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Movie Review: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
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Movie Review: THE HATEFUL EIGHT
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STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

Movie review by David Blackwell

 

136 minutes, Rated PG-13

STUDIO: Lucasfilm/ Disney

Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 12-27-2015

The replacement of the Empire, the First Order, hunts for the missing Luke Skywalker and they capture a pilot who has a vital clue to where Luke has disappeared to.  The pilot’s droid, BB-8, befriends Rey (Daisy Ridley) who was left stranded as a child and waits for her parents to return to Jakku one day.  One of the First Order’s Stormtroopers has a change of heart and plans his escape along with breaking out the captured pilot.  The ex-Stormtrooper is named Finn (John Bogeya) and he teams up with Rey as they race to get the important data that the BB-8 has while they avoid the pursuing forces of the First Order led by the dark warrior Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).  They meet some familiar faces along the way as the stage may be set for a new battle between the dark and light sides of the Force while the First Order looks to crush the Resistance (funded by the Republic) once and for all.

 

The new STAR WARS movie which continues about thirty years after RETURN OF THE JEDI is a mixed bag since it does as many things right as it does wrong.   It nails the original trilogy characters spot on in terms of how they speak and react in this movie.  Harrison Ford is really having fun as Han Solo in THE FORCE AWAKENS as his long term friendship/ partnership with Chewbacca really is a great thing to see.  Daisy Ridley is one of the stand outs as one of the new characters as you wonder who her parents are as the latest movie never really answers that (to probably be revealed in a future movie by a certain character).   John Bogeya is underwhelming as Finn while Adam Driver is more impressive as Kylo Ren with the mask on than without it.  He sometimes comes off as a bad guy who happens to throw whiny tantrums that results in lots of destruction.  Snook is the mysterious power behind the first Order which they are going to reveal more in the next two chapters of this new trilogy.  Some characters you don’t get enough like Poe Dameron where other characters like Captain Phasma seem like glorified cameo lip service along with other actor cameos you will recognize.

 

Then you have a story that is a mix of a greatest hits package of the STAR WARS saga along with being a repeat of past films.   It does set the stage for some new myth building along with borrowing from other myth building you have seen in the other six STAR WARS movies (which George Lucas borrowed from other sources anyway).   You also have the big giant weapon that happens to have vegetation and snow on it which makes you wonder if this Nazi-like evil empire called the First Order even bothered to learn from the mistakes of the empire when they had their two Death Stars blown up.   THE FORCE AWAKENS is impressive with its nostalgia and small details along with bringing back many of the old characters.   Hopefully, Rian Johnson will bring many new things to say to Episode VIII along with a story that doesn’t have so many plot holes that the Sarlaac can’t digest them all. No matter what I say in this review, I do think people will highly regard Episode VII despite its narrative flaws.

 

This review is 12-21-2015 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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