Thursday, December 17, 2015

9 Major Reasons Why Star Wars The Force Awakens Sucks

Face It, Star Wars Sucks
I’m not going to sit here and type that I’m a revered critic. I’m not. This page is not even on the radar. Even though I did manage to win 2 Golden Popcorn Awards, this page gets less views than an old Vicca VHS tape. The new Star Wars movie is here, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you don’t know that. I for one am so sick and tired of the marketing. I don’t need Star Wars branded TACO shells! I’m so tired of getting hit with the super marketing push that has nothing to do with the movie, the franchise, or anything at all with cinema. I don’t need “dark side” oranges, or Yoda branded grapes!

Ok, I’ll digress.

There are a LOT of people praising the latest in the Star Wars movies. But I am not so quick to say that this is a great movie. Just like the Dark Knight Returns, I am calling it for what it is, a lackluster, crap shoot of a film. Simply put, this movie sucks.

I’m not that eloquent in writing sometimes, so instead of hashing out a diatribe, I’ll just give you 9 reviews that highlight what I’ve been saying since this movie started and it’s now on our proverbial tables. This movie sucks, and the franchise sucks. It’s overrated, and I’m tired of getting lambasted when I speak my opinion about it.

Here are 9 major reasons or rather reviews that showcase how much Stars Wars The Force Awakens sucks, and how the marketing can go to hell. I’m tired of it.

9 - It's The Same Movie?!

Whether Abrams’ obsessive-compulsive relationship to George Lucas’ 1977 original works for you is a subjective question, of course. You can choose to understand “The Force Awakens” as an embrace of the mythological tradition, in which the same stories recur over and over with minor variations. Or you can see it as the ultimate retreat into formula: “Let’s just make the same damn movie they loved so much the first time!” There are moments when it feels like both of those things, profound and cynical, deeply satisfying and oddly empty. This is the work of a talented mimic or ventriloquist who can just about cover for the fact that he has nothing much to say. He has made an adoring copy of “Star Wars,” seeking to correct its perceived flaws, without understanding that nothing about that movie’s context or meaning or enormous cultural impact can be duplicated.


8 - JJ Abrams Sucks As An Action Director (DUH!)

As in his other movies (including Super 8 and Star Trek films), Abrams doesn’t seem to know how to frame the action, dramatically or visually, to maximize the good and minimize the bad. The setup for the climactic set piece, which echoes the three friends in The Wizard of Oz sneaking into the witch’s castle to rescue Dorothy, is almost embarrassingly perfunctory, and the security for all First Order facilities appears set at pre-9/11 levels. The film’s strokes of visual panache include the funereal throne room of Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), who looks like an enormous version of Edward Munch’s “Scream.” But Abrams can’t pull off a Triumph of the Will extravaganza, whether with his sub–Albert Speer architecture or Domhnall Gleeson’s glazed face and frozen rabble-rousing as General Hax.


7 - It Is Just Paying Fan Service (Nostalgia)

But The Force Awakens is still more or less a fetish object, a film that exists to inspire phrases like “It feels like Star Wars again” ad nauseam from a fanbase that equates the lasting impact of Lucas's prequels as something akin to PTSD. Its analog grain, practical effects work (shrewdly augmented with CGI), and the impression, at least, of a new story in this universe being told, rather than the predetermined one we were subjected to last time, lend Abrams's effort a baseline rejuvenation, one he and returning screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan stoke throughout with the kind of nostalgia this series has been exploiting since it first co-opted John Fordian vistas and plot points from Akira Kurosawa films.


6 - It's Just The Same Movie (and the same as #9 on this list)

He hasn’t made a terrible picture—just a safe one, where the farthest reaches of fantasy feel merely routine. Every crisis or moment of drama turns out to be a rehash of one that has gone before. Even Luke’s pivotal discovery from The Empire Strikes Back, in which he finds out that his greatest enemy is also his closest relative, is repeated here in a different form, with two characters unexpectedly occupying branches of the same family tree. 


5 - People Are Willing To Pay Money No Matter What The Movie Is Like (lame)

Some things are the same but updated, an orphan in the desert with a mysterious heritage, a swashbuckling pilot, a plucky droid. And some things are simply the same: C-3PO and R2-D2, the Millennium Falcon, and oh yes, the Force. The unkind view — the cynical view, the greedminded view — is that there is no need for new ideas when people will line up to pay for old ones. 2015.


