Film Review – ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

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I’m not really a “Star Wars” fan – am I allowed to have an opinion on the newest film?

Actually, I have spent most of my film-watching life avoiding the “Star Wars” movies, citing they “aren’t really my thing.” Pretty close-minded for someone who loves movies and gives just about anything a chance. “Star Wars” was never a part of my childhood growing up, save for the awful prequels that I happened to see on various sleepovers.

To be honest, I’m ashamed admitting all of this. I love classic films and “Star Wars” hovers so greatly over the entire institution of cinema. Leading up to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” I finally watched the first three (speaking in release dates). I enjoyed “Star Wars: A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back” quite a bit but found “The Return of the Jedi” far too languid for the first two-thirds of the movie. But, I still can’t say I absolutely love these films but I appreciate their spot in film history.

We now have “The Force Awakens,” the seventh film in the “Star Wars” canon. The anticipation has been palpable, the buzz deafening. Just before my showing alone, there was an intense and infectious giddiness running rampant throughout the theater. Everyone has been waiting to see what director J.J. Abrams would do with the newest installment of the beloved franchise. Speaking as a plebeian in the “Star Wars” world, my opinion is he has done a pretty darn good job.

“The Force Awakens” is steeped in nostalgia and “Star Wars” lore, which caused the entire audience to applaud and cheer several times. He does not rely on the previous films and already conceived storylines to win the approval of fans but celebrates the “Star Wars” history. Every frame of the film is filled with passion for the material and precision for bringing this world alive. Beautifully crafted and propulsive for the majority of the film – the third act begins to get a little draggy – Abrams should please the legion of fans who have had their tickets purchased for months.

There is a plot but we aren’t going to discuss that here. I’m not sure I’ve earned the right to talk about these characters and their conquests and adventures; they haven’t been apart of my life as much as they have been yours. Frankly, I would probably mess up some of the mythology or vocabulary and any shred of credibility would be out the window.

It was a pleasure to see some familiar faces – Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and a few of their intergalactic friends – along with some fresh ones to the franchise. Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac join the crew and bring great presence to their roles. The highlight of this movie is being introduced to Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. Both young actors have great chemistry working side-by-side and natural charisma on screen. They are actors to look forward to seeing in upcoming features.

I understand the “Star Wars” fanbase is rabid and wild but I don’t see a world where diehards are disappointed by “The Force Awakens.” Merely as an event and an action picture, this is a pretty impressive movie.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ rates a 8 out of 10

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