Thursday, December 31, 2015
Ralph Rates ‘Em
Movie reviews by Ralph Bruin
So here we are at the end of the year and this column’s going out with a bang. Yeah, you guessed it. I’m gonna review Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Me and every other reviewer still upright and sober. But I gotta tell you up front, there won’t be any spoilers. Ziva told me not to ruin the movie for anybody. Hey, c’mon, I know better than that. Just because people started calling me Wreck It Ralph doesn’t mean I like spoiling movies for people. I do that and I’m out of a job, and that’s no way to start the new year.
Besides, it’s been out for two weeks already, so if you don’t know the plot by now, which rock have you been under? But okay, I’ll keep it spoiler-free so Ziva don’t get all pissy. She just had kids. You know how they get.
So anyway. The Force awakens. While it was sleeping somebody must’a hit the reset button because it looks an awful lot like the first one. We got bad guys in ginormous spaceships and stormtroopers out the ass and a droid carrying vital info running around on a desert planet. Sound familiar? I thought Luke and his buddies defeated the evil Empire back in Episode VI. But here we are with the Empire and they still got an army and they’re still blowing up planets and the rebels are in hiding and there’s a dark lord of the whatsis and only one Jedi left and he’s disappeared. So we’re right back at the starting gate and everything the good guys spent three movies fighting for all went down the crapper in one generation. This is what happens when you let amateurs try to set up a government.
The only good thing is that this time around, the lead’s a chick. I can tell you how that happened. Hunger Games is how that happened. Kickass chicks in charge means money in the bank now. She doesn’t have much of a rack but she can hold her own in a fight. You can’t ask for more from a chick in a movie. Well, yeah, okay, you can ask for the rack and usually you get it, but this is Star Wars and kids are gonna wanna see this, so we’ll give the rack a pass this time around.
Anyway, Katniss meets up with both the droid with the secret info and a former stormtrooper who left the Empire. And that’s another thing. When did the stormtroopers learn how to shoot? In the first movie they couldn’t hit the broad side of a bantha. Now alla sudden they got dead aim? Maybe they figured out they should get in some target practice after the Ewoks kicked their asses back in Episode VI. Beat by a bunch of teddy bears. You call that an Empire?
Whatever. Katniss and her new boyfriend take off in—wait for it—the Millennium Falcon! Yeah! We’re hitting all the nostalgia buttons here. I’m telling you, when Harrison Ford came onscreen the whole damn theater went apeshit. Not so much for Carrie Fisher. I think she’s had work done because her face hardly moved the whole time. They don’t have cell phones but they’ve got plastic surgery? What the hell kind of galaxy is this?
Oh, and the bad guy? The bargain-basement Darth Vader? He’s Han and Leia’s kid. Luke was teaching him to be a Jedi and he turned to the dark side instead. Stellar parenting there, you guys. Maybe it’s a generational thing. Vader was Luke’s dad and Luke was bland as vanilla pudding. This new guy has a kid, he’ll probably be Buddha or somebody.
(“Ralph! What did I tell you about spoilers?”)
(“What? The thing about Darth Solo? Everybody knows that by now. It’s not like I told ‘em who gets killed or anything. You want me to?”)
(“Just wrap it up. We’re on deadline. Wait a minute. Did I just see the word ‘rack’ in there?”)
(“No. No, you didn’t. Just gimme a minute, okay? Did the office party start yet? Save me some punch.”)
Okay, bottom line. Should you see this movie? Yeah. It’s Star Wars. It’s got chases and robots and fight scenes and shit blows up. All the stuff kids love. People are gonna ask, “How come Katniss can fly the Falcon and where’d she learn how to use a lightsaber?” Because it’s Star Wars, that’s why. If you’re gonna be like that, you should maybe be watching a movie with Meryl Streep in it. Wuss.
Two things here. Screw you, Ziva, I’m telling people. Mark Hamill’s in this. You have to wait because he’s right at the end, but Luke does show up. He doesn’t say anything, which works for me. I’m a big fan of the ‘90s Batman cartoon, and if I’d heard the Joker’s voice coming out of Luke Skywalker’s mouth I think I would’a lost it.
The other thing is, why wasn’t the Rock in this? I mean, really. Picture the Rock with a lightsaber. You dumping in your shorts right now too? He’d make one badass Jedi. Mace Windu’s kid or something. Maybe in the next movie. Disney owns the franchise, right? Does the Rock work for Disney? I thought everybody works for Disney. I lose track of these things.
(“Ralph! Are you done yet?”)
Gotta wrap this up. Go see The Force Awakens. I give it four out of five bear claws. My favorite part was the preview for Captain America: Civil War. Cap and Bucky beat the shit out of Iron Man. Yeah, right. That’ll last until Tony gets his hands up and blasts ‘em with his repulsor rays. Star-spangled splatter all over the walls. See you in the new year, folks!