Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance.

 

Director: J.J. Abrams

Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford, Adam Driver, Peter Mayhew, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, Carrie Fisher, Lupita Nyong’o, Anthony Daniels, Max von Sydow, Mark Hamill

Rated: PG-13 (sci-fi action violence)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

By Matt Greene

This is it. The Big One. The Grand Fromage. The last (biggest) movie of 2015. After years of mysterious announcements, casting rumors, story leaks, nerd speculations, and some amazing trailers, the epic space opera of complex-good vs. complex-evil is back, and in full force. Jedi Master Abrams, consciously and good-naturedly aware of the task he has been given, delivers an adventure every bit as fun as its predecessors, keeping intact the heart and soul of what we love in these films, down to its beautiful imperfections. Feel free to believe the hype and know that your question of “Will it live up?” will quickly disappear.

It’s like we never left the galaxy far, far away. It’s Star Wars, inside and out, unabashedly biting elements from its origins while sweeping us along in new ways. Having learned from the dreaded CGI-drenched prequels, it’s chocked full of practical effects, beautiful creature designs, and stunning sets. Even more importantly, the characters are wonderfully original and perfectly nuanced, especially newcomers Ridley and Boyega. I don’t wanna say too much here in case you’re one of the 3 people in the world who hasn’t seen it yet, but be assured: Jar Jar Binks & Anakin Skywalker they are not.

Thank God for Abrams, a fan-turned-filmmaker who knows what makes these movies great, and only uses modern techniques and tones when appropriate. Sure, it’s every bit as big and bombastic as you could want in a Hollywood blockbuster, but it’s the smaller nuances in the characters that will keep us coming back another 40 years later. Thrills, inspiration, humor, and heart…only a stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder wouldn’t like The Force Awakens.

4.5 out of 5 Stars

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

By Cole Schneider

I’m already dreading the hate I’m sure to receive for this. “Star Wars: Episode VII” may be the most anticipated movie of all-time and since its release it has received almost unanimous love from both nerds and critics. That’s great! I’m so glad people are enjoying it!

But it’s not good. It’s not the worst Star Wars film, but it’s surely the most lazily written. Over and over, the writers gloss over common sense in order to keep the story going. Without spoiling details, the impetus for the whole narrative at the beginning involves a character suddenly breaking away from his past because, well mostly just because. That is merely one of many. Are fanboys so ensnared with the newest product that they give writers a pass for allowing a stormtrooper to put up a decent fight against a sith in a light-saber duel? “How does she know how to do that?”, you might ask at any of several points. The response from the writers: “Don’t ask questions like that!”

In a good film with well-drawn characters we can allow for some otherwise unreasonable steps to be taken because we understand what drives them, but when every character’s psychology is vacant it screams inconsistencies. It seems the writers wildly sprayed jokes, gunfire, and nostalgic recall to distract us from the illogical flow of events.

It reminds me of the last ‘most anticipated movie of all-time,’ which was similarly praised at the time of its release: “Episode I”, a film now widely recognized as boring, babbling banter. “E7” is better than “E1”, but it’s difficult to imagine its fans liking it in 15 years as much as they do today.

2 out of 5 Stars

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