Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

The bar has been set so low in mainstream Hollywood movies that it’s not even worth seriously analyzing this stuff. Lucas’ franchise is a cultural event and that, more than the movie, is cause for serious worry. What can you say when a series of movies (beginning with 1999’s Phantom Menace) is this incompetently made? Lucas has a tin ear for dialogue, and he’s so grossly oblivious to issues of dramatic tension and narrative pacing that, while watching Revenge of the Sith, I just sat there benumbed to it all. The kindest thing I can say about Sith is that it’s a couple of notches better than Menace and generally watchable. It’s an orgiastic spectacle of visual effects and painterly CGI alien cityscapes in place of smart, engrossing storytelling. What’s weird is that the most emotionally resonant moments in it don’t really stem from the story itself but from how we causally connect the implications made therein with our memory of the original three Star Wars movies…sigh. Still, if this tripe works for you, so be it. For me, this (along with other recent drivel like Sin City) is another nail in the coffin for the art of storytelling in Hollywood. And, while I’m on it, it points to the degradation of intelligence in culture as a whole, both in America and in its imperial subsidiaries overseas.

Grade: C+

Directed by: George Lucas
Written by: George Lucas
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits, Frank Oz, Anthony Daniels, Christopher Lee, Keisha Castle-Hughes

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