Sax von Stroheim writes:
Uninspired action, a plot rehashed from Star Wars ’77 and Return of the Jedi, progressive signalling standing in for characterization (look, girl power!), a cynical trotting out of decrepit pieces of nostalgia to fulfill the audience’s jones for their childhood toys, a screenplay filled with dumb-hip-ironic jokes and sub-Joss Whedon snark: it’s hard for me to imagine any movie pandering any harder to all the worst impulses of the moviegoing audience of the current year. Though technically I guess this isn’t the worst Star Wars movie (though I think it falls well short of both Revenge of the Sith and Attack of the Clones in terms of both ambitions and execution), I’m much more tempted to white knight for The Phantom Menace, which is, at least, explicitly aimed at children (not man boys), and, even being aimed at children, still has genuine ideas. Granted, some of the ideas in Menace (and, to be fair, the other prequels) are terrible, but George Lucas had a vision for those movies: a moral and political allegory about the corrupting effects of vengeance and the dangers of unchecked ambition. The Force Awakens doesn’t have ideas, it doesn’t have a vision: it has marketing ploys. It’s a 2 hour long commercial for the new Disney Star Wars brand, which turns out to be just elements of the original trilogy that have been gussied up a little bit — Emo Vader, a fascistier Empire, a super-sized Death Star weapon — without any of those movies’ charm, narrative ingenuity, or inventiveness.
There aren’t even any cool, new spaceships.
(And I don’t really want to get into all the ways in which the plot is stupid and doesn’t make sense, because you can make such claims about all the Star Wars movies — but even by those standards the plot is pretty stupid and nothing makes much sense).