Revenge of the Sith
This movie is so wanting a heckle. I read a few reviews to make sure that at this late date I still had something funny or interesting to contribute to the conversation, and I don’t, but I will anyway.
The New Yorker pointed out that the critical decision — whether Anakin should kill Count Dooku — happens in the first ten minutes, and after that the rest of the movie is redundant. In blocky exposition. As if the telecast of a football game just showed the commentators, and the football took place in one huge lava digital effect so you couldn’t tell what’s going on.
Wow. Um. Lava.
Entertainment Weekly pointed out that this movie sends a series of turning-to-the-dark-side motives up the flagpole, and none of `em get a salute. Anakin snubbed while promoted by Jedi Council? Othello this ain’t. Dark side powers are the only way he can save Padme? This gets floated, seems compelling, and is never mentioned again — never see him practicing to develop this skill, nothing. He gets legitimately hornswoggled into believing the Jedi are plotting assassination? Politics… exposition… sorry there was something shiny in the background, I couldn’t concentrate.
RetroCrush put concisely and beautifully the problem I had with Padme’s death-by-extreme-dissing. If I had a robot pull two eight-pound babies out of my seven-months-knocked-upped-ness, I might find the will to sally forth. “What? Twins? I knew I shoulda made that ultrasound appointment. Bring me a sammich — I think I may pull through.”
George Lucas says he made the movies he wanted to make. I find that impossible to believe. I can’t believe that George Lucas wanted to make a movie where the last hero leaves a triple amputee to die from being burned alive. I can’t believe George Lucas wanted to make a movie where the ancient, beloved Jedi leader departs to live and die in exile on a desolate swamp planet and I don’t care. I can’t believe George Lucas wanted to make a movie where the villain prepares to kill his best friend and mentor while floating down a river of lava and still has the Dr.-Phil-taught-me-to-express-my-needs peevishness to proclaim, “From my point of view, the Jedi are evil!”
Lemme boil this down even further:
What made the original trilogy great: The twists that come from a fully-realized back story, plus a healthy sense of humor that engages you with the characters.
And that’s what the prequels were missing in spades. I can complain about digital vs. puppet Yoda all day (puppets are always better. Did you see the Vogons in Hitchhiker’s Guide? Jeebus!; but I would have traded Jim Henson for Han Solo, and that’s saying a lot.
I could leave it at that, but it’s hecklin` time!
At first I blamed myself for getting distracted by all the digital crap happening in the background alla time. Now I know it’s not my fault. When you’re already handling all your exposition in dialogue, do you rilly need to pit it against animated space vehicles flying in a grid outside the window? Was that important? `Cause Lucas even crams his actors off to one side to make sure you’ve got a better view of it.
Can you tell what’s important in this frame? I can’t.
Allow me to draw a contrast here between Lucas and, say, James Cameron, whom I don’t like personally but is the Grand Master General of telling you stuff with pictures. He directs your attention like a traffic cop — look at Ripley’s robo-loading suit, that’s important. Now look at the alien queen’s big pointy tail, that’s important, too. The sequence where Ripley gets the queen to let her and Newt out of the nest — no dialogue, just looks and reactions — is a killer example of how to control an audience’s attention and understanding, and there sho ain’t none of that in Sith.
The kind of gripping, iconic imagery you won’t see in this movie.
What happened to these top-flight Jedi to take away their super-somersaulty gravity-defying kung fu wacky fighting abilities? When Luke and Darth Vader go to town in Empire, it’s a pretty standard sword-fight — I`d think if I had the ability to go high-flying off the ceiling I might do it once, just for fun. Hell, when Kwi Gon and Obi Wan were fighting Darth Maul (played by Ray Park, a professional stuntman with so much skill and physical prowess that Lucas made sure never ever to use anyone like him again; there wasn’t all this digital double BS. And you know what? The Darth Maul battle is still the best thing to come out of the prequels. Ray Park rules.
Hi, I`m the best thing in “Ecks vs. Sever.”
And I look kinda like the dude from “House.”
- Padme’s royally knocked up and sleeping in the same bed as Anakin and no one can crack that mystery? At school, two people leave a party together on Saturday and everybody knows by Monday what condom they used.
I would have liked Senator Palpatine to have commented on the fact that his dark powers hideously disfigured him. You`d think that`d be damning in the public arena. “Don’t vote for Senator Palpatine — his dark powers have hideously disfigured him!”
Can I borrow a mirror? I just feel really weird allova sudden.
- General Grievous was too animated, like a bad guy from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Darth Vader doesn’t bop his head all around when he talks.
Can Yoda get one sentence syntactically normal?
All the Jedi sense their betrayal at the last minute and rage, rage against the dying of the light, fighting nobly to the bitter dregs of their life’s cup, out out brief candle and all that. Except the hot chick. She just gets whomped from behind.
Guys, does this tank top make me look slutty? You`d tell me, right? Guys?
A-a-a-and I`m spent.