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A Film Diary

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Watched: 20 August

OK, so having re-watched George Lucas’ Star Wars prequel trilogy  and I’m fairly sure this will be the last time I watch any of these films through choice I probably ought to elaborate on why I don’t like them, though I’ll hardly be covering any new ground in doing so. Put simply, the same problems found in the earlier installments The Phantom Menace and Attack Of The Clones also plague this third film: there is some truly awful line delivery (and, more generally, acting) by stars McGregor, Christensen, Portman, McDiarmid and Jackson, a laughably clunky script (by Lucas, once again), an over-reliance on CGI (the space battle scenes in particular are turned up to eleventy-stupid) and underpinning it all is the mistaken belief that fans want nothing more than to gawp at new alien creatures or robots and garish, overly-busy backdrops every sixty seconds or so. I’m not suggesting the original Star Wars trilogy films are the best-acted or best-written blockbusters out there, but at least they’re measured, and fun, and simple, and memorable, and controlled; these later entries into the franchise are bloated, ugly movies, and examples of what happens when everyone refuses or is unable to challenge the ideas of the one guy in charge; somehow Lucas became even worse at writing dialogue and directing actors than he was before, and it seems as though no one was able to alter that. In the film’s defence, there’s nothing quite as bad as the worst parts of Menace or Clones, two movies with very little going for them (and I don’t see how it matters that they’re for kids, either; I doubt there are many millennials out there that look back fondly on these abominations today). In fact, if you are a Star Wars fan to begin with, a good portion of Revenge Of The Sith makes for fairly compelling viewing – particularly when events take a much darker turn (oh no… not the younglings!). The improvement comes too late in the day to save the trilogy, though, which is even worse than I remember it being, and the whole affair remains a career nadir for so many great (or even average) actors. However, I do want to end on a positive note regarding Lucas: he has made three films during the 1970s that I think are very good indeed excellent, perhaps  and, well, what happened here was unfortunate, but I still think so warmly of him for creating all of this shit in the first place. It has provided me with hundreds and hundreds of hours of enjoyment, overall. (**)

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