The reviews for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ are finally out, so naturally, we’ve pulled some of the most telling to let you know — should you go see Episode VII this weekend?
We told you that Daisy Ridley is the breakout star of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but does the movie itself live up to the hype its earned? Well the short answer is “yes.” Here’s what the critics are saying.
Over the decades, as “Star Wars” grew into an entertainment machine, it took on the aspect of a cult. That at any rate is how it could feel to those of us looking at it from the outside in, especially as one mediocre movie after another with noxious creations like Jar Jar Binks crushed the box office. Mr. Abrams may be as worshipful as any “Star Wars” obsessive, but in “The Force Awakens” he’s made a movie that goes for old-fashioned escapism even as it presents a futuristic vision of a pluralistic world that his audience already lives in. He hasn’t made a film only for true believers; he has made a film for everyone (well, almost).
“It’s true — the Force, the Jedi, all of it. It’s all true,” Han murmurs at one point, and he seems to be addressing not just his new friends but also the audience, and with the sort of soulful conviction capable of converting even the most jaded “Star Wars” skeptics into true believers once again. It’s that desire to transport the viewer — to return us to a wondrous, childlike state of moviegoing innocence — that effectively sets the pattern for almost every subsequent development in “The Force Awakens.” Much of this is fairly intuitive: It simply wouldn’t be vintage “Star Wars” if someone didn’t mutter “I have a bad feeling about this,” or if audiences didn’t get an update on their favorite gold-plated worrywart C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), his squat sidekick R2-D2, and that fish-faced fan favorite Admiral Ackbar (Tim Rose). But the film’s most indelibly moving scenes are reserved for Han and his estranged love, Leia (Carrie Fisher), no longer a princess but a Resistance general. Their banter is raspier and gentler than it was 30 years ago, less barbed and more bittersweet, and viewers can expect their hearts to swell to Mandallian proportions whenever the actors are on screen.
In the end, Star Wars: The Force Awakens feels like the work of a very capable student, one who has studied his subject so diligently and thoroughly that he knows what to do and what to avoid, is smart enough to have engaged one of the experts in the field, in this case Kasdan, to work on the blueprint, and to have ensured that another of the key contributor to the series’ success, John Williams, would return again after all the years.
So much for deadly prequels. “Star Wars” is once again in sequel mode—it’s been so long since the original cast has been on screen that this one could be called a postquel—and the franchise has roared back with full force. Disney, the new proprietor, and J.J. Abrams, the director, haven’t diluted the appeal of this space opera for the ages. Far from it, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” flatters old and new audiences alike, and straddles generations with aplomb.
Will you see Star Wars: The Force Awakens when it hits theaters on Dec. 18?