From the moment I saw "Star Wars: Episode VII" flash across the screen, I was locked into this film. I can say with confidence that this is the Star Wars I, as a fan, have been waiting for. Everything about this movie, the acting, the cinematography, the fan service, the characters, and the direction. All of it was great.
Director J J Abrams has once again revived a franchise with his talent for direction. First he revived Mission Impossible, then Star Trek, and now Star Wars. I applaud you, J J. Your career is definitely going to keep going. In fact, everyone involved in this movie has a bright career ahead of them. Let's talk about the best thing this movie has going for it: the characters. The new characters are all amazing. Daisy Ridley's Rey, John Boyega's Finn, Adam Driver's Kylo Ren, and Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron were all fantastic. If you were to ask me which of these characters were my favorite, I would not be able to answer because I love them all! They were all portrayed with such emotion and humanity that I connected with all of them at some point! I actually cared for these people! They weren't a bunch of monotone pieces of wood spouting exposition like in episodes 1,2, and 3. Rey, portrayed by Daisy Ridley, was the star of the movie, and she steals the show. Without going into too much detail, there is a moment when she goes apesh*t on someone and I could tell just by her facial expression that she was aiming to kill. John Boyega's Finn and Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron were both so likeable and work really well with each other and Daisy Ridley. Poe and Finn actually develop more of a brotherly feel than Anakin and Obi-Wan did. The major difference? Finn and Poe had around 10 minutes of screen time together while Anakin and Obi-Wan had about 5 hours of screen time together. And we have to talk about Kylo Ren...HOLY MOLY this guy is AWESOME!!!!!! He IS Darth Vader 2.0. Intimidating, methodical, and very instense, Adam Driver portrays Kylo Ren perfectly to the point where I would have liked to see him play Anakin Skywalker in the prequels. He isn't just random Marvel bad guy #8, he's Kylo Ren. Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher are great as well, but did we really need to worry about that?
What else works about the movie? Well, the film never runs out of energy. Our heroes are constantly on their feet on the move with never a dull moment. That is something else too, the action. It looks real! Practical effects! No CGI mess! I could tell who was fighting who. I could follow the action because I wasn't distracted what else was going on to the side. The lightsaber fight was freaking awesome. It wasn't a swirly, twirly, flipping, choreographed dance, it was a really gritty and intense fight driven by pure emotion. Another plus the film gets is that the cinematography is excellent. There was never a moment where the screen was crowded with needless CGI. No, every shot looked real and authentic. No boring pans to the right with little effort. Every shot is exciting and feels so different from George Lucas.
If there is a flaw with the movie, it is that people have idolized this movie since it began production. Lots of people have left the theater disappointed because their expectations were not met. Sorry to break it to you guys, but The Force Awakens is not a flawless movie. In fact, every movie ever has problems. EVEN THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY. Many people have raised the complaint that this new film in the franchise was too much like the original 1977 film. You fanboys need to make up your minds. When the prequels came out y'all said you wanted them to feel more like the original trilogy. Now you say, "It's too much like the original trilogy." C'mon.
In all honesty though. The last time the bar was raised THIS high for a movie was back in 1999...
...and we remember how that turned out. But I won't compare Force Awakens to Phantom Menace. Instead, I'll compare it too an extremely anticipated film of this year, The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Now, I was disappointed with Age of Ultron. Why? Well, in my Marvel fanboy mindset, the trailer made it seem like it was going to be a film that was dark, scary, and one that would deeply impact the MCU. It wasn't any of that at all. It was a fun action movie at best that did not live up to the hype or what it promised to be. I idolized Age of Ultron to be the movie of 2015(at least until Force Awakens came out). I thought there would be no way it would be anything but a flawless movie. Many people have done this with Episode VII. They have built up the film so much that they eventually expected nothing but perfection.
Again I stress, there is no such thing as a perfect movie. They simply do not exist. Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens is not a perfect movie, but it kept me entertained from start to finish while presenting the old Star Wars themes of friendship, good vs, evil, and the moral grayness that accompanies that fight. It is thought-provoking, entertaining, and leaves you wanting more, which is everything a movie should be.