With all due respect, I think John Pod made a mistake in his review of
ROTS. I think he reviewed it as a movie, when it really needs to be
reviewed as a Star Wars movie. And in that light, where we all agree
that George Lucas has systematically lowered the bar for a hit movie
with leaden dialogue, stilted performances, and childish reliance on
digital spectacle over actual human drama, ROTS is by far the best
Star Wars movie since Empire Strikes Back.
Oh, the dialogue can be creaky. The Anakin-Padme scenes have the same
awkward feel that made one wag call Attack of the Clones “Anakin’s
Creek.” And what kind of director does it to take to make Sam Jackson
look bad? Lucas also long ago decided that “storytelling” meant
having two characters sit onscreen and tell the story to each other,
rather than playing it out in action.
Okay, now the upsides. Visuals: amazing as always, but a little more
so this time. Action sequences: pretty slam bang. Villains: General Grievous: “He has four arms and Jedi moves, but he’s a wimp.” On the other hand, Ian MacDiarmid’s Palpatine/Sidious is really something. He steals the show.
But finally, what made ROTS work for me was the totally unexpected
spark of human drama in the last act. I felt something when we lost
Anakin for good, and when he realized that meant he’d lost Padme and
Obi-wan. I never thought I would be moved by this film, and I was.
Also, a muted cheer to Lucas for truly owning the tragic ending. He
doesn’t sugarcoat it. It’s a full-blown tragedy, and you will leave
the theater with a bit of ache in your heart.
My 11-year-old loved every second, though he said when we got home
that the ending was “troubling” him. The six-year-old cried when
things got intense with Anakin, Padme, and Obi-Wan. There was some
hiding of the eyes throughout the last act. His line at home: “I
can’t believe that’s PG-13 with all that killing.” The wife liked it
and didn’t snooze, though I briefly did in the boring stretch in the
So go. Or don’t go. It’s up to you.