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Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith (M)

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Review byMatthew Turner17/05/2005

Four out of Five stars
Running Time: 140 mins

Long term Star Wars fans can finally relax because Lucas has unexpectedly delivered the film you've been waiting for - Revenge of the Sith is a dark, dramatic, action-packed climax to the trilogy of prequels that's almost good enough to make you forgive The Phantom Menace. Almost.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (to give it its full title) is the long-awaited final instalment in the trilogy of Star Wars prequels. The Phantom Menace turned out to be a crushing disappointment and Attack of the Clones, whilst significantly better than Episode I, still managed to delight and infuriate in equal measure. Thankfully, Revenge of the Sith is much, much better than Episodes I and II and escapes with only a couple of dodgy moments.

The Story

The Clone Wars are still raging, keeping the Jedi knights busy all over the galaxy whilst Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is still hiding his forbidden marriage to the now pregnant Padme Amidala played by Natalie Portman. Refused entry to the Jedi council and tormented by dreams of Padme's death in childbirth, Anakin finds himself growing closer to the sinister Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), who convinces Anakin that only Sith powers will be able to save his wife. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) comes up against deadly cyborg, General Grievous, before facing off against Anakin in the fight that Star Wars fans have been waiting to see for almost 30 years.

The Acting

The acting has improved immensely since Episode II. Hayden Christensen drops his Galactic Spoiled Brat routine and delivers an appropriately tortured performance that should silence his critics. Similarly, Ewan McGregor is superb, sporting an impressive Jedi Beard and relishing the opportunity to do some proper acting - his "You were the Chosen One!" speech is a definite highlight. Ian McDiarmid finally gets a chance to shine, delivering a performance positively dripping with evil.

The Effects

As expected, the effects are mostly fabulous. The opening sequence in particular is a spectacular, jaw-dropping multi-spaceship battle that leads into a "rescue" scene that's as exciting as anything we've seen in the prequels so far. The effects do slip at times. At one point Obi-Wan rides a speedy lizard-like creature which is so badly animated it's actually painful to watch.

The Fight Scenes

Nothing short of superb, the fight sequences include some terrific moments, such as General Grievous wielding four light-sabres simultaneously and the deliriously bonkers smackdown in the Senate chamber between Yoda and Palpatine that really has to be seen to be believed.

The Good Points

Lucas promised darkness for the final episode and he delivers in spades, from the fate of the Jedi "younglings" to the outcome of the volcano-based duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin.

The Bad Points

Unfortunately, the film still has a couple of almost unforgivably awful moments. The actual moment of Anakin's transition to Darth Vader seems clumsy and rushed which is a shame because the groundwork was there. The other, truly appalling moment occurs near the end of the film and involves Darth Vader. It would be churlish to give it away completely but suffice it to say that it was one of the few moments in the film to elicit unintentional laughter.

The Conclusion

Revenge of the Sith is a hell of a lot better than both Episodes I and II put together. It's exciting, scary and genuinely moving with terrific fight scenes and some lovely crowd-pleasing moments. It's been a long wait but George Lucas's cherished space opera is finally complete. May the Force be with it. Recommended.

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Content updated: 07/12/2019 21:49

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