Friday, 18 December 2015
REVIEW: STAR WARS-THE FORCE AWAKENS
Guardians Of A Galaxy Far, Far Away.
135 Minutes. Starring: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew & Max von Sydow. Director: J.J. Abrams.
The Force is strong with this one. Mark Hamill still has it. Carrie Fisher still has it. Harrison Ford still has it. J.J. Abrams has that power too! Boldly going from the 'Star Trek' franchise he helped bring back to whole new lives and civilizations and out of the darkness of a lost trilogy, he becomes the director this 'Star Wars' franchise was looking for now the legendary George Lucas has passed the hilt his way in an iconic screen swipe transition that is still kept true in this picture. It's finally here. The movie event of the year, decade, millennium and lifetime. And oh how this Empire is striking back with the return of this Jedi. Hope is made anew by J.J. who attacks the clones, with the revenge of the Sith like a Phantom Menace possessed. Forget all the Marvel, 'Terminator' machines, 'Jurassic World' monsters and even the icon James Bond himself, this is the sequel in its own galaxy leaving everything else...well you know the rest. This even goes to space battle with Matt Damon's 'Martian' all the way in Mars. The original trilogy was more than just a classic, or greatest ever big three next to 'The Godfather', 'Lord Of The Rings' and 'The Dark Knight' trifectas. It was a way of life for so many generations, light or dark side. Geek or street. The second trilogy was massive, mesmerizing and nostalgic...albeit messy. But does Episode VII bring new hope and that magic back as 'The Force Awakens'? Well as soon as you hear the space opera of that classic John Williams theme and see that iconic font across the stars you have your answer beaming across space and your face. Abrams has gone and pulled it off at light speed. After showing he could take Gene Roddenberry's concept of treking across the stars through its final frontier, he goes beyond that in Lucasfilm's galaxy as he continues his mission. Switching speeds and the Starship Enterprise for the Millennium Falcon as he becomes the new guardian of any galaxy. Take a back seat Star Lord. By George I think he's got it!
Just let the opening scene do the talking for you like the new rogue actor who pilots it and almost steals the show of this whole thing. But we all know that the biggest star and name here is 'Star Wars' itself and Abrams know this. This isn't about 'Star Trek' or even he. This is about the memories of so many children now grown up and more to come and be made. And in an all too dark themed Hollywood this film that goes to war with the light and dark side, between the First Order and the Resistance has some all too modern day, real themes to teach everyone too beyond this futuristic, Western fantasy. Delivered by a multi-racial, all world cast who beat the b.s. boycott to show any notion of negativity is out of this small world. Now hows that for another great turn of direction? There's so much more from the awakening force and 'Lost' director who has really found his calling. We already knew from his last franchise turnaround that this man could bring the sense of adventure to action in a Hollywood hail of bullets that needed more fun to its fantasy epics and here he does it again with a much grander, more sensational sense of scale that Falcon flies above any height. There's no ceilings in space. Even a 'Captain America-Civil War' trailer before hand cant amass this much character and fan boys and girls for Marvel's new Disney neighbors. We've got aerial assaults of fighters, wings and lasers that bring more fireworks to the sky than New York on New Year. To go with formidable and scintillating, snow forest, light saber battling sword fights among the best you've ever seen. Darth Maul or Vader himself. Legendary and legacy making, some one call the National Trust because there's some major deforestation going on here. This one could melt the ice caps. And you can rejoice in the fact that there's no Jar Jar, or J.J. lens flare overkill. When that does flare up however it shines...beautifully. Just like the instantly iconic shots of ships in the sunset like 'Apocalypse Now' (hey young Han) or across the water to new depth in the most visual Star Wars film yet. Epic, this is!
Good, bad, light, dark and family is what these movies really orbit around however. So you know the concept of character is central here and oh does this have it and then some with all your favorites back and that's no trap. The trilogy of stars from the first three film are back and what was 'Star Wars' without them? Time to find out why Mark Hamill was on a milk carton in the trailer and if Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher still love each other. You know! One things for sure however its so good to have Han and Leia and Luke Skywalker back and even age and time wont keep them from being a force in what is now second, third and VII nature to them. They're all here. That furry Sasquatch, R2 and C3PO complete with the mark of a red arm that looks like something out of Tony Stark'a Iron Man inventory...I guess these neighbors have been borrowing more than a cup of sugar. Still the next generation of stars show they can becomes instant favorites too. Daisy Ridley is a star in the making...the making that happens over the two hour screen time. Whilst John Boyega attacks this one like he attacks the block. Don't worry if you didn't line up around the street corners for those auditions last year. Nobody was beating these two. Or the tag team chemistry this big deal has with the next great actor of our time Oscar Isaac, who is award worthy with the way he steals the spotlight everyone he boards this picture. With classic movie star looks and Hollywood cocksure charisma the former indie actor breaks out and kind of show us what it would have been like if Al Pacino ended up playing Solo like he almost did back in the day. Even Oscar's 'Ex Machina' science fiction co-star Domhnall Gleeson is on hand as a camped up baddie, but the real villain is Adam Driver's incredible Kylo Ren. Complete with cloak, one hell of a brimstone burning dagger and his own epic helmet and mask making his instant iconic voice sound like the halfway house between a Bane and Lord Vader. Darth's helmet is even on charred call for that Sith, dark side inspiration. All this plus the voice of '12 Years A Slave' Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o and the motion capture of Gollum and 'Planet Of The Apes' white dot actor Andy Serkis who may as well invent a whole new category for the Academy. Even the legendary Max Von Sydow makes a cameo. What more could you ask for? The closest thing to a Bobba Fett like bounty? The Buzz Lightyear Christmas toy of the year under everyone's tree in the form of a droid that shares the same charisma and circumference as Wilson from 'Cast Away'? Even a don't worry if you blink, you'll still miss it anyway, J.J. 'Trek' buddy Simon Pegg, or is it 007 himself with the Stormtrooping cameo? Well its all here. Believe it. Just like the hype and what everyone's saying. Its true...all of it! No need to have a bad feeling about this! TIM DAVID HARVEY.