Thursday, May 05, 2005

Steve saw Episode 3.

Walking into this flick, my expectations were low. To succeed, it only needed Darth Vader, and Darth Vader killing some people.

In that regard, it's a success.

But on all other levels? It's a bit of a mess.

We all know the standard problems of a George Lucas movie post-1999. The dialogue is abysmal, mostly because perfectly fine lines go on a few words, or in some cases, sentences too long. Hayden Christiansen turns in a performance of Van Der Beek-ian proportions, as Ewan sleepwalks his way through another Star Wars movie (at one point early on, Obi wan stops in the middle of battle and questions "How did we get into this mess? We're smarter than this!" and I wondered if this was scripted, or if Ewan just slipped out of character and ad-libbed it). Characters from previous movies are shoehorned in for no other reason than to wink at the camera, and illicit applause from the audience (although, it seems Chewbacca isn't as loved as we all thought, since he garnered no applause from the audience).

Did I enjoy myself? I guess, but not for the reasons Lucas intended. Things that were supposed to be dark and meaningful were laugh out loud funny.

On the positive end, the Yoda fight scenes were toned down from the spastic green gremlin we saw in Episode 2, to a more calm and wisened Jedi master. The destruction of the Jedi was just as I was hoping it would be, dark and messy.

In the end the main flaw is that Lucas seemed to rely on the other Star Wars media to tell parts of the story, that made sense to me, but to people who might only see the movie, they won't get it. For example: General Greivous is not as cool as he should be. They make no mention of his origin, which is interesting and could have been touched upon, and you have no idea he has killed many Jedi. If these spots could have been touched upon, he would have been seen as a more credible threat, rather than eye candy.

The biggest letdown: the birth of Darth Vader. As if Lucas didn't pussy-ify Anakin enough in Episode 1 and 2, he brings James Earl Jones down with him, and what should be a memorable, dark scene had me doubled over in laughter.

In the end, it's better than the first two, but still not a good movie.