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Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (DVD, 2005, 2-Disc Set, Widescreen)
(206 Epinions reviews)
The Sith are back and there's gonna be trouble.
May 21, 2005
Review by jeff_wilder78
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Wraps everything up.
Cons:Feels inconclusive in a way.
The Bottom Line: Ends the trilogy nicely. No more, no less.
There was applause and it could be heard. Yet it wasn't as loud as it had been before.
Recommend this product?
Such was the case at the end of tonight's showing of Star Wars Episode III-Revenge of the Sith. There was some applause and a sense of audience contentment. Yet it didn't match the level at the end of the original Star Wars films or even Attack of the Clones. Which could sum up the whole of Revenge of the Sith nicely.
Revenge Of the Sith begins with relentless action and ends on a note of finality that doesn't quite feel as conclusive as it should. This is the point I guess. Seeing as Revenge is the final film in a prequel trilogy, it should make viewers want to revisit the next three Star Wars films.
Revenge Of the Sith delivers on its promise to answer the questions we will have for it. It shows how Anakin Skywalker turned to the Dark Side. It explains how Luke and Leia were conceived and it shows how Darth Vader wound up having to wear that costume. The fact that it delivers on that promise should be enough to earn it a very high recommendation. After all, my fellow cinephiles, this is what we were waiting for isn't it? A film that would justify the empty pandering to a pre-teen audience that was The Phantom Menace and the better yet still not quite as good as it should have been Attack Of The Clones?
In a way, Revenge does that. Yet it also makes one look back at the previous two films and wonder: was it really worth the bother?
One of the most venomous critics of the original Star Wars was writer Harlan Ellison. Ellison dismissed the original George Lucas space opera as a sort of Wild West Serial in outer space and offered an ominous warning that the film represented "a triumph of technology over content, of special effects over a story with people".
While I disagree with Ellison's assessment of the original SW (although it definitely applies to the Matrix films) I can see his overall point. The original SW was enthralling, fun to watch and rewarding of multiple viewings. Yet a certain amount of historical revisionism tends to obscure the movie's flaws. The film had relatively stiff acting and weak dialogue. The actors participating knew the dialogue was bad and one of them even went so far as to tell Lucas so (Harrison Ford is famous for lecturing Lucas: "You can type this shit George. But you can't say it".)
Of course it goes without saying that Lucas's talent for writing dialogue hasn't improved any since the original trilogy. Here we get plenty of exposition, quite a few cliches and lines meant solely for the purpose of advancing the plot.
The acting however, is a step up from the originals. We get Hayden Christensen demolishing the myth he created in Attack of the Clones that he can't act. Ewan McGregor reminds us that he can act. Jimmy Smits role is expanded beyond what he did in Attack and Samuel L Jackson shows off his badass side nicely. Unfortunately, Natalie Portman isn't given much to do. Shame on you Mr. Lucas.
The story has Obi-Wan (McGregor) and Anakin (Christensen) first rescuing captured Senator Palpatine (Ian McDermand) from the clutches of Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) and the Sith. Yes, the Sith are back and there's gonna be trouble. Right after that thrilling opening, the darker side of the film begins to emerge. We see the bad path Anakin takes and we see his reasons for doing so. We see some more thrilling action sequences, such as the duel between Obi-Wan and General Grievous. That battle scene, for some reason, reminded me of the battle between King Arthur and the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The scenes where Anakin's betrayal becomes apparent are some of the best in the film. This is especially true when Obi-Wan discovers it.
Revenge Of the Sith is great all around. Yet there's something missing. What it is I think is the same thing that's missing throughout the prequel trilogy: the same sense of wonder that permeated the original. The reason for its absence may have to do with the fact that the novelty is gone. It may also have to do with the fact that Lucas moved from being an innovator to simply being a craftsman.
But I digress. Revenge Of the Sith is an entertaining film that will definitely be watched and loved by Star Wars fans. And it can be recommended to them for the fact that it is entertaining and it answers those questions that have been persisting in their heads. Also I must praise George Lucas for keeping Jar Jar Binks involvement in this film to a bare minimum. But why Mr. Lucas did you not do the right thing and KILL KILL KILL him? I might have given your film an extra star for that.
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