With block­buster

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -

films gone by with some ex­cit­ing next-gen ad­di­tions to the char­ac­ter list.

The stand­outs from the old-school Star Wars stable are un­doubt­edly Han Solo (a sur­pris­ingly spry and up-for-any­thing Har­ri­son Ford) and Chew­bacca (Peter May­hew).

It has to be put on record that Han and Chewie are still a dou­ble act to be reck­oned with. Their trade­mark ban­ter has an en­dear­ing zip that pre­vents a num­ber of so-so scenes from flatlin­ing.

Oh, and when it comes to wast­ing Stormtroop­ers willy-nilly, Solo and the ’Bacca are still the team to beat. Very young view­ers are go­ing to be won over in a flash by th­ese two.

And what of the new re­cruits step­ping out for the first time in The Force Awak­ens? The break­out star of the debu­tantes will un­doubt­edly be young Brit Daisy Ri­d­ley as the movie’s feisty, fully-fledged hero­ine, Rey. Though Ri­d­ley doesn’t make much of an en­trance – she starts out as an unglam­orous scav­enger on the desert planet of Jakku – it is not long be­fore she is making a con­sid­er­able im­pact. Rey’s un­con­ven­tional skill set and how she puts it quickly to the most re­source­ful uses (just one ex­am­ple: she can pop the hood of the Mil­len­nium Fal­con and fix its en­gine in min­utes) will see her be­come a strong role model for young fe­males in years to come.

In play­ing Rey’s run­ning mate Finn, John Boyega will take a lit­tle longer to grow on view­ers. His role as an ex-Stormtrooper en­trusted by The Re­sis­tance to help Rey pro­tect BB-8 suf­fers from some un­even writ­ing, and a few ten­ta­tive per­for­mance choices.

As for the Vader-like vil­lain of The Force Awak­ens, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), is as bad as bad dudes can be over on the Dark Side.

Not sure about Ren’s through-themeshy-mask speak­ing voice, though. The kid just doesn’t have Darth Vader’s im­pec­ca­bly omi­nous dic­tion. The poor lad mostly sounds like an mis-tuned AM ra­dio late at night.

Is The Force Awak­ens a per­fect movie? No. Is it a per­fect Star Wars movie? Of course not. But it gets a hell of lot closer than you dared wish.

The Force is strong with this one. Best of all, it will only get stronger from here.

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