Taz’s Movie Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Han Solo: Chewie, we’re home.

Without further ado, Star Wars: The Force Awakens once again captures the magic of what made the original trilogy a success: The use of practical effects through real life set design and tasteful use of CGI, perpetually fun action sequences, endearing-likable characters, and escapism with nostalgic similarity to that of the original trilogy, brought on by a balance of all the aforementioned.

The Force Awakens establishes it’s humanity rather quickly with the establishment of several next generation characters. Established through the opening of the film, we are forged into an emotional connection rivaling our love for the original cast.

While the plot plays with familiar beats akin to A New Hope, The Force Awakens is successful in establishing itself as the beginning of what should prove to be a modern equivalent of what we all love about the original Star Wars universe.

The fresh faces of of the franchise mixed with the old cast instantly draw the the viewer into a place where every Star Wars fan will feel familiar with. New comers Daisy Ridley, John bodega, Oscar Isaac and Adam driver perform on a level that is comparable, if not on a higher level than most of the original cast. Through their superb portrayal of their roles, they somehow maintain a very organic feel which only strengthens the connection with the viewer, ultimately solidifying their place in the Star Wars universe.

Daisy Ridley with little to no movie credits to her name couldn’t have been a better choice to play the strong and vulnerable lead in Rey. She is incredible and her evolution into star status starts here. John Boyega as the co-lead Finn brims with charisma and shares the screen with Ridley with ease. Every scene he is in is energized by his committed performance and character backstory that makes for a character you can easily root for. Oscar Isaac, in a small role as hotshot pilot Poe Dameron, continues to show why he is one of Hollywood’s most formidable actors on the rise. He is the straightforward hero with a heartfelt moral compass, while also displaying the sarcastic and smart ass side to his character. Your heroes are only as good as your villain and boy does Adam Driver prove otherwise. What easily could be a new generation Darth Vader clone turns out to be a fierce and psychologically complex role for Driver. He is the Anakin Skywalker George Lucas couldn’t develop and far more engaging beyond his imposing physicality and ominous voice. Last but not least, Harrison Ford is back as the legendary Han Solo with his partner Chewbacca. Seeing them together again is nostalgia times 10 and this is Harrison Ford’s first performance where he actually gives a shit in years.

General viewers will mostly credit J.J. Abrams for what looks to be an instant financial success for all monetary connections, and a cherished film for all of us fans. However what we see with The Force Awakens is a unity of every entity involved in production, a team effort with a sincere amount of care and hard work by the entire crew.

The Force Awakens may not be perfect by some viewers standards, as is the case with most films. There are a few questions left unanswered and a few issues that some may have with the plot (another Death Star?), but for the sake of avoiding spoilers we will save those for later discussion.

The Force Awakens is far better than the prequels. The pure entertainment value you get from this film is worth the admission a few times over. I’m eager to see what’s next in store for Episode VIII.

Rating: 4 ½ out of 5