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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

25 May 2005

It feels like the impossible has happened: Episode 3 is a movie I fell in love with! My low expectations and avoiding of all hype paid off; I enjoyed the movie for every second it lasted. And it feels great. Oh, spoiler-warnings, by the way. Wouldn't want anyone getting nasty surprises, though I gather if you're anything like me the sheer mention of Starwars before seeing it would have driven you away faster than a chancellor's face would melt when exposed to Force lightning. Curious by the way that Palpatine looked like a sickly, withering corpse in Episode 2, while in part three (at least in the beginning) he has a healthy tan and looks like an actual living being. Regardless.

Let me tell you my thoughts about the movie. Because Revenge of the Sith is a movie that oscillates heavily between being extremely good (within the confines of Starwars idiosyncrasies of course) and extremely bad. However! This badness is so over the top that I couldn't help but love it! You all know the clich?d supervillain that laughs when his plans come to fruition: Lucas takes it to the extreme by letting Palpatine laugh continuously! I mean the man is literally cackling all the time, whether he's fighting or sitting in a chair! It just never stops! Lucas also abandons all subtlety. Normal semiotic metaphors would let small devices and objects pervade on the screen to give quiet hints towards the inner feelings of a character. In Episode 3; you have Palpatine running rampant in the senate hurling around huge pieces of balcony with wicked delight in a crazy fight (all the while sniggering, obviously) after he has declared his empire. It's like George Lucas hitting you in the face with a plaque reading 'evil' and saying: ,,LOOK! He is evil! Do you get it?! No but do you understand?!' Lunacy.

However, this didn't hurt the movie at all. Because -it took me two movies to figure it out- I finally understood how I was supposed to look at this new trilogy. And because of that, my mind was open to just accept every bit of onsanieness that the movie was throwing at me. And I loved it. And believe it or not, there were touching moments too. Downright scary ones! This is no children's movie indeed! (and thanks for that!) This one means business and isn't afraid to cast death and mutilation at you at every turn. And leave it to some (thankfully finally actually) funny sequences to counterbalance the topheavy material. And of course that handful of completely ridiculous scenes that look like they're from another movie entirely. Honestly at some points you just can't believe what they're all saying and doing. But for some quirky reason it makes the movie more... complete. Gives it its own face. Uniqueness. And that is why all the preposterous material fell into my grace.
The trilogy finally seems to be aware of it's own absurdness and finds a spot to vent it. It's like a giant relief.

Not all is outrageous camp however. The CGI-department must have taken quite a beating by the Lord of the Rings movies and they visibly struggled to reach that very high bar. Their work is much appreciated, as the special effects are outstanding this time. From extreme close-ups of CGI-characters to wild spacebattles, it's superb. Special praise goes to the creation of the evil General Grievous, who has more character than most of the real persons. He's very intruiging, very much alive and lovingly animated. He features in some of the best scenes in the movie, also action-wise. That first twenty minutes had me giddy with joy.

Still, in the end it's a continuation of what was established in the previous movies. We still have Anakin Skywalker (who claims himself that his powers have doubled. In my mind I silently added that mercifully his acting-skills had doubled as well) and Padm? and Obi-wan Kenobi, without a doubt the one who carries the movie. If I'd have to point out the one bad thing about Episode 3 it would still be the writing, which borders on the dismal at times. And it stands not alone. Anakin for instance is such a tool that it chips away a bit at the coolness of Darth Vader. But it doesn't matter. Not because 'it's Starwars', but because this movie struck an unexpected balance between complete and utterly enjoyable crappiness and genuinely moving moments and acting. Which should obviously in no small part be accredited to knowledge of the characters involved from the original trilogy, but that's no big deal. I loved the drama and I loved the flimflam.

And so the last great trilogy comes to a satisfying end, with a movie that finally strikes the correct chord and leaves me desiring to see it again and again.

Roderick.