3 stars (out of 4)
I actually saw the movie several weeks ago and I was thinking of not reviewing it, since it seems like it will never be a good time to openly discuss this highly-anticipated sequel to the legendary franchise. After some discussion with Bini, however, I started to think it might be possible to say a few things without giving too much away.
The Force Awakens is not the best thing I have seen ever, but the film is respectably good and for the most part, lives up to the hype. There are nice callbacks to previous installments, great action scenes, likeable new (and old) characters. The new little droid, BB-8, scores major points for cuteness.
And there’s even a cameo from The Lord of the Rings.
I have to say, I thought the overall “map” plotline was… a little hard to believe. However, I’m willing to reserve judgement on that, as it is possible future developments might add some context that isn’t apparent now. We’ll see.
There was just one small part that definitely did disappoint, and that was the too-easy shield-disabling scene. The character in question seriously did not think to secretly call for help or set off an alarm? At the very least, she could have done some stalling; it was obvious the people who were threatening her didn’t know the first thing about what she was doing (otherwise, they wouldn’t need her)!
For anyone who is new to Star Wars, it is best to have some familiarity with the original trilogy, Episodes IV, V and VI, (though not necessarily the prequels) before watching this. For established fans, I say: try to keep an open mind. They may not be reinventing the wheel with this film, but it can be a very fun ride nonetheless.