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Star Wars The Force Awakens Review

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A long time ago, in a galaxy not too far, far away George Lucas defined not only himself, but the lives of millions of kids (and adults alike) around the world. 
And it's happening all over again, except this time it's J.J. Abrams who is not only defining childhoods around the world, but redefining those same kids who fell in love with Star Wars nearly forty years ago. So rest easy young and old padwans. J.J. has done good. In fact he's done better than good. 


Out of respect for the plot and the studio asking for no spoilers, we're going to stick with some official blurb which reads as follows 

"Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as “Star Wars” returns to the big screen with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” 

That gives nothing away, and nor would we want to spoil anything, but the famous Star Wars crawl opening will have the plot explained in less than a minute. And the movie wastes absolutely no time in getting going. Quite quickly we're introduced to Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley). It's instantly apparent that the cast have cherished the gift and responsibility that has been bestowed upon them. Adam Driver is incredibly intense as Kylo Ren who makes Darth Vader look like a puppy dog time and time again. Other uber bad guy, General Hux played by Domhnall Gleeson is also intense and seems to project a unique level of evil has an insatiable appetite for power.

While John Boyega loses his accent momentarily in one or two scenes, he has an incredibly physical role while commanding your utmost attention and has genuine chemistry with Daisy Ridley, who truly excels here, in her first big role. 
Hollywood has been screaming and moaning about the lack of strong female leads for quite some time, but now Ridley has answered the call with a performance that is genuinely exceptional. She seems to fill the role with ease and as the movie progresses and her character arc grows she really comes into her own and is one of the highlights of the movie. Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron is also incredibly likeable and like Boyega, has phenomenal chemistry with the rest of the cast. Unfortunately Lupita Nyong'o's motion captured performance as Maz Kanata is lacklustre at best. She seemed to have trouble getting into character and it's quite apparent from her voice acting, which seems forced and contrived, however It's not enough to derail the movie in any shape or form. Gwendoline Christie definitely sounds like she's having fun as Captain Phasma, although her voice certainly seems a bit out of place in the character.



So that's the new cast covered, what about the old favourites? Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill personify these roles with ease. They've gotten older sure, but they still have that same charm and heart that made us fall in love with them all those years ago. Especially Ford. Han Solo, complete with an ageing hair-do has got plenty of great one liners and for an actor who broke his ankle during the shoot, he does plenty of running, gunning and all kinds of physical stuff. 

Visually, The Force Awakens is the best looking Star Wars movie ever! J.J. Abrams and company have created some phenomenal looking sets here with a full scale replica of the Millennium Falcon being especially memorable. Never before has that old hunk of junk looked so awesome, especially the interiors. Audiences will see parts of the Falcon that were never possible before. It's not just the practical effects (BB-8 is nothing but genius) and sets that are amazing to look at, the set pieces are some of the most incredible and exhilarating pieces of cinema you'll have seen in over a decade.  While we're not going to run spoilers here and give anything away, trust me, you'll have tears in your eyes time and time again, and all just from action set pieces. They are that good. You'll see things that you never thought possible and that's just in the Millennium Falcon set pieces alone. And that's well before we even get to the lightsaber fights, which have an insane level of intensity.



While the John Williams score is iconic as ever, it's not as impressive as it was all those years ago, and that's to be expected. The Star Wars theme is one of the most iconic pieces of film music in history and Williams couldn't reinvent the wheel here. However, the legendary composer does bring some beautiful themes to the action and I really can't wait to listen to the score in full when the soundtrack is released.

The Force Awakens will knock you flat on your ass on a number of occasions. One scene in particular will blow your jaw clean off. As a result, the subsequent minutes will just dissolve into a blur. And ultimately, that's not really an issue I guess, so remember to dust yourself off and get going again, really quick.  Be prepared for some serious, serious levels of epicness and be prepared to see this again...and again! You'll have to see The Force Awakens at least 3 times. Post initial viewing, you'll have to see it for the parts you couldn't take in because you were too busy picking your jaw back up off the floor and thirdly, for all the little nods and easter eggs!

J.J. Abrams has done it! He's created one of the best Star Wars movies ever and it's going to define him as a writer and director for years to come. For better or for worse, the movie does leave you with plenty of unanswered questions and in true Hollywood fashion, it leaves you screaming for more!!!!!

The Force Awakens is THE best cinema experience of the year and is simply incredible!



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The Movie Bit: Star Wars The Force Awakens Review
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