Thursday, December 14, 2017

STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS MOVIE REVIEW

 As you know I have been reviewing Star Wars Episodes 1-7 leading up to The Last Jedi. I am seeing The Last Jedi tonight the review will be up tomorrow.  For the final time, this review will contain SPOILERS so if you have not seen The Force Awakens that is your warning.  The movie starts off With Poe Dameron looking for Luke Skywalker on the planet Jakku. He has gotten a piece of a map and he is trying to get that back to the resistance. He is not able to get it to them right away. He is captured by Kylo Ren and that is also the moment we meet Finn.  Finn is a really great character I didn't know how much I was going to like Finn just because he's a former stormtrooper. He's got so many quirky personality traits it's endearing. When we see him wake up and refuse to kill a bunch of innocents I thought this guy is turning out to be more interesting than I originally thought. When we see Kylo Ren enter the movie for the first time I thought that he looked like a guy in a cheap Halloween custom the mask looked ridiculous. When he spoke with the mask on I had to try hard not to burst out laughing it was so funny I did not take him seriously at all. When he throws his little temper tantrum all I could think of was whenever the villains lost in Power Ranger and they would also throw temper tantrums.   Later on, in the movie, we find out that Kylo is actually Ben Solo the son of Han and Leia. I also did not like this we've seen this before with Darth Vader being Luke's father. Do something different not every character in these movies has to be related.  Anyway, this is why Luke has vanished he feels like a failure because Ben Solo went to the dark side.    Poe is being tortured for information about where the map to Luke is. He is rescued by Finn. Finn and Poe have really great on-screen chemistry they don't have a lot of scenes together, but the scenes they do have are fantastic.  Now on to Rey, she is such a cool character. She is a  scavenger on Jakku. She saves the droid BB8 from another scavenger. Just like Anakin, we find out that she knows how to do a lot of stuff and she's shocking herself because she's never done them before.  We see Rey and Finn team up and try to bring BB8 back to the resistance because BB8 has the map to Luke.    Along the way, they meet up with Han and Chewbacca and those two are just how they always were. When Rey and Finn tell Han and Chewbacca that they have a piece of a map that will lead them to Luke he pretty quickly agrees to help them get the map to the resistance.  Han takes them to Maz Kanata this character is completely CG and sticks out like a sore thumb. The CGI was unacceptable it looked like not much time was spent on it at all. There was one amazing scene in that part of the movie where Rey finds Luke's lightsaber and has all these visions. The First Order shows up to where they are and Rey is captured by Kylo. Then the resistance arrives and we get a nice little reunion with Han and Leia.    Supreme Leader Snoke is another character smaller to Maz Kanata that is completely CG and also looks terrible and like it was rushed. Hopefully, he looks better when we see him in person in The Last Jedi.  When Kylo was interrogating Rey and trying to get information out of her I was afraid we would find out that they are related. I'm glad we did not get that. That may come is episode 8 or 9, but I really hope not. She gets Kylo to take off his mask and when he does he looked like and goth high school kid I still was not able to take him seriously.  The best part of Rey's escape was the fact that we really saw how the force works because the first two times she tried to get the stormtrooper to release her she was very emotional. When he finally walked in front of her and she was speaking to him straight on deadpan face she turned her emotions off and told him what to do and he did it.  One character we do not see enough of is Captain Phasma. There was a really funny scene with Han and chewie where they decide to put her in a trash compactor.    The final act of the movie is where I was taken out of the movie for a little bit and that was when Han Solo was killed. It seemed like it was an idea clearly fueled by Harrison Ford since he wanted Han Solo to die in Return of the Jedi. The way he died in this movie was so lame and you could see it coming. I didn't even react I just thought wow that was very predictable. The only emotional moment in that scene is when Chewie cried out also when you see that Leia sensed it.  We also see in this scene Kylo Ren zero in on Finn and Rey and I really think that was a key moment for the future of this series. The lightsaber battle at the end with Rey, Finn and Kylo was beautifully done. What I really loved was when Rey finally picked up that lightsaber and battled Kylo. People said that the final scene when Ray finds Luke was disappointing because there wasn't enough Luke. I thought it was fine that he didn't have a line. Luke was never on any of the promotional material so I expected something like that to happen and this helps build anticipation for The Last Jedi.    I did really enjoy this movie. My one big issue is Kylo Ren he comes off as that goth kid in high school who throws a fit when he can't find his eyeliner. All of the other new characters were great. It was fun to see the original characters back.   4 out of 5 stars for The Force Awakens.


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