This review will inevitably be short because I am avoiding spoilers. However, I can make some general statements about my first viewing of Star Wars: the Force Awakened.
Overall: Go watch it so we can talk about the spoilers already.
I liked most of the characters in this one. There was nothing like Jar-Jar which popped out at the screen with zany antics or over-the-top effects jarring (pun might be intended) the experience. I won’t say all the characters felt 100% “realistic” or that I felt their motivations were 100% fleshed out in the movie, but it they were cohesive and whole. Yes, I walked out with a few “why’s” that I want more on, but I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. Only one character felt like they needed a little bit more exposition.
Secondly, I think the writers did a very good job of addressing the “old cast” and the “new cast” characters. They blended them without too much of the cudgel-of-dues-ex-machina.
One of the criticisms in the digital editions and 1-3 was the over-use of CGI. Entire characters which felt cartoonish or at least unrealistics (like 1/2 of episode one…). Ships that were super-shiny. Tech that seemed to be AHEAD of 4-6’s tech… and I didn’t have that struggle in Force Awakens. In fact, I felt like most of the changes in tech and clothing fit the time-gap appropriately. The changes made sense in the context of the universe.
There also an appropriate amount of explosions. That said, I firmly believe we have a social-psyche problem with what we choose to blow up… seriously we all have some issues when it comes to the great boom-booms.
This is going to be my most vague. Partly because I wasn’t watching it planning a review. I was watching to enjoy. and I DID. In this first pass (where I purposefully tried to turn off the writer-in-me), no glaring plot holes jumped out. There were a few moments of “oh of course… [rolls eyes]” but Star Wars was never exactly the most “surprise!” plots anyway, so don’t going in expecting a major twist (at least there wasn’t anything that shocked me…)
No one scene dominates the movie except. Maybe the climax? but even then it is the appropriate like 15-20% of my memory of the movie keeps going back to that as “can I chew on it?” Comparing to other movies where one section or one scene is all anyone really remembers (anything stand out in SW#1 except pod racing? – which wasn’t even the climax theoretically?)
So go see it. ASAP. Avoid spoilers and enjoy!