Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

Fear not this is a non-spoiler review and I will try my best not to tell you that Chewbacca is Yoda’s half cousin through marriage…….@#$% sorry!

So the most anticipated film of 2015 has finally arrived. In a year that saw the return of Jurassic Park, Mad Max, Rocky and Bond, nostalgia has been a winning theme of 2015. With Creed and Fury Road hitting it out of the park, and the others only just managing to hit the ball, will our fifth journey down memory lane live up to the hype and expectation?

The marketing for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been totally on point. The trailers have made adults cry and intrigued younglings in equal measure. They also successfully did this without even giving away much of the plot. The makers of Southpaw please take note, don’t show the whole bleeping movie in the trailer you knob ends. Sorry got side tracked but bad trailers lead to anger, anger leads to hate and hate leads to the Dark side.

Sorry, I digress, from the opening crawl the audience is put at ease with a simple straight forward update on what’s be occurring in this galaxy far, far away. Thank the Jedi lord that there’s no mention of politics, Galactic Senates or trade federations. In keeping with the original trilogy we get a this guy’s done this, the bad guys are doing that and the good guys have sent this person on a mission to do blah blah blah. The Force Awakens is a reboot without rebooting taking the franchise back to its origins. It just feels like Star Wars from the outset.

The first new character we meet is Poe Dameron, a charming X-Wing Pilot who’s the best frigging pilot in the galaxy so he’s definitely allowed to be cocky. Then there’s Fin, our reluctant hero who finds himself helping the Resistance and is played charmingly and with outstanding comedy timing by John Boyega . Yes, you’ll be pleased to hear that the humour that disappeared with the real sets in the prequels is back to give you more than your fair share of chuckles.

There’s a strong female cast in this installment, including Gwendoline Christie as the chrome cladded Captain Phasma who leads the stormtroopers into battle. However, it is Daisey Ridley who takes the lead as the ass-kicking scavenger, Rey, and she successfully carries a lot of the film on her shoulders in her great performance. Another newbie is the insanely adorable droid BB-8 who totally lives up to expectations and you’ll coo and giggle at his every bleep.

The dark side casting to as strong as the light, with Domhnal Gleeson finishing off an outstanding year (Ex-Machina, Brooklyn and The Revenant) as General Hux, the Starkiller Base leader with anger management issues. Speaking of anger management, we need to talk about Kylo. The villain of the movie Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, is a Darth Vader obsessed dark warrior strong with the Force who wields a bad-ass crossguard blades lightsaber. Driver is truly excellent at conveying his inner turmoil and angry young man instability.

As for the returning original cast, Harrison Ford reprises his Han Solo with the usual swagger and bromance with a just stepped out of the salon Chewie. Solo’s love Leia is back too and Carrie Fisher’s matriarchal resistance leadership reinforces her hero status.

The pace of the film is brilliant, you’ll be so glued to the screen you won’t want to allow yourself time to even sip your drink and I recommend you just throw popcorn in your general face area so as not to miss a second. Abrams delivers all the elements that make a great Stars Wars film: special effects, action, romance, and comedy. There’re plenty of new wonderful ideas and spectacular visual scenes to experience and the movie is a slick production that doesn’t fall into the CGI trap of the prequels. Some questions are answered and new questions are raised leaving us wishing to be frozen in carbonate until the next installment as we just can’t bear the wait. No Pressure Rian Johnson, however, we do believe the Looper director is the right man for the job so bring on Stars Wars Episode VIII.

The Force Awakens mirrors the original trilogy story-telling style ensuring that Star Wars fans will feel right at home. For newcomers and fans alike it’s a non-stop action packed beginning to a brand new adventure.

The force is strong with this new hope.

How can we not give this film five stars when we’ve already watched it three times.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in Cinemas now (like you didn’t know).

5 stars small