So I went to my second viewing earlier today. I enjoyed it a lot more this time around without my huge hopes/expectations and knowing that it was a very flawed film going in.
The film is flawed. There isn't any denying it, but it's also fun. There's loads of plot that makes no sense whatsoever and other aspects of the story I massively dislike but the film never forgets that it needs to be fun. Compare this to the prequels which just carry an air of dull depression throughout.
It's a beautiful film. Some of the shots and images are truly magnificent.
Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley are brilliant and hold the whole thing together. When the plot is creaking and you feel like everything is turning to shit, they anchor it. John Boyega is pretty bad in this one though.
There's definitely a good movie in here somewhere. I feel like with just a handful of story changes this would have been more satisfying. I've come up with a better ending if anyone's interested(?!)).
You can feel how rushed the production was. There are loose threads all over the place. Plot points and character beats that go nowhere or are completely at odds with everything else. In some of the action scenes it feels like shots are missing. The thing has an air of "we don't have much time so lets film as much as possible and work it out in the edit, oh shit we don't have time for pickups either".
The Palpatine relation is still BULLSHIT. As is the fucking over of Rose. And C3PO getting his memories back. Don't get me fucking started on Snoke in a test tube.
The death star lightsabre fight is brilliant in every way, except the odd ending (I've also come up with a better ending for that).
Babu Frink is great. BD-1 is not. In fact there's too many pointless characters in this.
The film should be 20-30 minutes longer. Give scenes a chance to breath and land properly, slow things down a tad, develop the characters and story more.
I could nitpick everything in it tbh and might post some more thoughts later. But I definitely came out of my first viewing very disappointed but my second viewing I feel a bit happier. The films not great by any means, but there's plenty to enjoy.
And, ofcourse, John Williams smashes it for the ninth time.