138 Min. | Action – Adventure – Fantasy | December 2015
IMDB Rating: 8.2
Director: J.J. Abrams
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review
The story of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, beats and comedy felt poorly timed. Such as when Rey uses a Jedi mind trick on a stormtrooper – the sequence ends with a joke when she tells him to drop his weapon. The joke is that she’s just learned to use the force, and just starting to grasp its power, decides last second to get him to give her his weapon too. So as he’s leaving she adds the request, “also, drop your weapon”. The punchline is that he drops his weapon. And that’s all that’s needed. But Abrams has him repeat her request, “I’ll also drop my weapon.” and shows him drop it. It’s hitting the nail on the head and is the sort of comedy found in many Disney channel comedies. Any good director or editor would have cut it. Showing Rey with a blaster in the next scene would have let the audience get the joke without being told the joke.
In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, that’s not the only time this comic mistiming happens either. Rey asks Finn, “What do these monsters look like?” They turn a corner and see one eating someone. And run. That’s the joke. But Finn is given the line, “They look like that”, just in case anyone didn’t get it. Another example – Han Solo’s speech about how the events of the original trilogies ‘was real, all of it’ would have been so much more powerful if it had been delivered to two very skeptical characters. But they had already recognized who he was at that point. One other thing, The First Order is looking for Luke. That’s all they’re doing at that point. They discover a droid with a map to him. It’s an obvious plot device. Fine.
The original trilogy had those too. “I’ll send a squad” they say. A squad? Which turns out to be a few troopers and a couple of Ties. And then are surprised when their squad doesn’t do the job while hundreds of troopers with Tie Fighters sit in a space ship orbiting above the planet. So much of it feels a little forced for the sake of the story. People are sent to do tasks just so they’re out of the room so another scene can take place. It comes across as a little lazy. Sure George Lucas pulled the same tricks we see in Star Wars: The Force Awakens but the way he presented it made it feel original. And got an audience invested. Abrams is largely trading off the goodwill many of the audience has toward Star Wars going in. If this was a stand-alone film with nothing Star Wars related, it would be incredibly average to a lot of people.
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