Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)
January 4, 2012 1 Comment
After watching Episode III for the first time in years, I was struck by the fact that I seemingly enjoyed it far more than I did the first time I saw it. It’s far from a perfect movie, but I’d definitely hold it up as the best of the Prequel Trilogy… now. I used to give that underwhelming title to Episode II, but there’s a lot of good stuff going on in Sith, and the it is probably the most schizophrenic of any of the Star Wars movies.
The first epic space battle sequence goes on for probably 30-40 minutes, starting with spaceships dog-fighting, then having Anakin (Hayden Christensen), Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor), and R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) landing inside a star cruiser to rescue Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) from the evil Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). It is a sequence that actually is quite light-hearted and struck me as more of a wacky buddy cop comedy vibe, until of course Anakin scissors Dooku’s head off. Then there’s more absurdity, and then more darkness. And it goes on from there.
Of course, this is the darkest of all Star Wars movies, with Anakin finally turning to the Dark Side of the Force and becoming SPOILER ALERT Darth Vader for the first time. The execution of this is at times both brilliant and completely ham-fisted (“From my point of view, it is the Jedi who are evil.”). The movie is a constant roller coaster, full of high spirits and funny line deliveries and then long, darker sequences dealing with Palpatine manipulating Anakin to joining the Sith, whoops another SPOILER ALERT.
I can see how people wouldn’t like it, but it’s actually grown in my estimation. Sure, there’s the meme-worthy Vader freak out at the end that is laughably bad, but there’s also an amazingly entertaining movie in there too. Wonderful action sequences that are gripping and – unlike oh I dunno, Michael Bay’s Transformers movies – completely easy to follow and understand. Again, some of the dialogue between Anakin and Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) is bafflingly bad, but it does the trick. The best way you can improve the Prequel Trilogy would be to actually find an onscreen couple that made you feel for them, kind of a Buffy / Angel thing that actually was heart wrenching. Maybe Lucas will digitally replace Portman and Christensen in the next Blu-Ray box set.
3.5 / 5