I’ve now seen Force Awakens twice. I went once last night on a regular screen, and then I went again this morning in IMAX 3D. Made me feel bad for the people who were showing up to the box office this morning at 9 AM trying to get tickets for any showtime today, and they were all sold out. Then again, you should have bought multiple tickets weeks in advance like the rest of us psychos.
But I know, like those poor souls, not everyone has gotten around to seeing Force Awakens yet, either do to not getting a ticket in time; having commitments to their jobs (ha!) or families (HA!), or because you really don’t want to sit next to a bunch of mouth breathers in a sold out show, so you’re waiting until next week. Whatever the case, I will respect that, and provide a spoiler free review here for now…
Holy cow! That really did live up to expectations! Right from the start when _____ shows up and ____ ___ the ____, but then gets _____ while ____ has a little ____ in his ____, I knew this was going to be the start of a pretty great movie. Introducing ____ as a ____ ____ was a good decision as well. I maybe kinda thought that the _____ _____ was a little bit of a lazy rehash of _____ from ____, and _____ wasn’t as riveting a _____ as _____ ____ _____ ____, but those are minor quibbles as opposed to something that you should drag the whole film down over.
In fact, I’d rather focus on the positive, and talk about how ____ did the _____ _____ in such a cool way. And boy howdy, when they _____ on the planet _____ I was getting really excited. And that’s when the ____ show up! And the third act… That was a doozy! When _____ _____ ____ and ____ _____ ___ it’s ____ ____ from a ____ and ______ _____ _____ ____ in the _____ ____ and he ____ ____ ____! I nearly _____ when she _____ and ____ out of _____ ____, with the _____ and flies into ____ and _____ then it’s like _____ _____ ____ ____ _____ ____ _____ ___ __ ______ ____ _____ _______ ______ _____ ______ __ ____ _______ ____ ____ _____ ____ ____ in danger ____ ___ ___ ______ ___ ____ ____ ____ __ __ _ ____ ____ ____ __ ______ ___ ___ in the snow!
You know, this isn’t really working out all that well… Maybe I’ll just list off my very generic, very spoiler free thoughts about the movie, which don’t include how ____ ____ ____ is ___ __ the _____ ___!
-I thought it was better than any of the prequels, by a lot, which I think would be hard to argue against. In fact, if you want to attempt to tell me how any of the three prequels were more thrilling, entertaining, more well shot, or had better characters; I’d love to hear that, because you’re probably a very interesting jerk.
-Where do I think it ranks against the original three? Hmmm… It’s actually hard to judge, because they have such different styles and pacing. Plus, this definitely felt like a modern movie (because it is, duh), as opposed to JJ Abrams trying to just recreate the exact same cinematic look as 1983. Which is probably a good thing. But I don’t know, if it were possible to take away the pure unadulterated classic-ness of Episode 4, not treat all the little moments as things that have been cemented into the very fabric of our culture, and compare them both as just films… Maybe this one is better than A New Hope…? Just as a movie’s movie? I don’t know. It’s not as good as Empire or Jedi, though.
-The new characters are awwwwwwesome. They really are. I’m legitimately excited to follow two more movies with them as the central figures. Finn, in particular, was the best. He acts unlike any character we’ve ever seen in these movies before. He might already be one of my favorite characters in *any* Star Wars movie. Watching all his little mannerisms a second time through really made me like him even more, too. But Rey, Poe, BB-8, and Kylo Ren are all very interesting new characters as well. Maybe only the two other new bad guy characters didn’t feel that great to me, but they also were given very little screen time and weren’t developed much yet.
-And the old characters felt very welcomed, and given an acceptable amount of fan service. I mean, they *are* central Star Wars characters, and they *did* move the story along.
-I like all of the hype that JJ used a bunch of puppets instead of CG characters, but then there were a bunch of CG characters as well, and all I could stare at was how CG they were. Why not just make them all puppe- Oh right, you casted Andy Serkis.
-The action was great, especially in the flight sequences. Like the low altitude stuff.
-The lightsaber battles were really good, too. They were well-paced, and had emotional moments and impactful strikes. They weren’t just two ninjas flying all over the screen and doing backflips.
-The IMAX 3D was actually good. And the 3D effect didn’t completely lose its power halfway through the movie. The scenes towards the end still had good 3D effects, surprisingly.
-The music made my heart flutter a few times. Those classic tracks really know how to do it for me. But a bunch of the new ones were really good as well. Gonna download the soundtrack for my car.
-It was kind of fun to hear people clapping and cheering when key moments happened in the first act. And then it was kind of funny when like one or two people would try to start a clapping moment in the second half of the movie and got shut down.
-I liked it even *more* the second time I saw it. Probably because I was able to appreciate what was happening more, and wasn’t just a pent-up ball of excitement. Not that having that first excitement was a bad thing in any way, that was a great feeling to have as well. But when I watched it the second time, I heard at least four lines that I didn’t hear the first time for whatever reason. Also, almost 100% of the jokes were still funny the second time.
-Oh yeah, this is a legitimately hilarious movie.
-Leading into this I went on a Star Wars media blackout after the first “official” trailer. And now having seen the movie, looking back at the initial teaser trailer and the first official trailer; those things are freaking works of art. They gave almost nothing real away (ok, maybe just one emotional shot), while providing a perfect amount of hype leading into it. I wouldn’t recommend that people go on a 100% media blackout, because the excitement for the last month or so that just the first official trailer provided was a worthwhile set of imagery to have in my brain for a few weeks. Plus, they used a lot of alternate takes in the trailer that didn’t even show up in the final cut of the film. Was there even a second official trailer? I know there was an international trailer that I didn’t watch.
-OK, just watched the international trailer… Happy I didn’t watch that before the movie, seemed a little more spoilery on a few things. But a pretty good trailer to see after the fact.
All in all, I’m super satisfied with The Force Awakens, and it has me very excited to see where the trilogy goes next. I assume after 2019, we will all agree that this was a great lead-in to the rest of a (hopefully) great story about ____ ___ ____ ___ _____ ______ ______ and ____ ___.
9.5 out of 10