12/10/15

STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH - REVIEW


George Lucas' Star Wars "prequelogy" finally came to its epic conclusion back in 2005 which saw the long awaited birth of Darth Vader come to fruition.

Was it all worth it?

Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith definitely took a page out of Attack Of The Clones in that it prioritised big, visually impressive action sequences over anything else though an important concern, this time, was of course linking everything together in a way that makes sense. Good old Ian McDiarmid finally gets a chance to go full Palpatine in this one which leads to some enjoyably hammy, shamelessly over-the-top dialog and scenes. The dodgy Chancellor's slow yet meticulous way of getting into Anakin Skywalker's head is pretty masterful and you definitely buy that Anakin would turn to the Dark Side at the hands of this lightning-spraying ghoul. As for Hayden Christensen, he does a decent enough job this time and, at the very least, looks convincingly pissed off.

The plot this time is a little more convoluted as every single character is off doing their own thing. The movie opens with a relentless, thoroughly entertaining action sequence: a rescue mission involving Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and Anakin Skywalker stealing the Chancellor back from the hands of Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) and General Grievous (voiced by Matthew Wood). By the time you get to the latter's face-off with a giant lizard-riding Kenobi, the film has basically become a cartoon but it remains a lot of fun so that's not really a minus. The final fight where Kenobi and Skywalker battle in a volcano-like setting is super dramatic and appropriately epic plus it's surprisingly suspenseful despite the fact we all know how it ends. Meanwhile, a pregnant Padmé (Natalie Portman) is relegated to the sidelines until the third act, Jar Jar finally shuts up and we get to see Yoda fight Palpatine in a fan-fiction fest that's hard to not enjoy.

The tone of Revenge Of The Sith is much darker and rightly so. There's a real sense of doom, that everything's gone to hell for the good guys: Jedi are getting murdered left and right, so are children, so are some of the prequels' biggest names. It's basically a bloodbath and, like in The Empire Strikes Back, it's kind of cool to see our heroes lose the plot for once as it makes us feel like much more's at stake which therefore enhances the melodrama of it all. I'll admit it's also rather satisfying to see everything finally come together. You've got Anakin waking up as Darth Vader, Yoda fleeing to the Dagobah system, Luke and Leia being born, baby Luke being given back to his family as John Williams' immortal theme kicks in. It's manipulative, totally predictable and not really consistent but it's geek heaven, even if Vader's infamous "NOOOOO" breaks what is otherwise a really well paced and put together sequence.

Again, Revenge Of The Sith sometimes gets a bad rep but I'd say there's definitely enough good stuff in there to keep even the most reluctant Star Wars fan entertained. The action scenes are a treat and the film itself is really good popcorn entertainment. I wouldn't take this one too seriously as it can get insanely OTT at times but it's still a worthy ending to a prequel franchise which really could not have begun any worse.

This is some good Sith.

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