Star Wars: the Force Awakens (2015) – Reuben’s Review

If you’re really scared of even the slightest spoiler, just skip to the verdict.

I love Star Wars, especially the original stuff, of course. The Force Awakens stays true to the original trilogy; with the start of the film on a Tatooine-like planet, Jakku, as per usual. It follows the thrilling journey of the brilliant Poe of the Resistance and Finn of past Storm trooper relation, at first, as you are thrown into the blistering excitement.  But then there is a twist in the main hero being a girl. It works both simply for a change, but also in that it is pretty much a first in as big a film as Star Wars that the main character is a female. That wouldn’t matter, though, if the character wasn’t a likable hero, or if the acting wasn’t any good. Fortunately, those boxes are ticked, as with every character in the film bar Snoke, who is an example of bad CGI, unfortunately. He doesn’t play a very big part, though, and other than him the special effects are fantastic — with the use of more practical effects being a refreshing move from Lucasarts, and one that the film benefits from, as it doesn’t look artificial like so many films do nowadays (The Hobbit, Star Wars prequels, Avengers, etc).

Along with the great use of practical effects, there are fantastically designed costumes all over the joint, with great designs ranging from the new-look storm troopers to Kylo Ren and his super cool outfit.

Taint no retractable face, Milo.

Going back to character, though, the move from Disney to advertise Finn as the main Jedi was clever, as it meant for the reveal of Rey as the Jedi to be much better than otherwise could have been possible. Finn, though, is a fantastic character, with John Boyega deserving more nominations than he’s received for his charismatic performance. One other thing done well with The Force Awakens is the lack of slow story development which so marred the progress of the prequel films, and A New Hope in part (I thought, though it was amazing even so), and also the decision to focus on characters to develop the story other than excess plot development means for better character development and means you actually like the characters, unlike Episodes I, II and III. Moreover, the return of light-heartedness and inclusion of comedy makes it an even more enjoyable watch; however, mixed with darker themes clearly inspired by the best parts of Episode III, there is more violence and concentration on action — with that providing excitement, and the comedy bringing extra enjoyment. Finn personifies the more light-hearted approach along with the brilliant BB8, and Kylo Ren is a fantastic vehicle for the darker side of the film, who I love – even though some people might think he’s a bit of a snotty nosed dork. Kylo Ren is probably just as good a villain as Darth Maul in my opinion at least, but he’s used much, much better, fortunately. Ah, yes. The Phantom Menace. Let’s all remind ourselves of that excellent part of film history. Good for you and me, though, we can forget about that now, because we have the sequel trilogy, which could even be better than the original if they keep on getting things right like they did with this film.

One more thing I’m grateful was done right was the score. A mixture of both classic tracks and new ones, it’s fantastic in both providing towards all the drama and the overall feel of the film. Because, by using both old tracks and new ones it reminds you of the past (sparking your nostalgia) whilst also bringing something new, which the film does fantastically with every aspect; from the story to the cast to the sets to the action and to the (you guessed it) score. Other than being a tad ridiculous in some plot turns, and lacking quite the same grandness of scale in sets and cast that the original films did – but only just, mind you; it’s pretty much perfect in what it has set out to do; providing excitement, enjoyment, drama, action and nostalgia in abundance. Enough for a boy like me to squeal.

Verdict:

The Force Awakens is the main product of Disney’s buy out, and so I’m very happy Disney got involved if it meant this beast of a film was made. It was almost a dream of mine that there would be a sequel trilogy, and it has actually happened, so I was aptly excited. My excitement was repaid emphatically, as when I sat in the cinema fulfilling one of my most anticipated pipe dreams, I was blown away by this surprisingly light-hearted yet violent, action packed and particularly well crafted, yes, beast of a film.

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94/100

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– Reuben (Speedy).

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