In this continuation of the epic space opera, a downed stormtrooper (John Boyega) goes on a journey that brings him face-to-face with heroes from the past (Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill). Directed by J.J. Abrams. ~ Violet LeVoit, Rovi
Director: J.J. Abrams
Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Harrison Ford,
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher
Release Date: Dec 17, 2015
Runtime: 2 hr. 16 min.
Genres: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is probably one of the most hyped movies in recent memory and the question quickly arises, can it possibly live up to the hype. It does to a certain extent but it’s far from a perfect delivery. The good news is that J.J. Abrams brings back the sense of fun and wonderment to the series that was sorely lacking from the prequels. Abrams has a clear affection for the franchise, countless youtube videos will soon be dedicated to dissecting shots that reference the original trilogy, and it shines through the screen and through the plot. It’s both a love letter to Star Wars: A New Hope and a redux of it. Even if the nostalgia is a bit much at times, Abrams knows how to keep the film fun with plenty of space battles and adventure. The new and old characters mesh surprisingly well even if the Daisy Ridley and John Boyega scale closer to Luke Skywalker than Han Solo. Boyega does stand out with his comedic timing which is used throughout the film. A persistently sweaty Ridley does a solid if unremarkable job. Oscar Isaac on the other hand plays the most intriguing new character in the film. He’s so impressive that you can’t help but wish that he was the main character instead of a supporting one. The returning cast does well as expected with Harrison Ford impressively easing back into his Solo character and providing a solid center to the whole film. Adam Driver on the other hand is a mixed bag as the new baddie Kylo Ren. He’s world more effective when he’s in full character. The mystique they work to create during the first two acts is kind thrown to the wayside when he’s unmasked and we’re left with an all too familiar whiny child with Driver’s face. This is part of the persistent problem with the film, it lack any real surprise because it telegraphs “surprises” from miles away. The only way you’d really not see them coming would be if you showed up late or fell asleep for some reason. That’s not even to mention the Death Star, hey lets make it huge this time that’ll work, device that used again. Still, even with it’s faults The Force Awakens delivers what people expected from the prequels, a fun adventure back in this universe.