Sunday, 20 December 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars, Star Wars, Star Wars...

Before we start, this is a SPOILER FREE review, you can read this review before you see the film if you wish! I'm not going to give anything away, which may mean this review is quite short, I have plans to maybe give some more spoilery thoughts in the future but for now I wanted to give my intitial opinion of the new Star Wars film.

If you want to find out what Star Wars means to me, go back and read my previous post; Why I Love Star Wars. That should give you some context as to where I am coming from when it comes to my love of the franchise.

So first things first, Star Wars is back, like actually back! The Force Awakens brings back everything you loved about the original films and moves the story forward for the first time since 1983. It brings in a whole new roster of characters and actors and merges them in with some of the original cast. When the film starts with the new scroll of text and the sudden blast of music don't be ashamed if it brings a tear to your eye, don't be ashamed if any of the scenes bring a tear to your eyes, there's a lot of heart and effort put into this film to make it feel like the Star Wars we used to know, maybe a little too much at times but we'll get to that later.

Lets start with the actors. Our new big three is made up of Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Issac who all do amazing in their roles and give some of the best performances we have seen from any of the Star Wars films so far. They are perfect as our new heroes, and I left feeling that even if the original cast hadn't been involved, The Force Awakens would still have been a great Star Wars film with just our new characters! With the new film we also have a new lead villain, Kylo Ren, played by the absolutely superb Adam Driver, he gives a standout performance in the film and brings a lot of layers to the character who is very scary due to his conflict and unpredictability. As seen in the trailer and poster we have the return of Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca, the original actors all provide great performances and evoke a lot of nostalgia. Harrison Ford looks like he is really enjoying himself in this film and gives one of his best performances in years as the scruffy looking nerf herder. At the end of the day though it is the droid BB-8 that steals the show...

The story is great and provokes a lot of call backs, nostalgia and plenty of homage, particularly to A New Hope, which at times does become too much as the story points of the first film are reused a lot in the new one. With a franchise as big as this one is in the world of pop culture then you are going to expect a few nods and call backs, but sometimes it did feel as if we needed more original plot points to keep us going.

Director JJ Abrams does an amazing job of bringing the world of Star Wars to life by returning to old puppetry and costume/makeup effects that still look more real than anything you could make on a computer today! This does get proven within the film and most of the time it looks so real you could touch it however, whenever a CGI creature or character comes on screen it is pretty obvious, and this is a shame. It's not Jar Jar Binks bad but you definitely hope it would be better. Personally I would just keep to practical effects, we don't need mo-capped characters in a world that looks so real.

One of my favourite things about the film is the camerawork, the camera is barely static and is constantly being moved around all over the place and makes for some incredible looking shots and stunning cinematography. There are shots in this film that had me grinning like a child again and I really loved being brought back into the world in such a beautiful way. Star Wars has never looked better.

Abrams has brought Star Wars back to life for old and new generations. I had an absolute blast watching this film and went through all the emotions I had watching them as a child. The hype was massive and I think the film mostly lived up to it, I had so much fun watching this film, it was a blast sitting in the cinema again and hearing the incredible John Williams score blasting out loud. I think I'm going to have to watch it again soon just to soak it all in but right now I would definitely rate this as the third best Star Wars film we have seen, under Empire and Hope. It's not perfect but they have done a good job of getting the awkward reintroduction out of the way and making audiences excited for Star Wars again, the ending is the best of any Star Wars film and only promises greater things to come, I am already super excited for Episode 8 which has the potential to be the best Star Wars film yet. I am rating The Force Awakens a 4.5/5. Go see this film in the cinema, you will not be dissapointed!

What did you think of the new Star Wars film? Love it or hate it? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Our outfits for the midnight showing. Less people dressed up than we thought... Totally worth it though!

1 comment:

  1. Great review Alex! I couldn't agree more, I though the fresh cast were easily the best aspect of the film. Can't wait to see more from them :)


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