Star Wars: The Force Awakens HD Digital Copy Code Vudu/Disney DMA DMR
I went into The Force Awakens feeling just like you.
The Originals enthralled me as a child; and the Prequels had a few redeeming features, but were a pale mockery of what made Star Wars great. And now a new trilogy. Would this be the return of Star Wars in all it's brilliance, humour, and emotional force (pardon the pun)? Or would commercialization, shoddy writing, and cheap fan-service strike again? Like you, I entered that cinema enthralled by that first trailer but with nagging doubts. Was JJ Abrams ready? Could he recapture that Star Wars feeling? Could he make that galaxy far, far away come to roaring life again? The answer is for the most part...YES! The Force doesn't just Awaken. It gets out of bed, has a hearty breakfast, and proceeds to blend old and new seamlessly and deliver some rousing action and compelling characters, all with a heartfelt love of what made Star Wars great. If not truly great itself, Episode VII is still pretty damn good!
The Force Awakens ain't perfect by a long shot. It recycles too many elements from previous Star Wars movies (an eeeeeven BIGGER Death Star!) to ignore, the story takes detours, and the plot is nudged along by coincidence a few too many times. There are a few really questionable character traits that I can't discuss without spoilers. These flaws exist. But it's up to the viewer to let them define the film or overlook them and be entertained.
So what works? The technical department is firing on all cylinders. Ample practical effects are melded with excellent CGI, and the costumes, creature effects, score, and set design are pretty much perfect. The cinematography is consistently good, with some images being genuinely awesome. As for the cast, our two newcomers, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, are really a treat to watch. Finn and Rey have great chemistry and charisma and bring loads of wit and energy. These guys are going places, I promise. Another standout for me is Adam Driver's villain Kylo Ren. Ren lacks Darth Vader's cold power; he's petulant, full of rage and disappointment. But he has a humanity and a vulnerability to him that makes him compelling, and also scary. As for Harrison Ford, MAN it's good to have that guy back, playing a grumpy old scoundrel like only Harrison Ford can! Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, and Carrie Fisher deliver solid performances, and for some reason I want to also credit BB-8 the droid as well.
Since it's really the characters that are the beating heart of Star Wars, we're lucky to have such a talented cast bringing them to life in this new trilogy.
And the action is great too. It's nothing fancy or ground-breaking. But it's full-on, big, loud, bold, blockbuster entertainment of the highest order. The Force Awakens is top-notch tentpole fun, the likes of which we haven't gotten to see for a long time! But coupled with the action is ample loads of humor and a real emotional core that can be genuinely moving. Episode VII has heart, laughs, action, some WOW moments, and it feels like old-timey Star Wars. The movie ticks all the boxes, and even if it doesn't go too far beyond that, it works like a charm. You'll laugh, you'll sniffle, and you'll grip the edge of your seat. Abrams has done what he set out to do. He has successfully rebooted Star Wars for another chapter, staying faithful to the spirit of the first trilogy while boldly forging some new themes. Whether those themes can be expanded on and this new chapter can forge its own destiny has yet to be seen. But you know what? I have a good feeling about this. And I think you will too.