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Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

Genre: Action/Adventure/Fantasy/Romance
Rated: PG-13
Directed by: George Lucas
Released by: 20th Century Fox

In Short: In this last trip to a galaxy far, far away, we are promised insight into Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side, but all we get is a visually stunning but otherwise unsatisfying spectacle.

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For the love of power and ambition, good turns evil in this last (or third, depending on how you see it) installment in the Star Wars saga, but democracy still manages to prevail. The cost of this struggle is enormous, amounting to $ 115 million spent on 2,151 visual effects shots for “Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith.” Light sabres are wielded with great results by Jedis fighting to restore peace in the galaxy, but they don’t come cheap.

The plot is as unoriginal as the late night TV news—lovable and promising young Anakin (Hayden Christensen) transforms into such a villain as to pulverize his own wife, the Senator Amidala, played by Natalie Portman. The young couple’s wedded bliss was already in question when we last saw them, after their secret wedding in Episode II; Jedis are not allowed to marry, but Anakin breaks the rules for love. In Episode III, he uses this love as an excuse to break all other Jedi rules, allowing himself to be seduced to the dark side.

“The Revenge of the Sith” explores the dark side that all creatures possess, using what George Lucas does best: special effects. Indeed, it is the special effects that carry the entire film, claiming our attention while we tend to abandon the unconvincing heroes to their fate. Episode III could have been a sumptuous Shakespearian tragedy, a fascinating depiction of human mind and behavior revisited by Hollywood with its superbly entertaining machinery. All we get, however, is a gorgeous Hollywood spectacle. Often, this would suffice to entertain us, but we miss the lyricism of a great playwright.

As expected, there is a moral ending: the eternally good Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) brings down the evil Anakin at the end of a duel on an incandescent river of lava, which will remain a great cinematic moment, a dramatic rendition of inferno. The Lumière brothers, inventors of the first moving picture, would jump with joy if they could see how far their creation has come.

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