Yesterday my friend Greg was in town visiting his family over the Memorial Day weekend, and I was able to convince him to go to Revenge of the Sith with me. I don’t have too much to add to the general consensus about the film: best of of the prequels but that’s not saying much. All right let’s get this over with.
I couldn’t help but feel, and Greg agreed with me on this, that none of the actors/actresses were really trying. The lone exception would be Ian McDiarmid who plays Senator/Chancellor/Supreme Evil Dude Palpatine/Darth Sidious (who ever knew that being the most evil guy in the galaxy required one to wear so many hats!). He was quite good I thought and very believable. Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan made a good effort too I suppose. However, all the other A-list actors including Samuel L. Jackson, Natalie Portman, Jimmy Smits, and Hayden Christensen gave off the impression that they just gave up with trying to make their lines seem real, and I don’t really blame them. They were given really clunky lines, and they all knew the movie was going to be phenomenally successful whether they tried or not. Hayden Christensen varied from passably good to just incompetent. I think he was given some of the best lines in the movie, but it seemed every time he was given a real meaty line he just let it fall flat. Towards the end of the movie, when he really started embracing the Dark Side, he got better, and, I gotta admit, he’s got a real good evil glower. Overall, my impression of him improved since this time around he wasn’t the whiney little prick that he was in Episode II. Yoda played a prominent roll this time around, and you get to see him fighting a lot, which is always amusing. My only problem with Yoda was that his Yoda-talk seemed very forced. He delivered some otherwise good lines that were essentially destroyed by that incessant subject/predicate reversal.
The plot was good and moved briskly. Lucas doesn’t waste time catching everybody up with the story line. This time he didn’t engage in the schizophrenic jumping between different story threads like he did in Episode II. Instead he seemed more interested in using neato iMovie wipes between scenes. The opening battle scene was pretty sweet to see on the big screen. I really like epic sci-fi space battles, and Lucas delivered this time. The ground battles on the planets were fun to watch too. The lightsaber battles were the fiercest and most vicious of them all. Also a record number of limbs were severed this time around. The last battle between Obi-wan and Anakin was essentially just a blur of lightsabers in dark corridors. Very dramatic and very cool.
The final lesson of Revenge of the Sith is that women make men do stupid things and thus should be avoided for the sake of the galaxy. Seriously, if it hadn’t been for this Padme chick there would have been no Death Star, no Emperor Palpatine, no Empire, no Ewoks dying, no Han frozen in carbonite, no slaughter of the Jawas, and no Death Star II.
Pros: It’s Star Wars, Greedo doesn’t shoot first, entertaining sci-fi, R2-D2 flys, Jar Jar doesn’t have a single line, the end of the prequels.
Cons:No Han Solo, acting is half-hearted, clunky dialogue, Anakin falls to the Dark Side for lame reasons, battle droids have cute voices.