a smart choice to help draw in new Star Wars fans and to help them relate better to the characters.

One of the other great things I loved about this movie was the awesome scene footage. There were moments during the movie that were quite really, breathtaking, and at other times were simply just moving to see. They really played with the mood of the scenes and I thought did a great job with the special effects and editing.

The new characters were awesome in their own right. The main girl, Rey, was my absolute favorite. She was a hero and I thought really brought the movie together. A lot of people were calling Finn the new "Luke", but I think its more Rey then it is him. I personally loved Rey more then I did Finn, I thought her character was stronger and she did a fantastic job for this being her first, big time role.

 Finn's character was also strong and at times, the most real and funny character in the movie. Looking back on it now, I think almost that his character just wasn't as strong. Some of his motives seemed a big overdone or unexplained. And although he was more of a reluctant hero, he seemed to be more of a sidekick to Rey.

Now there are some parts about the movie that disappointed me. While I enjoyed the moments where it echoed the earlier movies and the homages paid to it, and also how Leia and Han Solo came back for another go, I thought that at times the movie seemed to recycle too much of the old movies and its tropes. At times it was too much like the old movies and certain parts of history for comfort and I thought I would have enjoyed seeing more new ideas brought to stage.

That being said, I loved the way we saw Han Solo and Leia's relationship in this movie and how we saw what happened years after the last Star Wars movie where we left them. I also thought there was an interesting dynamic with them and the new "Evil Dark Overlord" but in a way, it wasn't anything new or surprising.

In fact, it was slightly unexplained to me and I felt his character could have been explored more. I enjoyed his character and thought he was a definite strong antagonist, but he was also a slight disappointment. Something about him bugged me. If anything, I am super curious about his mentor that was introduced in this movie.

Then there were the points in the plot that were seemingly unexplained and I was left more confused then enlightened. And while there are parts of our characters that are still a mystery, they have lots of room to explore those. But I also felt there were those missed opportunities to explain things that they might have not realized were unclear or they cut them out due to time.

Overall, this was a great movie and I definitely would recommend it. Even if you're tired of Star Wars (like I am of Harry Potter), I would go see this movie for the fantastic shots and the humor and Rey and Finn because I'm definitely rooting for them.


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