terça-feira, dezembro 22, 2015

Movie Review: "Star Wars - The Force Still Slumbers"

(Darren Wallace's picture)

Warning: Rant and mild spoilers ahead.

Before going to bed, and while it's still fresh, here is my impression dump.

Dark Side take heed! Stormtrooper Concierge man and Scrounger Chick are coming to kick all your highly skilled butts. Train to Kingdom Come all you like, build yourselves lightsabers, train in the dark side all you want, or gather a corps of highly trained individuals, but you won’t stand a chance even with our off-the-cuff skills when dealing with a power we just discovered was all true 15 minutes ago! Poor sap. It took Luke three movies and thrice training with a one thousand year old and experienced professor to master the force and lightsaber jousting but now we have what? Rey! Give her an encouragement talk by granny Solo, and she’ll master everything from mind handling to clairvoyance and even lightsaber combat in 2 hours!

JJ Abrams, and his minions are running amok again. Someone needs to fire Obi-wan and Yoda as professors….Enlist Han and just go around telling force sensitives “It’s really true….. The whole thing” and voilà, we get yourselves the new Jedi Order! Abrams he’s a guy when he faces a choice of challenging the viewer or eliciting an emotional response always chooses the later (he demolished Roddenberry’s vision of Star Trek, basically turning it into a combination of The X-Men meet Tom Cruise).

This is what I’ve suspected ever since this life-long Trek fan stumbled confusedly out of “Into Darkness” on opening day wishing for those two hours of his life to have never occurred.  
All of Abrams' trademarks are on full display here. There’s no character build-up, the scenes that are supposed to be dramatic are just lackadaisical. I was expecting predictability but at least make it good, make it more dramatic, exciting so that I can connect with the characters or at least care about them. Instead, they’re just going through the motions.

I left the theater a few hours ago, and was dismayed. Perhaps I went in feeling already pessimistic, but I really wanted the movie to be good. It wasn’t. The lapses in logic compound upon each other to such a degree that I was thoroughly removed from the adventure by the time the third part started. A stale revamp of concepts we saw more than 30 years ago that now appear to be handed out less because they serve a story or character development, and more because a bunch of people will get to say, “This is like that scene in the original!”

It’s all pretty, and touches on the bits of nostalgia as I’m sure Disney executives demanded. It didn’t make me wince like the prequels, but there’s nothing meaningful underneath. There are interesting characters, good and evil, but whatever is driving them, personally and all told, isn’t really even ingrained let alone explored. Silly as they were, the originals had stamina. This one just felt like it’s playing the same tune with less meaningful bands. It’s the difference between a movie literally designed to bring out a response in experiencing it, and a story, freshly-told. Lucas at least tried to move the saga in different directions. I’m not expecting the Star Wars saga to be highfalutin films. For starters, I never thought it had an amazing story line – it didn’t, however it was one of a kind which made it good. Now all it has potential in is filling the moronic “missing” story lines to keep making crap movies. It’s just a predictable, corporate rehash, triggered purely by Disney wanting another licensed franchise to supplement their meager Marvel Empire. It did entertain me for a couple hours, but I was looking to have my mind blown and that’s just did not happen.

The best thing you can say about this film is that it’s better than any of the prequels. Not high praise, by any means.

Rant aside, I’d give it 6/10 but man, it’s riddled with plot holes as large as a crater.

NB: I've got to mention Captain Phasma?? I was expecting Brienne of Tarth with an armour, instead I was given an incompetent and blundering bozo. The character’s exterior did not map to its interior. I expected a character even more menacing than Kylo Ren. “I expected” seems to be the theme for this 7th entry.

1 comentário:

Luis Franco disse...

Well my rant is not so deep... but I do agree on many of your thought. I think its a good movie with a sense of déjà vu led by a need to walk on safe grounds by the director. Not surprisingly when the safe path is chosen it's not suposed to astonish but only keep the need for more.
I liked Rey indeed and I believe it will become a strong compelling character. I agree that the light sabre fight is really too much! Probably a fight with the old luke would be much more interesting and compelling.
The space scenes are fantastic. Good credit for that.
The characters... well not so good indeed. Rey is a good character and poe is medium. Finn is an interesting fellow. I think it starts OK but lacks substance.
I'm thinking of some of the characters on Serenity which I saw recently and undoubtedly they are much more interesting.
Nevertheless I loved the movie. It entertained me and I expect the safe harbour strategy of episode 7 will be changed on episode 8 for a much more surprising story! I loved seeing Han and leia and luke playing the old man and woman that they are!