Revenge of the sixth

Thursday 19 May 2005

We just came back from seeing Revenge of the Sith. Here are my thoughts. Warning: this gives some stuff away but only a little.

Things I liked:

  • R2-D2 finally gets to be an action hero!
  • The opening dogfight manages yet again to raise the art to a whole new level. I couldn't always follow it, but the depth and dynamics were breathtaking.
  • The lava planet was way cool.
  • You just can't have too much of fighting-mood Yoda with the light saber illuminating his face.
  • I liked the long shots in a few of the fight scenes, where the only action visible was the flashing of tiny distant light sabers.
  • I could swear Laurence Fishburne was sitting next to Padme in the Senate scene.

Things I didn't like:

  • Padme, who in previous movies did some mean fighting, was short-changed. Here all she did was hang around the apartment and simper, then fly someplace and faint, then die in childbirth. What is this, a Jane Austen movie?
  • George Lucas really can't do emotion. There were at least a half dozen times that the audience simply laughed at what was meant to be an intense moment.
  • "What have I done? ... I'll do anything you want." Sorry, I just don't get it. The whole point of this movie was Anakin's transformation into Darth Vader. And it just lay there, both his joining the Dark Side and his appearance in full black-helmeted glory. What should have been the biggest payoffs in movie history felt like high-school drama, or worse, parodies of Star Wars. Like the line I quoted above, some of it didn't even make sense.

Comments

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mikey 9:49 PM on 19 May 2005

Can I offer the thought that our collective conciousness exited the wide eyed, oh-wow sci-fi movie phase sometime in the 80's? The original film had an impact largely due to the effects, which are SOP these days. What you have left is a sort of bloodless exercise in appeasing everybody (the fans, the marketers, the test audiences, the execs, the chain owners). I felt this in the previous films, as well as in the LOTR series. Ned, your post was right on. Give me American Graffitti anytime.

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andrew 10:39 PM on 19 May 2005

SW: ROTS died for me the moment I saw Darth Vader using the force to choke a M&M in a commercial. 'Nuff said.

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kurosch 1:53 AM on 20 May 2005

Did you ever see The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles? Fabulous television show, may it rest in peace. Every episode I saw was an instant classic, except for the one with Mata Hari seducing young Indy. Romance is not Lucas' forte

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Pete Lyons 3:20 PM on 20 May 2005

Ok, I haven't seen the ROTS but Mikey, How can you put LOTR in the same category as SW. LOTR might not have been perfect but Jackson at least made an honest artistic attempt to tell a story. The latest SW I've seen has been nothing but eye candy/crack to sell kids toys and video games. There's been no meat on the SW bones.

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Nate Finch 10:20 AM on 23 May 2005

I totally agree with you, Ned. Although pregnant Padme can't be much of a super hero, so I wasn't too upset about that. This movie was (supposed to be) about Anakin's turn to the dark side, not about Padme. She had her time in the limelight as a queen and then a senator... now she's a senator in a senate that has little power.

But you're right on about Anakin's fall. It seemed too easy. When he killed Dooku, it took almost no urging "kill him" "I shouldnt" "do it" "ok"

They tried too hard to make Palpatine seem like a normal guy, trying to "shock" us by telling us he's a Sith. Like we all didn't figure that out back the first time we saw him. I really would have liked to see more direct evidence of Palpatine corrupting Anakin... make it plainly obvious he's using his powers to turn Anakin, as opposed to Anakin just kinda falling into the dark side with all the protestations of a dieter in a dunkin donuts.

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