Reviewed by Alex Cooke
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is one of the most anticipated (and least creative) movies in the franchise. It has the same breakneck-speed spacecraft chases, lightsaber duels, and slide transitions that Star Wars fans have come to know and love. And Harrison Ford is still as charming (and handsome) as ever.
But the plot wasn’t particularly gripping. The film got so caught up in paying homage to the original trilogy that it didn’t manage to forge a plot of its own.
Near the beginning of the film, the audience is introduced to Rey, the protagonist. She dresses in khaki-coloured garments, lives on a desert planet without her parents, and quickly befriends a cute little round robot that communicates in beeps and boops. Is this sounding familiar, Luke Skywalker?
The scenes were also predictable. I was able to guess every major event a good 20 minutes before it happened.
As for character development, it was lacking. Rey starts out as a badass, she ends as a badass. Finn starts out as a mysterious space outlaw, and ends up as a … slightly less mysterious space outlaw.
Let’s just talk about the bad guy for a second. Kylo Ren is by far the most hilarious attempt at a villain in modern film.
I don’t know whose idea it was to go from the mighty Darth Vader to someone who could pass for your average My Chemical Romance fan page moderator, but I wasn’t buying it.
But wait! The actual bad guy in the movie is … a giant holographic alien by the name of Snoke? Hmm.
The lack of character development stems from trying to cram so many new characters into the story. None can be fleshed out.
But what the movie lacks in plot and character development, it makes up for by casting a woman and a black actor as the lead roles. And they’re great choices.
Daisy Ridley, who was only in one other film – 2015 horror movie Scrawl – did a great job portraying the tough, resilient Rey. And John Boyega, who previously received good press in the 2011 film Attack the Block, did well as the inscrutable Finn.
But I really wish there had been more of a story for them to develop.
I didn’t leave the theatre after The Force Awakens feeling as though I had wasted two hours of my life. But after 10 years of waiting, it did leave a lot to be desired.