It was a while coming, with great expectations and without the brain melting hand of George Lucas on the tiller. So many metaphors, but such a big movie.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens blasted into cinemas, setting box office records alight and burning all the competition. The sense of expectation and anticipation was extraordinary, and while this is my review of it, I have to admit, the film lived up to the hype.
The fact the story is a copy of the “original” (or “holy”) trilogy was not really a problem for me. Sure there were no “fantastic” new worlds with staggering architecture and sprawling societies – they were left behind in the remarkably tedious “prequel” trilogy. Instead, we got small snippets of alien worlds, the story taking place with the actors in front of the camera rather than in the special effects and cinematography behind the actors.
The story is simple. The baddies are bad; the goodies are… well, good, but not seeming to do a whole lot. Rei, heroine and merchandise poison (or so it seems; how else to explain the lack of Rei-related merchandise?), meets up with BB8 (a toy seller’s wet dream) and ex Storm Trooper Finn (no spoilers there, I hope) to set off on an adventure around the galaxy, with the remnants of the evil Empire never far behind.
The acting is all around fantastic, though Domhall Gleason as the Ginger Commander of the First Order Forces seems to be channelling the high camp General Zod from Superman II more any Grand Moff from earlier movies. Harrison Ford appears to be enjoying himself, and the amount of emotion Carrie Fisher manages to convey despite her mostly immobile face is impressive to behold.
There are some glitches in the logic of the movie, but these seem to be J J Abrahms plot contrivances rather than anything more sinister. Remember the trans warp beaming from the revamped Star Trek movies that, logically, eliminated the need for the Enterprise and Starships of its ilk all together? There are similar issues here (hopefully it’s not too much of a spoiler to point out the limited number of “refuelling stars”), but it really doesn’t matter too much – these films are fun and mad, and while those issues do kind of take me out of the universe and make it seem just a touch too fanciful, I enjoyed myself nonetheless.
I saw the film twice, both in 3D and 2D, and while there was nothing lost in the 2D version (the missing Fox fanfare I only picked up on at my second screening), the sight of the Star Destroyers and ships flying around space in 3D was definitely impressive.
Verdict: I surprise no one and go against no other review when I say The Force Awakens was great. 9 stars out of 10. Now I wait anxiously for the next one…