The Corner

That Movie

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

middle.

So go. Or don’t go. It’s up to you.

Warren BellWarren Bell was nominated June 20, 2006, by President George W. Bush to be a member of the Board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for the remainder of a ...

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