Monday, December 28, 2015
But overall I really enjoyed the film. To me it felt more like a reboot. It’s the original STAR WARS but with way better dialogue and vastly improved special effects. All that's missing is the bikini.
I must admit I’m not a STAR WARS freak. I did love the very first one, and saw it in preview so I had no expectations. I had no idea what I was about to see. And it really rocked my world. The next two were… good. And then either they all got worse or I just didn’t give a shit anymore. I recall seeing one later one in IMAX and being bored to death. I passed on the last two or four; I don’t know which. It was all just a blur of explosions, Natalie Portman, and Muppets.
So J.J. Abrams had a tough assignment. Could he satisfy the hardcore fans and re-energize an almost 40 year-franchise? The answer is a resounding YES. He did it by going back to what made those original films great. True, that often meant recreating scenes they’ve already done, but I think the audience was just relieved to see “Star Wars” again and not Jar Jar Binks.
The other highlight was John Williams’ iconic score. And to Abrams credit, he was not afraid to lean heavily on it, reprising familiar riffs at key times. As opposed to Guy Ritchie who went out of his way to change and destroy THE MAN FROM UNCLE, Abrams embraced what was thrilling about the STAR WARS franchise. That stirring music blaring during an eye-popping galactic dogfight made the theater shake. Well done, sir.
From what I understand, STAR WARS fanatics are satisfied, which can be a taller order than saving the universe. And for us casual fans, it was a fun rollicking two-hour thrill ride. Is it the movie of the year? It had the largest opening in history and continues to set boxoffice records. More people will see it than all the other Best Picture nominees combined times ten.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM