Showing 1 - 1 of 1 Reviews for Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith 3D
Posted on 5/20/05 12:55 AM
So I just saw "Revenge of the Sith."
The movie absolutely blew and I went into it with low expections, despite the scandalously high Tomatometer rating. Where do I begin?
First of all, there was absolutely no drama and suspense. You might as well have been watching two guys playing a co-op flight sim game on an Xbox, for all the suspense that Anakin and Obi-Wan projected in the opening sequence. The light saber battles were yawn-inducing, falling far short of the light saber battles of the original trilogy. Watch any of Akira Kurosawa's samurai fights or Sergio Leon's gunslinger showdowns to understand how drama and suspense are so critical to a good fight scene.
The dialogue was wooden at best, and I noticed how Lucas seems to have an aversion to using "big" multi-syllable words. In fact, I began to be very conscious of the fact that virtually every sentence spoken seemed to be 7 words or less. There seemed to be almost a purposeful intent to avoid casting any line of dialogue in an elegant way.
What was A.O. Scott of the NY Times' nonsense about "Revenge" being better than the original Star Wars. What the hell was he smoking at the press screening?
In terms of a moral or an underlying message, was there really any besides the Dark Side is a bad thing? Was Lucas trying to say waging a war based on deceit is anti-democratic? Or is it the message that peace at all costs is not really peace at all? I thought the "Clone Wars" would be an excellent opportunity to talk about the ethics and morality of clones in a technological society (e.g. "Blade Runner", "The World of Krypton" graphic novels), but instead, Lucas seems to ignore the issue entirely and reverts to a simplistic mechanical explanation of how clones were somehow necessary for Palpatine to wipe out the Jedi and take control of the Empire.
In "Empire", Yoda tells Luke, "A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack." but we see George Lucas perfectly willing to prositute Jedis into action figures who are as quick to draw their light sabers as any clone trooper or droid draw their blasters. In fact, the Jedi seem to love battle, and for all the talk about how Jedi are selfless and care about people, we see nothing in "Revenge" that shows them to be morally different than any other people.
Obi-Wan seethes at one point, "Only a Sith deals in absolutes" (ignoring for the moment that Obi-Wan just made an absolute declaration about the nature of the Sith), but the only thing that seems absolute is George Lucas fooling people for the third time that they are watching a grand epic with a deep message.
The intent is there, certainly, but as they say, the road to the Dark Side is paved with good intentions.
It's clear from the Tomatometer as well as the user Tomatometer that the vast majority of people rated "Revenge" very highly. I suppose I can't begrudge someone from enjoying something I clearly did not, but I propose performing the following mental exercise.
Did "Revenge" have great drama (think "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn" or the new "Battlestar Galactica" series)?
Did "Revenge" have suspenseful action sequences (think the first "Matrix" movie or "X-Men 1 & 2")?
Did "Revenge" have memorable scenes of dialogue (think "Empire Strikes Back" or any of the "Lord of the Rings" movies)?
I think if you think about it, the only thing that "Revenge of the Sith" had going for it was that it was a special-effects-filled movie that closes out the Star Wars mythological cycle. There was no drama, no suspense, no wit and humor, no depth, no memorable scenes except for the last few minutes. Only the SFX riding on the reputation of the original trilogy.
For some people, that may be good enough. Based on the new trilogy, it seemed that having good SFX was the only trait that really mattered to George Lucas. Yet when you talk to people about why they love "A New Hope" and "Empire Strikes Back", they point to a host of reasons but almost always, the SFX performs a supporting role. So what does that leave us?
In 20 years, movies will easily have 100x better SFX than "Revenge" has. So someone tell me if anyone will have any reason to watch "Revenge" (or "Clone Wars" or "Menace") 20 years from now, when it's clear the only thing that makes the movie enjoyable in any way is the SFX. I'll bet people will still be watching "A New Hope" and "The Empire Strikes Back," though. And that's why "Revenge of the Sith" is a tragedy in more ways than George Lucas intended.