Just got home from the cinema, waited for this movie for so long and finally I can say that I’ve watched it. I should be ecstatic, overwhelmed, feeling like a little kid again, full of wonder and excitement and ready to boldly go where no man has gone before…
Instead I feel scammed.
Without spoiling much of the movie – I know, it’s practically impossible to spoil it now, a week after its global release – I will try to explain why this was NOT the Star Wars I was expecting to see.
As soon I left the theater a friend of mine asked me how it was. I replied with a 6/10. This was a conservative estimated score. The more I think about this movie, the lower it goes. Before you jump on my throat with a lightsaber, let me justify this.
We were waiting for this movie for so long. The hype train behind it reached Trans-siberian levels of anticipation. We demanded a damn good Star Wars movie, after the horrendous last three, we needed this one to be as good – at least! – as the original ones. Having taken this into consideration, we also expected this one to surpass the original trilogy. The year is 2015 and visually there is almost nothing that cannot be done. Almost 40 years since we first saw a star destroyer firing laser beams at that small diplomatic vessel, I was primed for an equally epic panning first shot. That never happened.
I can say that I was concerned from the get go, from the scrolling text that puts you in the story, but this would be a spoiler. I can only say that this exposition in yellow letters is the second worst since the one in episode III.
Since this a spoiler-free review, I am forced to talk about this movie in general. Let’s start. Visually the film is stunning. I watched it in HFR 3D and it was as sweet as your mama’s ass. However, the 3D experience is – once again! – completely useless. Unless your name is Cameron, no director ever needs to promote a 3D version of his/her film!! So I suggest you go and see it in 2d, BUT – and this is important – go for the biggest screen possible. You will thank me later.
And this is where it comes crumbling down. Besides the stunning visuals, true and seamless practical effects and colorful scenery, this is an empty film. The scriptwriter is from the original trilogy – Kasdan wrote episodes V and VI – so you would expect a stellar story. Something along the lines of TESB and not ROTJ, less fur, more substance. Surprises to be included also – mostly having to do with the family ties of the main characters. What we got was a rehash of the original one, albeit this is not 1977, we have seen this before and it’s not going to blow our minds. Not anymore. We need something much stronger than that, something that is fresh, new, clever and above all FUCKING ORIGINAL!!! Seriously Disney, you bought ILM only to make the same stories again and again??? No wonder some of the actors didn’t want to play in anymore in this new trilogy. This is not a NEW trilogy, it’s the exact same story we’ve seen before – TWICE actually! – only with new actors. Even worse, they are given only a fraction of time to develop their character before they jump into an action scene, that makes no utter sense, precisely because we never got to be engaged with them. I never really gave a damn about Po, Fin, Rei or any other character in this film. Fuck, they even managed to ruin some of my favourite ones, like Chewie, C3-PO and Akbar!! This is the level of not-giving-a-shit-about-script that manages to destroy a franchise. Mercifully we were spared from another Jar-Jar (I feel dirty simply by typing that name) but this doesn’t justify JJ’s choice of making Chewie a walking carpet in this film – literally!
The same old recipe doesn’t work anymore in this brave new movie world. My only hope – a new hope! – is the last 2 minutes of this film. Suffice to say that for me, they make this whole shipwreck of a movie worth it (you might need to study some Jedi lore to actually grasp the meaning of these 2 minutes).
I’ll have to wait till episode VIII to see a truly epic Star Wars again. But then again, the middle episode V was – and still is – the best one.
The force just hit the snooze button and is going to awake in the next episode.