Written by Nelson Cumming
I remember several years ago hearing the news that Disney was going to make another Star Wars film. My reaction was “Dear God no!”. Then I saw the movie and my reaction had changed.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a fun movie. It knows how and when to be serious and fun. Star Wars: The Force Awakens could have fallen into being too dark or atonal like Batman vs Superman but it didn’t.
Instead, Star Wars: The Force Awakens explores what made the franchise popular in the first place. Jar Jar Binks does not play a role, There is no holiday special (Noooooooo) The set up of the lead protagonist is in the middle of a desert, There are battles with flying ships and several key characters returned.
While Star Wars: The Force Awakens retains the acts of nostalgia there are also many elements that distinguish it from the other films in the franchise. The most important of which are several new characters that drive the story.
The two new characters are Finn, a Stormtrooper that has gone AWOL after a battle that changed him, causing him to switch sides to the New Republic (The good guys) and Rey, a scavenger who gets swept up into the adventure. These roles are played by John Boyega and Daisy Ridley respectively
What makes this cast so good is their believably. When the dialogue wanes, their performances are so good that I believed them anyway. Every actor who was in it didn’t overreact to moments where lesser-made movies would have. It made it easier to watch and avoided my eye-rolling.
The other major aspects of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was their set pieces, designs, and special effects. There was a moment in which Kylo Ren, the main antagonist stops a shot from a laser gun in mid air which was awesome. The action set pieces coupled with the large and fast airships was both thrilling and delightful. They helped provide the film with the action and the fun it needed.
I just love it when large, $200 million blockbusters work. I have found that the good blockbusters are inventive with the special effects they put their money on. Not only that, but these movies know how to moderate it bu focusing on keeping the story simple and believable. That is what a blockbuster needs to do to make the movie immersive.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens ticks a lot of boxes. I laughed, I gasped, I got the story, I believed in the actors and the drama combined with the sheer size and scale made the film a great installment to the franchise ****1/4
P.S. I don’t know why but the best part for me was the introduction to C-3PO. He caught me by surprise. It was a nice surprise indeed. A surprise it must.