Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith
Anakin turns to the dark side of the force while the Galactic Republic collapses and the Emperor becomes, er, the Emperor.
What I Thought
As the credits were rolling, three words kept repeating themselves in my head: Piece of sith. (yes, my mental voice talks with a lisp).
So if you're looking for a favorable review of Episode III, look somewhere else.
However, let me begin with the good parts. I'll tell you when I get mean. OK, meaner.
So let's start with the amazing special effects. I want to say that 'as always Lucas delivers' except in the first two episodes (Episodes I and II) it looked as if the actors were against a blue screen and he hardly delivered. This movie delivers significantly more 'real' looking special effects than the first two episodes. So kudos.
The light saber duels are, in short, always fun and marvellous.
The space sequence at the beginning of III is a joy to behold. It looks like it's the most complicated battle sequence from all the movies, and it's too bad that the fighting part is so short.
And no matter what anyone else says, Yoda is just cool.
Time to be mean.
Let's first talk about the writer (even though the writer and the director are the same person). Horrible. Cheesy. Poorly written. The WORST dialog of all 6 episodes. Yes, I know none of the movies were a paragon of writing, and that they didn't get more complicated than 'use the Force', but this is worse. The scenes between Padme and Anakin are so awkward and juvenile, I would have assumed they were written by a high schooler.
Now for the director. Lucas should have fired him after the 1st movie, but noooo. This man cannot get acting out of, um, an actor, let alone, um, the ah, actors in the movie. (I tried to make it work) Natalie Portman is wooden, so is Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor looks embarrased to be in this movie, and Ian McDiarmid only has 'creepy' and 'creepier' in his repertoir.
I don't want to spend more time writing about that because I want to tackle the real 'meat', the storyline. The first three were meant to be the downfall of Anakin and the rise of Darth Vader. Now that I've seen it, I keep asking, 'is that IT?' One of the greatest and darkest villains of cinema history is reduced to being a juvenile, arrogant, impulsive, childish, snotty kid with a crush on his childhood mother-figure? (Let's not get into how creepy it is Anakin marrying the woman who saved him when he was 8.)
One big complaint is that in all 3 movies it feels as if the Anakin character was about 10 years too young for each movie. Episode III SHOULD have been about a mature and self-aware Anakin who consciously turns, not this impulsive decision based on being kissed up to by the Emperor.
What about Anakin's and Padme's love, you may ask? Doesn't that count for anything? Well, again as portrayed, that love feels much more like a creepy schoolyard crush. I just didn't feel it.
Granted that Padme's hairstyles are designed to mesh with Leia's later cinnabuns (and yes, the cinnabuns are back/'introduced' in III CORRECTION: They were introduced in II. My apologies.), but there's no reason to go all Paris Hilton on her wardrobe. And I will never forgive her for wearing those tacky pearls to bed.
It's not that I'm a very smart person or anything, after all I don't get paid to vet a billionaire's vanity script (I'm available and cheap, George!), but I can't help but feel that even little me could write better dialog and better scenes than Lucas did for III. Anakin's conversion, the Emperor's coming out (no, not THAT kind of coming out!), the love dialog between Anakin and Padme, the Jedi betrayals.
I guess that's what is really missing in this movie. An editor for George that can tell him 'no' (and who'd do it better than Darth's final awkward 'Noooooooooo!'.
I was just reminded about a few other things I wanted to whine about:
General Grievus? A coughing droid? C'mon!
And how about Yoda's new 'training' for Obi Wan at the end, the one referring to Qui-Gon? (I'm trying mighty hard not to give anything away.) After all that argument about how death is natural & extending it is unnatural, the new training looks a little weird and Yoda sounds like a cult leader.
Addendum 2: (a.k.a. 'and another thing!')
Did I mention this movie was heads and shoulders better than Episodes I and II? I thought I'd throw that in there...
All photos and text copyright Ryszard Kilarski, unless otherwise noted. Clip art, drawings, paintings are either free domain or copyrighted by the artists.