I’ll give it a little while before I launch into a ‘proper’ review of A Force Awakens, but here’s my thoughts about the film, spoiler-free…
While I enjoyed the film, my fears were realised, sadly. Positives were the new, young cast (particularly Daisy Ridley who was amazing and stole the film), and a generally successful Star Wars ‘feel’. Indeed this rather surprised me, as I expected the returning cast from the Original Trilogy would steal the show but they don’t. Regards negatives, the main one for me was the script, which really was just fan fiction, a sort of Star Wars Greatest Hits, with all sorts of implausible coincidences that piled up and increasingly irritated me. I sense the hand of JJ Abrams in this, as his Star Trek reboot had similar failings. Its like these new film-makers think that if they keep up a relentless pace and feel-good factor, audiences will just mindlessly accept all sorts of implausible tosh.
I do suspect all the hype and praise this film is getting in reviews is based on the overwhelming sense of relief from people that its not as bad as the prequels, and that there may be a reappraisal when they see it again on Blu-ray and the plot-holes start to surface. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll warm to it a bit more over time. I do think its a good Star Wars film, but its not quite up there with the Original Trilogy (it does certainly give Jedi a run for its money).
So yeah, pretty good. If I was giving it stars out of five, it’d be a solid 3.5. There’s just something irresistible about seeing all that iconic imagery again and at times it is quite clever and sophisticated in how it depicts that imagery (one shot of a felled AT-AT in the dunes is lovely). I do hope better films lie ahead though. My one fear is that the success of this film will make Disney and Lucasfilm think they can just carry on with the Star Wars Greatest Hits thing rather than give us something genuinely new. Time will see.