Monday, December 21, 2015
Now that the dust has settled ( and I finally have time after a super eventful weekend ), I need to get this off my chest!
I'm not going to tiptoe around those who haven't seen it yet, so...
Let me be clear about one thing: I was 100% prepared to love the film.
I love the Star Wars franchise ( not every single movie, but on the whole ), and couldn't be happier when J.J. Abrams was chosen to direct episode 7. Add to that the exciting cast and the promise of a new adventure and I was on cloud nine.
There've been mixed feelings from moviegoers all over the world, including friends I spoke to here. Thankfully, I'm not alone in my complaints! Not sure if I can remember all of them at this point, but here goes:
1) It's a major rehash.
A friend called this an homage, but I think they went too far. I can understand the need to be respectful of what came before, the urge to please SW fans, etc. But let's compare this to the other monster blockbuster of 2015, Jurassic World.
JW was also a rehash, but only to a certain extent. And you can't expect that many changes to a story that takes place in an enclosed area containing prehistoric creatures.
SW, on the other hand, spans galaxies. There're millions of characters out there, with countless stories to tell in an infinite number of ways. I don't feel guilty for expecting a lot more.
2) Too many holes in the plot.
a) How does Rey, a scavenger who lives in the desert, know how to pilot different types of air- and spacecraft?
b) Where did that map leading to Luke Skywalker's location come from? Why does have a piece missing?
c) How did Poe Dameron disappear in the desert after the TIE fighter crashed? How did he return to the rebellion, which is on ANOTHER PLANET?!
d) When Finn tells the rebellion which section of the First Order's Starkiller Base to attack, he has no idea if he's right ( he only uses it as an excuse to get to the base to rescue Rey ) - but it ends up working. What kind of a dumb fluke is that?! Isn't Finn being terribly irresponsible, putting the rebellion force's valuable pilots at risk?
3) Other annoying stuff.
a) The villain, Kylo Ren, is completely miscast. Never mind the fact that he dresses like Darth Vader - he doesn't even need that OTT suit for any specific reason. At least in Vader's case, it was necessary to sustain life. Ren just wears it for kicks.
b) When Ren removed his helmet the first time and I saw Adam Driver's obnoxious face, I felt like punching his lights out. Yes, it's good for moviegoers to hate the villain, but there should be fear and dread attached to that hatred. Driver just gives off a petty adolescent vibe. Exactly like Hayden Christensen in episodes 2 and 3. Are all Siths supposed to be like this?
c) And why does Ren HAVE to be another Skywalker? It's like some warped variety of nepotism.
d) How do Rey and Finn instinctively know how to wield a lightsabre? I thought years of training are required? And Finn isn't even a Jedi...!
There were only 2 things I loved in this film: BB-8 and Poe Dameron / Oscar Isaac.
Huge credit goes to the designers of this adorable little robot, which outshines R2-D2 and C3PO by light years. Everything about it - the rounded shape, the colour, the way it rolls, the cute little touches like lasers and what resembles a tiny cigarette lighter doing a thumbs-up sign - is genius.
But my absolute favourite is Isaac, whose heroic Dameron makes me swoon.
And that first scene, where Poe is dressed like an adventurer, retrieving the missing piece of the Luke Skywalker map - I SWEAR it's the perfect audition for the next Indiana Jones sequel.
Pay attention, Hollywood! It's either Isaac or Chris Pratt as Indy ( or Indy's mentee / successor ), but Isaac's much better. :)
Star Wars episode 8 has already started filming but of course, the plot is highly classified.
Anyway, there're loads of spectacular movies coming up next year, including Suicide Squad, Batman vs Superman and Captain America: Civil War. But the one I'm REALLY excited about is Independence Day: Resurgence. It looks freaking awesome!