Abrams Is About To Make The Entire World Happy With “Star Wars: Force Awakens”
By Scott Kurland
Film: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Starring: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, and Mark Hamil
Director: J.J. Abrams
(Note: This review has NO SPOILERS IN AT ALL. I guarantee this review is 100% free of ruining “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” for you. So if you were afraid to read this review because other reviews are spoiling the movie, have no fear I give nothing away....because Disney won't let me.)
I’ve been waiting a long, long time to review a “Star Wars” film….in a galaxy far, far away. When the original trilogy came out, I had not yet come into this world. When they re-released the trilogy in 1997, I was on the cusp of turning eleven and I was hardly the film buff I am today. I will say that with that re-release, I remember seeing “The Empire Strikes Back” at the Burlington General Cinemas. But “A New Hope” and “Return Of The Jedi” are more of a foggy memory for me. As the years went on and the prequels ruined the name of “Star Wars,” I still stayed a loyal fan.
As the years went by, my faith in the success of any new or future “Star Wars” film started to diminish. However, upon viewing the trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” I began to perk up. I’m very pleased to say I had the privilege of attending an early screening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Yes this week is “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Are you ready to make the kessel run in 12 parsecs? This is my review of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Let’s do this thing, shall we?
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” takes place many years after the events of “Return Of The Jedi”. A new dark force has arisen; led by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Although his plans are shrouded in secrecy, a scavenger named Rey (Daisy Ridley) ends up finding a very important piece that will help both sides; the light and the dark. Now Rey finds herself on a journey that will take her across the galaxy. Along the way, she catches the eye of a couple “scruffy looking nerf-herders”. Together, they just might be able to stop Ren’s army.
Honestly, I understand that the synopsis I gave you is very ominous. And if you think I gave anything away, I can assure you I haven’t. I want you to see this film because this is the “Star Wars” film we deserved back in 1999. J.J. Abrams once again captures lightning in a bottle. Abrams has a way of reigniting our love for films we forgot we loved in the first place. Abrams made “Mission Impossible” after the franchise nearly faltered . He also brought back that Amblin magic with “Super 8” and, oh yeah, he made “Star Trek” incredible again. With a resume like that, there’s no way he could have failed with “Star Wars”. Well, of course he could have failed. Anyone making a film can fail. Just look at “Speedracer.” Abrams has brought “Star Wars” back to its roots. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” blends practical effects with CGI and motion capture and the result looks unbelievable.
Some people might say the film is too long, and yes, this is a long movie. But you have to remember, in this film Abrams has to make up for the three previous prequels spanning from 1999-2005. I actually liked the length of this movie, though that might be because I never wanted it to end. Every time I thought the film was going to end, I found myself growing sad and melancholy because this is the best “Star Wars” film since “The Empire Strikes Back”. “The Force Awakens” hits all the right notes from the moment John Williams’ iconic fanfare score begins. I am not ashamed to admit that I had tears in my eyes as the beginning scroll rolled; tears which re-appeared several times during this film. That may sound a bit overdramatic and nerdy, but “Star Wars” is like nerd-vana and I know many people will be leaving the theater teary-eyed.
I loved everything about “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. The cast, in particular, was exceptional. All four leads know how to hold their own with a couple of veteran “Star Wars” alumni like Ford, Fisher, and Peter Mayhew. The fact that Abrams’ two leads (Rey and Finn) are relatively unknown actors, screamed old-school George Lucas. Ridley and Boyega have had minor roles in past films and television shows, but here they really shine. Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac are just incredible as Kylo Ren and Poe Dameron. Driver is known for the TV series “Girls”and, because of that, fans were worried about his performance. I wasn’t. Not once. If you’ve seen Driver in “Inside Llweyn Davis” or “What If…,” you know this guy has range. Isaac is truly on a hot streak coming off “Ex-Machina” and HBO’s “Show Me A Hero.” The kid is just unstoppable. As Dameron, you can tell this role is a dream come true and if you see his face in this movie, you can tell he’s just having the time of his life.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” reminds us of why we loved these films to begin with. The fantasy, the action, the intergalactic civil war; it’s all up there on the screen. Abrams even brought back old “Star Wars” screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan. Kasdan wrote “Empire Strikes Back”, “Return of The Jedi”, and “Raiders of The Lost Ark” just to name a few minor films. I’m just elated and giddy about this film. I know I’m going to see it at least three or four more times in theaters. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is the film we’ve been waiting for, the film we deserved back in 1999 but , luckily, we get it now in 2015. Do yourself a favor and see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. I can’t give much away, but I will say that this film is worthy to follow “Return Of The Jedi”.
REVIEW RATING: A