Just got back from The Force Awakens. We’d waited a bit to see the movie since we don’t like crowds. Alas, that didn’t help in this instance, the theatre was near full on a Monday afternoon (a US holiday). I do wish I had waited longer. It stunk like a dianoga. Spoilers are below. Yes, many of these criticisms have been mentioned before by others. They bear repeating since people keep saying that this is a good movie and it is not, by any stretch of the imagination.
It was pretty as a movie, and the actors did a mostly decent job. But I should have known, that like anything else J.J. Abrams has done, it’s tediously derivative and goes nowhere. I shouldn’t be looking at my watch during a Star Wars movie.
The movie watches like the writers, J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan just took the script of the first movie and sat around “oooh, we’ll add this twist and this pointless laugh line”. Kasdan did finish the existing script for Empire Strikes Back and wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark, so I’m guessing he was brought in as a name and little else. Considering he wrote Return of the Jedi, one can guess he has no more ideas than having ONE MORE spherical planet destroyer that one can destroy by accessing mysteriously accessible uber important parts. This is incompetent screenwriting write large.
We also have the most whiny and pointless family in the galaxy, the Skywalkers, at least the males. Whiny Anakin who pouts his way through the “prequels”, Luke who almost got it right, and then runs away to pout, and then Kylo Ren, the most pouty of all. If you are going to have a kid kill his father, you need some pretty good backstory, not just a spotty-faced brat. One also has to wonder why Han and Leia let their murderous little boy still exist. “light in him” or not, he’s a killer. If I were Rey, I’d hand over that light saber and say “Good, found you. Now, don’t leave here ever. Because you and your family have caused untold misery in the universe.”
Then we get Finn. The actor is good, what he has to say, isn’t. The character is a Stormtrooper trained from birth to be a killer who also was a janitor on the Not Death Star. Finn seems to be there to be the funny black guy (amazing that he wasn’t killed per the trope). He does take on Kilo Ren in a light sabre duel, a guy who has no training in hand to hand combat at all, and not attuned to the Force. Which makes Finn the luckiest bastard ever or Kilo Ren completely incompetent (which he is, no doubt).
Then we have the Watcher….no, no… Cobra Commander…no,no… Fearless Leader…ah yes I’m sorry the Supreme Leader. Does this guy have issues or what? There’s the name too. Snoke. Surely does put fear into one’s heart right? Right? I am wondering also exactly why a planet was made a weapon and then they promptly suck up its star. Oooops, no gravity, no heat, no biosphere and shucks that lovely parade ground that British-accented Nazis…er…First Order officers can spit over is rather useless.
We also have a galaxy with people who have the memory of goldfish, and that is denigrating goldfish. In first movies, we have all of 17 years pass and Jedis are somehow only legend. Then at best another 17 years pass and again, no one remembers this stuff and again think its legend. It’s like me being sure that Patton, Montgomery, de Gaulle, Rommel, and Himmler were only myths…. In 1962.
And finally, we get more Deus Ex Geology (which I just saw somewhere, probably in a critique of this ridiculous movie, with brat boy getting away for his “final training” or some such bs. Note to Evil Overlord ™, might want to finish training your minions so they aren’t so fucking INEPT!
The prequels were bad, very very bad but their general structure could be salvaged by a decent writer. This movie is not salvageable at all, nothing more than cashing in on a set of stories that were actually good when they were done for the first time.