19 January 2016

Movie Review: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"

Rated: PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Harrison Ford
Released: December 18, 2015 (theaters)
Synopsis: Many years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the First Order, which rose from the ashes of the Empire, is bent on destroying Luke Skywalker, thought to be the last remaining Jedi.  After resistance pilot Poe Dameron comes across a droid containing a map to Luke's whereabouts, he meets Finn, a former Stormtrooper who is now fighting against the First Order; when Finn disappears, he and the mysterious Rey work together to keep the droid and its secret from harm.  The First Order has a weapon that can destroy multiple planets at once; will Finn and Rey be able to stop it, or is the galaxy doomed to be ruled by the First Order?
Directed by J.J. Abrams.

The Good: There's little I didn't like about this movie; I love sci-fi/action flicks, and this film definitely delivers.  The action scenes were definitely intense, and the plot has several twists, including one that I wasn't expecting.  While the story is fairly similar to A New Hope, there were enough new elements thrown in to make it feel like a different movie.  Bits of humor were also thrown in.  Rey makes a great female lead, and I'm glad they didn't have to make her show too much skin, like they did with Princess Leia and Padmé.  It's pretty much a throwback to the original trilogy, which is great, except...

The Bad: The violence was a bit bloody at times, and there were about three profanities, which is not what I'm used to from this franchise.  Those are small potatoes, though.

Content Concerns: I won't do my usual listing, but, I will say the violence is more intense than in the earlier films, which is why the rating is higher.  Also--and this is a spoiler, so, be warned--the death of Han Solo at the hands of his son may be too much for some viewers, including adults, to bear.

Conclusion: I've been a fan of Star Wars since 2000, when I saw The Phantom Menace on video.  Since then, I've watched the movies more than once, and I've also read countless tie-in novels and even a few comics.  Maybe I'm just biased, but, I thought this one was fabulous; I'm curious to see where the franchise goes from here.

Score: 4.5/5

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