Oh yeah....Adam Driver has a major academy award nomination coming his way. If we have to talk about guys who acted through a mask I'll take Dave Prowse or Boba Fett.Nah. That's utter nonsense. Major Disney films get panned all the time.
I will take Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christiansen, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel Jackson, and Christopher Lee over anyone in this film, and that might even include a tired and disinterested Harrison Ford.
Furthermore let's make this clear about these "reviews". Disney is a major player in Hollywood, but Lucas was despised. They tried to make him change his movies so he told them to go f themselves and left the director's guild. He's better than them and above them and they know it. "Reviews" was the only revenge they could get.
So now they feed us this junk and give it good "reviews". Disney made a billion dollar investment. There was no way the reviews were gonna be bad.
ANyways, watch the Red Letter Media review series. Highly entertaining and will explain to you why the prequels were despised and why this movie had to go back to basics. If you do end up watching them, I'll be interested to see your response.
Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL5919C8DE6F720A2D&v=FxKtZmQgxrI
Prequels weren't "despised" like you or the reviewer claims. They have a lot of fans, I don't like the "go watch this review" argument because it's lazy and the reviewer slanders and strawman George Lucas.
Sure... I'll concede that some people who were children when Phantom Menace came out really like "Jar Jar"... Overall, those movies were seen as a giant disappointment... They are widely seen as the biggest failure of George Lucas' career... and the massive amount of backlash they received played a significant part in Lucas selling the rights and moving on. A large chunk of dedicated Star Wars fans hated him for what he did with the "special editions" and the prequels. They blamed him for "ruining" Star Wars. Is this not common knowledge? This is a strange thread... I thought this was common knowledge.
Naturally, some fans will hate the new movie too. Most of that stems from a failure to live up to unrealistic expectations. People grew up watching these movies as kids... and they were the greatest thing ever. It was also the cutting edge of special effects in cinema for the 70s. Impossible to re-capture that. It's very difficult for anything to live up to your imagination as a child. Of the original trilogy, not all three of those movies are great. We give them a pass, because we grew up with them and watched them as kids, but I mean... if you look at "Return of the Jedi" in particular, it's a movie about a race of teddy bears winning a war. At the time, some fans hated that. I think the prequels have something like a 60% fan approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. "Episode 7" is sitting in the low 90s right now. Seems for the bulk of the audience, is on a par with the original trilogy and did as good a job as it possibly could of bringing them back to their childhood.
The point that it borrowed too heavily from the original is valid, but I think it was necessary given the circumstances of what they were attempting to do. They needed to gain back the trust of fans. If it aint broke don't fix it. So you get a classic "Heroes Journey" arc set in the Star Wars universe. And in a way, complaining about this borrowing from the original would be like complaining that Justin Timberlake borrows too heavily from Michael Jackson... even though Michael Jackson was borrowing heavily from Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, James Brown, etc. The original Star Wars movies borrowed from all sorts of popular science fiction or hero stories of the past (such as Star Trek, Flash Gordon, "Seven Samurai ", etc). For those who support Lucas, how can you dog on them "borrowing" from the originals when Lucas himself felt that each trilogy should be like poetry rhyming with one another. All that has happened will happen again. Anakin's story mirror's luke's mirror's rey. It's fitting for that world.
You can't please everyone... but the core elements of what makes "Star Wars" so [dang] enjoyable were all there. Is it too similar to the original? I guess. But that's what people wanted... they wanted more of the original. Is Timberlake too similar to Michael Jackson? Sure... but that's not going to make his singing and dancing any less entertaining. In my opinion, JJ/Disney nailed it. Overall, the fan base is hooked... ready for more. Gonna be a fun ride.