This is Star Wars as it is supposed to be!
I will do my best to avoid any spoilers here. I must have watched the first movie, Episode IV, more than a hundred times (I am not kidding) while growing up, and the following two episodes maybe ten times. They are on my list of favorite movies. Episode I, II and III I think I have seen twice. In my opinion they are NOT a part of the series. Therefore I have been looking forward to this first of the last three movies with large amounts of excitement and a bit of fear. Luckily I was pleasantly surprised with how well they have hit what, in my opinion, is the real Star Wars.
The plot is really good and gripping. It seems like they have taken some of the best stuff from Episode IV to VI and compiled into one movie. It is a bit of a safe move, as you know that all Star Wars fans are going to love it, and being one of those I must admit that it worked. I have a sneaky suspicion that they did this to make sure, that the first (of the last three) movie was a hit, and then leave their hands more free for the last two.
The plot kept me guessing what the next twist would be, but also trying to get a grip on where the story is going as a whole. I like it when a movie does that.
The humor from Episode IV to VI is maintained here. There are none of the lame slapstick silliness that they tried in Episode I to III. It is in general a serious sci-fi movie, but still with a sly smile on Han Solo’s lips and socially awkward droids.
Daisy Ridley is really good. She is a fitting match for a strong female lead character. She is not overly sexy, which would have been distracting for a movie like this, but she is still pretty while maintaining a serious demeanor of “I-will-kick-you-ass” about her when she needs to.
John Boyega is a bit lame at a few points at first, but I guess it is a part of his role, but as the character expands, it gets much better. Later on I actually started wanting to see more of him.
Harrison Ford is his classic charming self albeit a bit older than we are used to. There a no I-am-too-old-for-this jokes, but you can sense that is there between the lines.
I was slightly turned down by the performance by Adam Driver playing Kylo Ren. He was a bit too weak for my expectations, but absolutely not bad. I guess it is a part of his character and his mindset, but still I would have expected a bit less whining.
I watched this movie in digital 3D in the theatre. It had some great effects you can tell that they have played around with the depth effects quite a bit. I have not been a fan of the technology so far, but I must admit that some of the scene worked pretty well in 3D here. However I am still looking forward to seeing this in regular 2D as well.
In stark contrast to Episode I to III, they have not gone to the extreme in using CGI and all kinds of silly effects. The style from the original movies is maintained and though they have moved on from stop motion animations of aliens, it is still down to earth, if you can say that about a sci-fi movie.
If you are new to sci-fi this could be a place to start. Even though there are several references to the previous movies, seeing them first is not required. I would still recommend that you see Episode IV to VI first however, as they are good movies!
If you are a true Star Wars fan, you have probably already seen this movie. If not; go see it now! It is really worth it! It is really a Star Wars movie!