What I thought of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Force Awakens Review
It probably goes without saying, but there are HUGE, great honking big spoilers ahead...so if you haven't seen the film yet and or don't want to be spoiled, then turn back now.
Right, now that the pre-requisite spoiler warning is out of the way, I'll get on with my review.
I didn't like it. Well, I didn't hate it as such, but I wasn't jumping out of my cinema seat and applauding either and here's just some of the reasons why...
1. I've seen this film before
The Force Awakens felt like a Star Wars film by numbers. After the prequels, the makers of this film seemed so afraid of disappointing people that they took all the fan favourite parts of the original trilogy and whacked them all into this one. For Example:
- Bad guy with a shiny helmet and a scary voice that turns out to be a family member - check
- Robot sidekick that makes funny beeping sounds for comic relief - check
- Giant star of death (yeah ok, this time its bigger) - check
- Battle on an ice planet - check
- Funny looking aliens playing a jaunty tune in a bar - check
- Mentor figure that is killed in front of the main protagonist - check
I could go on and on because there's many more. Essentially, it is the same film/ films.
'But what's wrong with that!?' I hear you say 'The original trilogy was awesome'. Yes, it was, but if I wanted to watch them again, I would. What I wanted was something that forwarded the story and the Star Wars universe on. This didn't. Which brings me on to my next point.
2. The Nostalgia Factor
The film played so heavily on people's warm, nostalgic feelings about the original trilogy, but at the same time yanked them away. I'll try to explain...
When I was a kid watching these films, Han, Luke and Leia could do no wrong. Luke was the ultimate good guy, Han and Leia were the model couple and Leia herself was an amazing bad ass sci fi chick to look up to. The child me assumed that my heroes had a 'happily ever after' at the end of Return of the Jedi.
So, Han and Leia split up after their son goes evil and Luke abandons them all to go feel sorry for himself at the other side of the galaxy. What!??
Now, don't get me wrong, Nowadays I love it when characters have flaws and depth, but these were my childhood heroes. The ones that the Force Awakens tried to get me to have warm fuzzy feelings about seeing again. By turning them into normal people and having them make the same mistakes as their predecessors did, it took away that warm nostalgic feeling and replaced it with a sense of loss and disappointment. As vader would say, 'Noooooooooooooo!'
3. The Hype
Oh god, the hype. Sooooo much Star Wars everywhere my brain has been fried. For this film to live up to the hype, it would have had to been amazing and surprising. It wasn't. It was predictable and just fine.
- The acting was mostly fine (although Carrie Fisher seemed to have forgotten how to be Leia at some points)
- The art direction and cinematography was fine for a film of this budget
- The music was fine. In fact most of the music seemed to be taken from the old trilogy. There didn't seem to be any noticeable or memorable new score.
So it was all just fine. Good even, in parts. But not special or unique.
So was there anything about the film I did like?
I liked Kylo Ren and evil Bill Weasley as bad guys and I also liked Rey and Finn too - they were good, watchable characters. So, yeah. I have higher hopes for the next film. I think I'll wait for it to come out on Netflix though next time.