ByJames Wood, writer at
Unabashed Transformers fan. Man crush on Tom Hardy. Avid fan of Tommy Wiseau's cult disasterpiece The Room.
James Wood

A box office smash hit and a success with critics, but what about the general public? Well, everywhere I go and everyone I speak to have said nothing but positive things about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and can you blame them? The screenshot I used above displays one of many, many great moments in this spectacular addition to the Star Wars franchise, it is probably one of the best sequels made. How do you write a review about a film so big in scale, so entertaining and overwhelmingly good? Well, here's my attempt to do so.

I'm not a fan of Star Wars, but that doesn't mean I don't like them. I was impressed with the trailers and knew I'd go and watch it, but I wasn't as pumped as I was seeing Mad Max Fury Road or Spectre. With those two I was reading in theories, rumours, watching every TV spot and trailer to death, whereas with Star Wars I skimmed past all speculation and promotional material. I'm glad I did, everything in Episode VII felt like a surprise, all was fresh, new and exciting. There's not a single noticeable problem here aside from one scene but the rest of the movie flies by, so much so I want to see it again to take it all in and see if I missed anything.

The only criticism I have for this film is the scene that sees Solo, Rey and Finn meet Maz Kanata in a canteen. I just felt the pacing stalled here and the whole flashback and vision sequence feels so lethargic and heavy on exposition. Sometimes less is more, I think the audience is smart enough to know that the lightsaber belonged to Luke Skywalker, we don't need a monotonous vision. With that out the way, everything else is marvellous, what a film!

Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, holy shit, two of the best performances of 2015. For Ridley, her first big screen role, she more than handles herself, from the get go she feels fitted to the world and displays action skills and dramatic chops throughout. Boyega is very funny, likeable and quite the badass, I last saw him in Attack The Block, and I'm glad to see he's been recognised and given this awesome role. The best scene these two share has to be the picture I've used above, in which Finn and Rey flee an attack.

I can't praise the performances in this movie enough, no one steps a foot wrong, even down to Daniel Craig's hilarious cameo as a Stormtrooper. It's terrific to see Harrison Ford actually giving it his all, and a pleasure to see Carrie Fisher back too! Adam Driver is so menacing, Oscar Isaac is as charming as ever and Lupita Nyong'o does a wonderful job through her motion capture performance. I just wish there was more of Gwendoline Christie who makes quite the entrance as Captain Phasma.

J.J. Abrams proves once again he is the man to go to when a franchise needs a reboot. His style is evident throughout The Force Awakens from his constantly moving camerawork that glides gracefully in and out of each setting, his action scenes pack a punch whilst boasting a grand sense of scale, and all this is only made more spectacular by John Williams' score which is definitely one to listen to in full on YouTube. VFX company Industrial Light & Magic once again deliver just that, magic and light! Crashed ships on Jakku, dogfights in the skies and planetary attacks amaze with every inch of detail noticeable, this movie is a wonder. There is incredible craft both practically and visually here, proving that everyone behind the scenes put in so much effort and it's great to see it on the big screen being acknowledged as one of the best films of 2015, and one of the strongest in the franchise.


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