A dude we know wrote a review of 2015's best movie and we're pleased to publish it!
Don’t call it a comeback (minor spoilers ahead)
by Abe, a dude we know.
Let’s talk hype - it’s a bloody dangerous thing. Expectations skyrocket and are often dashed valiantly, disappointment seems inevitable. Waiting for a new Star Wars has been more than a grind, it’s been an exercise in pragmatism and a measure of personal discipline.
It’s also been one of the few times I’ve found joy in preserving my insanely lofty expectations, even if doing so helps tie that same noose.
But how glorious it is to be a part of something. To feel love and belonging en masse.
Millions of voices cheer as an X-wing pierces the surface tension of a lake. A blue bar of light appears for a matter of seconds and the minds and hearts of young and old alike erupt in a spectacular show of humanity.
If there’s one thing I can take away from a world post Episode VII, it’s that when hype delivers, it does just that.
Let’s rip this plaster off right now. I flat out loved this movie. Not ‘liked’, I didn’t think it was ‘pretty great’, I loved it.
A shot from a blaster, frozen in mid-air; a sand sled-cum-backpack; Chewie’s bowcaster finally put to use; and temper tantrums from our central villain.
It’s the small affectations that put all of my fears to rest.
Riddled throughout, it’s the tiny moments J.J has chosen to represent the Star Wars ethos and show that he truly lives and breathes Lucas’ creation - and what an absolute joy it is to lose yourself within.
Gone are the green screens, unnerving predatory stares, bizarre personal disdain for sand and melodrama of prequel’s past. Instead, here’s John Boyega and Oscar Isaac, bouncing off each other as if separated at birth; their joined screen-time is fleeting but if it isn’t the most beautiful friendship I’ve seen in years.
Gone also is the creeping menace of Vader or, more gladly, the incessant whining of Anakin. VII sees a handsome and brooding Adam Driver stepping up. Volatile, professional console destroyer, and equal parts immature, intimidating and agile, he's one flawed individual and one hell of an interesting addition to the ensemble.
Even the Stormtroopers are given their due.
Less background noise for action landscapes, we're finally given reason to care for these (mostly) faceless fodder as they quip, bleed and show much better accuracy to that of their predecessors.
Abram’s has given a heartbeat to just about every aspect of Star Wars and it's no more evident than we when feel ourselves rooting for just about everyone onscreen.
With the inclusion of old favourites, it’s as if the best pop culture of the last ten years had a Star Wars party and someone just took it upon themselves to film the shenanigans. The cast of The Raid rubs shoulders with Game of Thrones, Attack the Block, and so much more.
It's a delicious British, Irish and American gumbo, and it all works so well you wonder why the mash-up didn’t happen years ago.
Of course, there’s bound to be some blunders (it is, after all, J.J’s first crack at the Lucas legacy) and the one ‘Marvel’-ous, member of our cast did have it feel as though Stan Lee weaselled his way into a table read.
I’ll be keeping an eye on what Episode VIII director Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick) does with Supreme Leader Snoke, but for now, you’d be hard pressed to convince me he’s any more than a big, glitzy McGuffin.
However, in seeing what’s become of the Star Wars universe in the last 30 years, hearing TIE fighters scream through the sky whilst costumed creatures grunt and mingle around a speakeasy or desert bazaar, seeing that spark in Harrison Ford that we haven’t been privy to since Jedi, it’s clear that we can breathe again.
Episode VII is a love letter to Star Wars and our beloved galaxy far, far away is as good as it's ever been.
TL;DR: it’s incredible.
Thanks Abe! We love your work.