Sunday, May 22, 2005

Revenge of the Sith Movie Review

Now that was a way to go out on top! Despite the way that Anakin and Padme performed like kids rehearsing for a high school play, the sequence of events made perfect sense leading up to the birth of Darth Vader. You can't say that George Lucas makes a boring Star Wars film -- just when the dialogue gets a little too corny or things seem like they are starting to drag, the scene shifts and things start happening fast. Maybe a little too fast. When I get the DVD, I might need to watch the whole movie frame by frame to see what I missed. There have been a lot of stills from the film leaked on to the internet for the last few months, and more than a few of them can be easily missed if you blink. As a matter of fact, I don't think I blinked at all during the film.

Here are a few observations that I made along the way:

  • When Anakin goes to Yoda for counseling in the darkened room, I was disappointed to see that Yoda did not have a wooden both with a sign that said "Psychiatric Help. 5 cents". It reminded me of one of Charlie Brown's sessions with Lucy.
  • Several reviewers have commented on Darth Vader's clumsy stomp off of the operating table near the end of the film. They compared it to Frankenstein. This was foreshadowed earlier in the film. For a "Separated at Birth" view, check out the Bride of Frankenstein and the Bride of Vader.
  • Palpatine was seriously afraid of dying at the hands of Mace Windu. Or was he? I couldn't tell if he was as worried as he looked and sounded, or if the concern was a ruse to make Windu overconfident. There was supposed to be a line where Palpatine cried out, "Fool! Do you think the fear you feel is mine?" If it was there, I missed it. (Dang noisy special effects.) Anakin's participation in the fight made it irrelevant.
  • The way that Palpatine's face melts from his own lightning seems a little too forced. I am glad, however, that we have an explanation for why a human character in Return of the Jedi has such an alien-looking face. There were rumors that this was the "true" visage of Darth Sidious and that the normal human features of Palpatine were simply a shroud. That would have been too much.
  • Whether or not you think that the movie is overloaded with politicized references to current events, I hope you will agree with me on one thing: If Palpatine were running for office in my jurisdiction, I would vote for him. Anyone who can shoot blue lightning from his hands is A-ok in my book.
  • And also on the politics thing: If you want to pretend that Darth Vader really is a stand-in for George W. Bush, you need to believe several outrageous things. First, that Bush goes into houses of worship (mosques?) and murders children. Second, that Bush drops in on gatherings of world leaders and assassinates them all in under five minutes. (Lucas could have depicted Vader dragging naked separatist leaders around while chugging on a death stick, but that would have endangered the already controversial PG-13 rating.) Third, that Bush secretly wants to kill Dick Cheney, or Karl Rove, or whoever the Left thinks is calling the shots. Fourth, that the entire Global War On Terror can be summed up in a few lame one-liners about choosing sides. And finally, that Bush is the father of twins.
  • WAIT! Bush is the father of twins! That cements it. Lucas was right! He is Darth Vader! Well, I guess that does it. I wasted almost twenty bucks on two tickets to see over two hours of jihadi-sympathizing communist propaganda. Curse my metal body, and all that.
  • Speaking of metal bodies, R2-D2 has some great action scenes near the beginning. Poor old C-3PO was just kind of there. It was no place for a character who exists for comic relief. Speaking of which, I don't hate Jar Jar Binks like most SW fans seem to do. His two cameos were disappointing as he had no speaking lines. We all need a Jar Jar Binks in our life to make us smile and laugh.
  • Sio Bibble, the most annoying character to come from the planet Naboo, was seen briefly at Padme's funeral. My greatest disappointment with the prequels is that Jar Jar never whipped out a red light saber and hacked Bibble into pebbles. "Meesa make Boss Sidious bombad happy chancellor!" If I had the time, I could write hours of fan fiction about how Palpatine hated Bibble from the time they were small children and always wanted to kill him.
  • Speaking of children and killing, we never do see Vader kill the babies on screen, mercifully. I asked my four kids, ages nine, seven, five, and two, if they would want to see this movie where Anakin kills babies. "No" said the nine year old. "Yes" said the seven and five year olds. Then I asked the baby, "Do you want to see a movie where Anakin kills babies with his light saber?" "Yes!!!!" she gleefully replied. Yikes! She doesn't seem to put a high value on kids her own age. Where did I go wrong?
  • General Grievous had a couple of good scenes, but these were among those that went by awfully fast. You needed Jedi reflexes to watch certain parts of the movie. Grievous's coughing and wheezing didn't bother me as much as his beating heart. It wasn't the sight of the gruesome organ that bothered me; it was the apparent lack of a protective casing for the thing that made little sense.
  • And that wheezing by Grievous, at one point, seemed like nothing but a foreshadowing of Darth Vader's breathing. Do all cyborgs huff and puff?
  • Having seen the bald headed pictures of Natalie Portman from the premieres, I had trouble looking at her on screen without wondering if her hair was real. Of course it was, but I kept wanting her to pull it off.
  • There were too many things that I had read about in the form of spoilers from the movie set that never made it into the movie. Some of them would have caused the movie to make more sense (Yoda speaking to Qui-Gon Jinn before he tells Obi-Wan Kenobi about it); and some of them were bad enough to never have been filmed in the first place (Obi-Wan's name really is Ben Kenobi, and Anakin makes fun of him because of it). There should be some really interesting deleted scenes on the DVD later this year.
I'm going to be posting about this all week, I feel. The movie is great. Go see it. That's my opinion in a nutshell!

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