1185. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015)

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8.5 A triumphant return
  • Acting 8.8
  • Directing 8.7
  • Story 8.1
  • User Ratings (15 Votes) 7.2

Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac

Director: J.J. Abrams

Running Time: 136 mins


Star Wars: The Force Awakens is an American film and the seventh in the Star Wars saga. Three decades after the destruction of the Empire, a new threat to the galaxy emerges. However, a growing Resistance begins to combat the ever-strengthening First Order.

If you ever thought that the magic of Star Wars was lost, then think again, because The Force Awakens marks a triumphant return for the series. Filled to the brim with some of the most spectacular action of the series, fascinating new characters, brilliant dialogue and stunning visuals, this is pretty much as enjoyable as Star Wars can get.

The film follows the journey of Rey and Finn as they are introduced to the world of the Resistance and the First Order, as well as the legend of the war between the Rebels and the Empire. The two are both hugely intriguing characters, each with their own original backgrounds and completely convincing and fascinating motivations that makes them an absolute joy to watch.

That’s helped by the two stunning performances given here. John Boyega, as Finn, proves his worth not only as a great action hero, but a fantastic actor, as he gives a massively charismatic and energetic performance that you can’t help but love.

However, the real stand-out from this movie is the performance by Daisy Ridley, which is phenomenal. She’s absolutely stunning in the action sequences, and holds her own in the dialogue sequences against veterans like Harrison Ford. She plays her character, Rey, with such clear excitement and self-assurance, and has immediately stamped her authority as one of the greatest on-screen presences in the entire Star Wars saga.

Moving on, we’ve got to talk about J.J. Abrams’ direction and the visual effects. There has been so much talk about the use of practical effects here, and I can tell you that it all comes to life perfectly. Mixed in with breathtaking CGI, this is most likely the most beautiful-looking Star Wars movie of all, and it’s an absolute wonder to watch unfold at every moment, a real triumph in comparison to the lacklustre directing of the prequels.

The only flaw that I do have with this film is in its story. Throughout, it’s a hugely entertaining watch, and does almost everything that we expect from Star Wars, but what it doesn’t manage is to be a non-stop thrill-ride.

The first act, however, is astonishing, and features exhilarating action sequences, as well as hilarious and brilliantly-written dialogue, and easily compares to the best moments of the original trilogy.

Although, as the film progresses, we lose the originality and thrill of the first act. The plot focus slightly begins to lose its way in the second act, and the third act, despite being full of incredible emotional drama and great action, just isn’t as impressive, and unfortunately feels like a slight copy of the greatest moments from A New Hope.

Of course, a film doesn’t have to be non-stop action all the way through, as The Empire Strikes Back proved, however there are moments where this can drag a little, and it didn’t quite deliver either the intrigue or fun excitement that I really wanted.

Overall, though, The Force Awakens is a thrilling rebirth for the Star Wars saga, and one that will definitely go down as a great action film, a beautiful visual spectacle, and a breakthrough for two brilliant young actors, and although its plot often leaves a little more to be desired, it’s still a fantastic film, and that’s why it gets an 8.5 from me.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com

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