4 - Either Abrams Doesn't Know How To Pace Himself Or He Doesn't Know The Audience

And yet The Force Awakens adds up to something less than the sum of its parts. The early scenes have a relaxed, assured pace. But as the story moves forward, Abrams becomes more mired in the task of keeping the plot mechanics in gear. There’s the expected climactic battle between X-wing starfighters and TIE fighters, which is mildly exciting and nothing more—the fact that it’s punctuated with dumb dialogue like “General! Their shields are down!” “Prepare to fire!” and even the classic, “It would take a miracle to save us now,” surely doesn’t help. And the movie’s big twist, clearly intended to be a moment of Shakespearean grandeur, is handled clumsily: Instead of allowing a significant figure to have his grand moment, Abrams cuts to other characters expressing shock and dismay, as if he didn’t trust the audience to know what to feel.


3 - It's A Boring Rehash of The Same Ideas As The Original, emphasis on BORING. 

 Pero me fui deshinchando progresivamente, me aburría el más de lo mismo y me resultó francamente pesarosa la segunda parte de la saga.


2 - We Have Already Seen The Same Gags and Tricks For 30 Years! 

But we have had 30+ years of movies aping A New Hope, with some (Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl) being better than others (Pan, Lucas’s own Willow). So it is a little disheartening to see the former champion playing the same game as would-be pretenders.

You can make the case that I was hoping to get “the Star Wars movie,” promised in the grandly mythic trailers but instead got merely “a Star Wars movie.” 


1 - It's Not Well Made, It's Clunky, and Abrams Doesn't Know How To Handle Visual Style

The picture feels a bit clunky, as if on stilts, until the action takes place. Roger Ebert had a cynical observation about whom the Oscars rewards, to paraphrase, “He who acts most acts best.”  Though not as acrimonious as Lucas’ prequels, which aren’t even worth consideration if we’re to be serious about any kind of analysis, Abrams feels off balance when he’s not running.  I can relate, but I have poor motor coordination because of my cerebral palsy. What’s J.J.’s excuse?

THE FORCE AWAKENS also suffers from Abrams’ lack of a visual style.  It’s not due to technology.  He insisted on real locations and a film medium as opposed to digital cinematography. RAIDERS’ cinematographer Douglas Slocombe, like Peter Suschitzky on EMPIRE, had an easily deconstructed style that was consistent and appropriate for the tone Spielberg wanted for his homage to b-movie serials.


There you have 9 reasons why Star Wars: The Force Awakens sucks. I used these sites as quotes because they didn't just go for nostalgia and say this was a great opus. It's not. It's another pull to make money, and while I don't care if people make money in a business, I do find that some things aren't worth their salt, and this again is not worthwhile. I'll save my 30 bucks and pay some bills, get a coffee, and go back to whatever it is I do. But if you're honest with yourself, and you read these things, as well as see the movie, you will see that it's nothing grand. Heck, it's about as exciting as a 70 year old man kicking an up and coming WWE superstar. I suck at writing, which is why I linked you to 9 good writers. I'm done. This sucks. 


  1. Bravo!

    I have been saying similar stuff to friends since I first saw the trailer. This is not a Star Wars movie, it is a device to sell toys.

    First off BB8 looks like a leftover from the Disney classic disaster "The Black Hole". secondly is everybody forgetting that Stormtroopers are clones? Hello, we have a black guy and a woman dressed up as Stormtroopers. They should be in imperial uniforms not clone wear. There were tons of other defects I saw in just the trailer alone.

    Some may have hated the prequels, but at least George Lucas wanted them released and not this one.

    1. See! As soon as I mentioned anything, people would lambaste me for doing so. I was surprised to see 90% of critics were on board with the movie, as if Disney owned their magazines etc. I get it. However, this just looks like a cash grab to me, and the critics that I posted about got it. They actually did their job and really wrote well about the movie. They didn't just say it sucked and ran. Of course, I let them do the heavy lifting, I'm just a random dude with a random blog. Thanks for the comment!


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A writer first, cat lover second, and some other stuff too. Human, with lots of faults, and terrible communication.
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