Synopsis: Adventure in a galaxy far, far away.
Has anyone on the planet missed the relentless barrage of advertising and marketing for the latest Star Wars movie? The tie-ins are not to be believed. Case in point: Makeup (light side or dark side themes), jewelry, vitamins, coffee creamer (in a Chewbacca bottle), razors, cereal, sandwiches, a car, batteries, dog costumes and apples. No, not even fruit is free of the Star Wars yoke. Geesh…
Not holding the crush of merch against the movie, I headed to the cinema eager to check out the new faces. Enter Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger on a patch of desert. She rappels and parkours around demolished space craft looking for sellable parts. She looks grim and purposeful like Victoria Beckham at LAX. Verdict: Rey is resourceful and likable.
Meanwhile a cute little volleyball-esque robot, BB8, is rolling away from bad guys. Verdict: BB8 is awesome and super likable. Assisting BB8 is another new face, Poe (Oscar Isaac), a Resistance pilot. Verdict: Poe is hot and likable. The Resistance are battling new bad guys, the First Order who seem the same as The Empire. The new Darth Vader is Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). I couldn’t help but think of all of his weird interactions with Lena Dunham on Girls, so instead of an interstellar menace he just seemed like a creepy guy from Brooklyn to me. Verdict: Kylo is conflicted and unlikable.
This is the plot: BB8 needs to get a file to the good guys. (You will be busy registering all of the new characters, so it’s good that there are no twists or complexities to confuse anyone 😉 )BB8 rolls around hither and yon, and becomes friendly with yet another new face, Finn (John Boyega), a former storm trooper. Verdict: Finn is conflicted and likable.
The newbies meet up with familiar characters like Chewie (hasn’t aged a day) and Han Solo (rogue-ish as ever). Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) makes an appearance
as a Resistance general, looking wistful and sleepy.
The Force Awakens will satisfy Star Wars fans, having stayed true in spirit to the Star Wars galaxy and delivering visits from legendary characters. I was charmed by the newcomers… especially BB8. In fact, I think I may go out and buy myself a BB8 talking plush toy, baseball cap, waffle maker, tee shirt, wallet, desk lamp, earrings…..
Cut to the Chase: The visual effects and fine actors old and new (kudos to Chewie and BB8) boost a thin plot.
Comedy Highlight: Maz ,(Lupita Nyong’o), the eons old, spiritually groovy bar owner extraordinaire