My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Movie Review: Revenge of the Sith

I know, I know. . . what took me o long? Well, let's just say that as the only SciFi fan in the family, getting out to see a movie has to be a "crime of opportunity."

And speaking of "crimes of opportunity," can we talk about Lucas' script?

But first, there WERE some very good things in this movie. To begin with, the scenic design was striking, at times breathtaking--Lucas has quite a gift for creating a setting. And I thought the swordplay was pretty interesting, though I'm going to have to go back when it comes out on DVD and study it--I could have sworn that several of the sequences repeated themselves. But I could be wrong. I also thought the performances by principles far outstripped the script, though that was never going to be that big of a challenge. In particular, I thought Hayden Christiansen had some fine moments, and the chemistry between his Anniken and Ewan MacGregor's Obi-Wan was very believable. And, of course, the John Williams score was, predictably, excellent.

But I, unlike many reviewers, did not see the descent of Skywalker as all that compelling or believable. And, sadly, that is the whole point of the movie. Lucas did a fine job setting up the "moment"--all the motivations were in place, the conflict was plausable, the need for action clear. And then, suddenly, as soon as Anniken makes the spur-of-the-moment decision to block Mace Windu's strike (oh, come on--if you're still reading this, you've already seen it, and I'm not ruining anything), he instantly loses all vestige of good. It's just not plausible to me that the tipping point would be that remorseless, that unsurprising, or that complete that he would go straight from that act to the murder of children. Not buying it.

And once that critical moment fails in its purpose, nothing else really matters. Even a pretty good performance by Natalie Portman as a conflicted lover fails to re-center the movie on its central axis.

Overall, a B-. A very good concept, and entertaining, but not particularly effective.

By the way, I barely noticed the political overtones, and I was looking for them. I think it's obvious what Lucas was trying to say, but the "delivery" was pretty ineffective.

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