Rey (Daisy Ridley), a young girl from a lowly community on desert planet, Jakku, becomes part of a larger world when she rescues a droid carrying highly valued information. The droid, BB-8, belongs to a high-flying pilot ace, Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), who is captured by enemy forces, but is soon aided by Stormtrooper FN-2187. FN-2187, or Fin (John Boyega), had been raised and trained for the purposes of war, but quickly becomes disillusioned after a bloody skirmish that ends in Poe’s capture. Seeking redemption and a one-way ticket away from The First Order, Fin’s employers and the galaxy’s newest Big Bad, Fin joins Poe on his mission to find a legendary figure who could bring balance to the world of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
I’m a huge Star Wars fan and I have to say that I was very impressed with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. J.J. Abrams, director of such films as, Super 8, Star Trek, and Star Trek Into Darkness, just keeps producing these dynamic tight-knit films that have audiences foaming at the mouth for more. His style keeps viewers’ eyes glued to the screen, and his penchant for practical effects provides just enough nuance for an otherwise fantastic sci-fi that could have played out as just another run-of-the-mill global blockbuster. I think what made much of this film work was its cast. I was sickened by the awesomeness of these actors. The cast, particularly Fin and Rey, have so much chemistry it makes my freakin’ eyes water. The depth that these two characters have are initially hinted at early on in the movie but with so much happening in the story, there’s not enough time to discover what made these characters who they are. Much of who they are shines in what they do. Actions speak louder than words, and every time I saw them on screen I was enchanted. Once I found myself invested, I knew I was in for a treat in the rest of the movie.
The Force Awakens isn’t your usual blockbustery special effects extravaganza. J.J. Abrams has been staying true to his style by keeping the ratio of special effects leaning towards the side of practicality. Unlike, let’s say, some Michael Bay Transformer flick, or even worse (and I shudder at the thought), some green screen orgy such as Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, The Force Awakens fills its sets with real creatures, real explosions, and sets that any one of us can actually visit. Moreover, the action set pieces were very engaging – there was a real sense that things might take a turn for the worst. I’ll use the Stormtroopers as examples, because unlike the earlier films, these guys actually instilled some fear in our characters. Usually, Stormtroopers are blind as Mr. Magoo – or whatever kids these days understand as being blind as a bat (Stevie Wonder memes?). The Force Awakens gives these guys some respect. The Stormtroopers in this film don’t miss as much; they’re merciless, and therefore, frightening.
There’s too much in this film for me to love. However, if I had to nitpick, I’d say it was the CGI characters in this movie that were lacking. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but there was just something about them that felt like they didn’t fit. The graphics were good, but for me, maybe it just wasn’t good enough. Still, though, they didn’t distract much from the flow of things in this movie – and ultimately, that’s what matters most. I was still invested.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. It doesn’t pander to its audience so much so that it marginalizes potentially new fans. It flawlessly caters to moviegoers everywhere while offering nods to anyone else who has seen the last six Star Wars films. If there is one thing to take away from this movie, it’s that it is in good hands, and well deserving of a sequel.