Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith - 3/5

After another round of disappointment with "Attack Of The Clones", I was starting to worry that this prequel trilogy might suck with "Star Wars" (alright, I was heavily worried it was sucking after the first 5 minutes of "The Phantom Menace"). Luckily, when it comes to "Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith", Lucas focuses on what he does best and runs with it. That being, EPIC FUCKING VISUALS AND AWESOME ACTION SEQUENCES. Although this last part of the prequel trilogy might be chastised for being script thin and dialogue weak, I would argue that all of them are that way. This one just happens to realize it and gear itself away from its flaws. They are still flaws, mind you, this one just covers them up slightly better.

Anakin Skywalker (Christensen) is happily married with his new boo Padme (Portman). Not only that, but after a gnarly opening battle, the war between the Republic and the Separatists is still raging and getting even worse, and his killing of Count Dooku (Christopher "I'm the fucking man" Lee) Anakin finds out that she is pregnant. Since Jedi aren't supposed to be married, let alone fall in love you, she goes into a sort of hiding. Now the Jedi must focus on finding the last big leader of the Separatists, General Grievous. Anakin who has become very close to Chancellor Palpatine is assigned to spy on him since the Jedi think he is up to no good now and Obi-Won (McGregor) goes to kill him some Grievous. Unfortunately, things turn from bad to worse when the Sith Lord reveals himself and begins to turn Anakin to the Dark Side and the Jedi are declared rebels.

Once again, "Revenge Of The Sith" suffers from the SAME FLAWS as the first two. The dialogue sucks, the acting (although slightly better this time around) mostly sucks, and some of the scenes are just awkward with particulars in the direction of the love chemistry between Anakin and Padme. Luckily, since this is the final installment of this trilogy, most of the plot is being focused on the epic-ness of how it all turns out. And it makes this one the best of the three and actually quite fun to watch.

With action sequences galore and great visual work from Lucas, "Revenge Of The Sith" really piles it on here. The pacing is exponentially better this time around and the characters are finally getting interesting. I kept wanting a little more from Obi-Won as a character particularly when it starts to become obvious that he has to oust his own student and kill him. I know, I know, Jedi are supposed to be stoic, but it would have been nice to see a bit more struggle even if it was subtle. It's still epic though.

All of these up front plot shifts and epic scenes do lead to one of the coolest climaxes I've seen, that being the dueling Jedi/Sith battles. The light saber and force throws that the previous films sort of only touched on, are in full effect in this climax and with some cool settings like the lava river and the Senate conference room, it just seethes with Lucas' visual ferocity. This final act single handedly gives the film that extra star over being the 2 star film it might have been normally.

"Revenge Of The Sith" is handedly the best of the prequel trilogy as it focuses on its strengths and minimizes it's numerous flaws. Yeah, at times it can still be eye roll worthy (Christensen is more brooding than a 15 year boy with his dark eyes and shaggy hair) but its solid use of pacing and epic action pieces makes up for most of it.

DARTH VADER'S BAD ASS MOMENT OF THE FILM: There are numerous bad ass moments for Anakin in this film (he's going to the Dark Side for goodness' sake) but the topper is how he ends up in his suit. Not only does he lose both his legs in an arrogant attempt to out maneuver Obi-Won, but he then slowly falls INTO FUCKING LAVA. Which ignites his legless ass on fire. Not only that, but he is able TO PULL HIMSELF OUT STILL AND SURVIVE. Luckily, he is taken to the most bad ass hospital where he gets his Darth Vader gear on. He's up and running within minutes. That. Is. Bad. Ass.

BONUS RANT: There was a build in the last film to how awesome Count Dooku is and he ably handles 3 Jedi in the climax. He then makes a brief appearance in the opening of this film where he pretty much is beaten single handedly (you could say he loses his head over the fight) by Anakin. I get that we are supposed to be awed by how powerful Anakin has become but that fight was a major let down. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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