Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Revenge of the Sith

There are a number of SPOILERS

When I went in to see Revenge of the Sith last week, I thought my expectations were low enough to thoroughly enjoy it. I was wrong.

Quite simply, Revenge of the Sith is not a good movie. Director Kevin Smith must have been doing crack when he said "Revenge of the Sith is, quite simply, ... awesome." True, it is better than both Phantom and Attack, but that's like saying bacon is healthier than eating lard. I simply do not understand why this movie got any good reviews.

The movie starts by lowering ones expectations with a horribly written prelude. "Fiendish"? Come on! "There are heros on both sides. Evil is everywhere," huh?! "Republic Crumbling"? At the end of Attack of the Clones, it looked like the Separatists had no hope (did we ever see the droid armies beat anyone except Jar Jar's people?).

The movie continues along with the problems of the first two: most of the actors can't seem to act, perhaps the fault of the lousy dialog (what did Lucas give Samuel Jackson!); more fights on ledges; overly cute robots (case in point the robots trying to pry obi's ship apart, a scene reminiscent of the Matrix and yet totally unmoving), and robot noises, and artoo comic relief;

The Gratuitous Villain General Grievous, who for some reason coughs and hacks and yet fights with amazing strength and endurance.

There are gratuitous details galore that the Wookie World, Chewie's appearance, gratuitous ship designs (the convertible, the WWII aircraft), gratuitous shots of space battle as 18th century naval battle broadside with recoiling guns and ejecting shells, Padmes outfits. Most of these seemed extraneous and unnecessary distractions meant only to please a certain fan base not move the story at all.

The convenience of runways for large burning star ships re-entering an atmosphere with no engines (which fell off) or wings.

There are story continuity issues: since when is hyperspace instantaneous (I sense my pupil is in danger somewhere on the outer rim)? artoos extra abilities; when did obi forget about leia? why didn't obi use the force on the robots on his spaceship?

There are character issues: padme turns from someone strong and forceful to a simpering love smitten, I lack the will to live; annakin still with the emotions of a 12 year old with temper tantrums in the council (apparently one's strength in the force has nothing to do with one's IQ); why didn't a switch flip slightly earlier, when palpatine was going on about the sith at the opera? annakin's turn to the darkside and killing children in cold blood seems like it missed a couple steps; why didn't yoda keep trying with the emporer, it seem like he had the upper hand; why didn't obi put a saber through annakin's head? The 3 jedi masters who palpatine kills in 2 seconds flat.

There are larger plot issues: why were the jedi so stupid as to trust so much in the clones when they were clearly associated with an enemy (a bounty hunter who tried to kill padme and obi, and who was then hanging out with count dooku)? did the death star really take 20 years to build?

On the plus side, it did tie up lose ends, it had fairly amazing special effects but nothing that we haven't seen of late, and indeed, the old men fighting (dooku and palpatine) doing flips looked very much like CGI too me, and there were something off about the scenes with the clones too. Yoda was not as well done as Gollum. Palpatine and Yoda were the only trully well acted parts, if you could say Yoda was acting?

And it's done. Nothing more too look forward to and nothing else to be dissappointed by.


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