I've been hesitating to put out this review, because I know I won't be able to review it without giving away one or two spoilers. So yes, you have been warned! Don't read this unless you've already seen it, or you simply don't care.
Basic plot: Set after Return of the Jedi. Luke Skywalker has gone missing, and the First Order are desperate to find and destroy him.
As with most movies, I went into this with lowered expectations, despite the glowing ratings it's received. I'm glad I did. Don't get me wrong -I enjoyed it, but I have a bone to pick, and if I don't get this out of my system now, I never will.
First of all, what is up with Carrie Fisher's mouth? This is why we avoid plastic surgery! And really, Leia and Han Solo broke up?! No, that's wrong, all wrong! It just won't be the same when I watch Return of the Jedi. What's worse is that they give Leia next to nothing to do. She's there to inject some nostalgia, which doesn't work so well when you're disappointed, and she's rendered useless. All she does is attempt to move her mouth, gaze at Han, and look disapproving and worried.
Han Solo is a more pleasant sight, but they still manage to make it cheesy. Nevertheless, he's always been my favorite Star Wars characters, and he was one of the best parts about this film...so they really shouldn't have killed him. I know the point was to create drama, character development, make people cry, and further the storyline, but come on! Having said that, it wasn't a shocker. I think most of us saw it coming from a mile away. In fact, nothing about this movie is surprising or new. The twists were obvious (Rey is a Jedi? I couldn't tell! Kylo Ren is Han and Leia's son? Never would have guessed!), although they're not bad, just uninspired.
As my cousin pointed out, Disney is running the show now, and they have a habit of dumbing things down for the audience, and it shows. They try to make it sillier than it needs to be. Take Finn, for example, who should have more depth, but is instead reduced to being a bit of an idiot, which I found incredibly disappointing. The one thing I do like is that Rey can kick ass. She also murdered Keira Knightly and stole her voice, but I think that may be one of the reasons she was cast. She's not the best, nor the most memorable, but at least she's a fighter. And yeah, we can guess what the next twist in her story might be...
Luke doesn't make his appearance until the very end, and it's a wordless, very stare-contesty affair. He knows how to look sad and dramatic, I'll give him that, but it does beg the question: you've been up on this cliff in the middle of nowhere, meditating, I take it, while everyone is out there fighting and dying, and you're meditating for...what? The greater good? And I think I'm lazy. At least he should have a bigger presence in the next installment, but it's not going to make up for the loss of Han Solo. Seriously, make up some BS. Say it wasn't Han, but his twin, Can Solo, who died. I would forgive you, Disney, I really would.
Okay, now that I've properly complained, I'll say this: I liked it. I know, it doesn't sound like I did, but that's how I come off. At the end of the day, it's an enjoyable, albeit unremarkable addition to the Star Wars franchise, and I'm looking forward to seeing Episode VIII. Hopefully Finn will be a more fleshed-out character by then, and Leia's lips will be human again.
My grade: B
P.S. Oscar Isaac, yes! He needs to be in the next one more, way more.