Release Date: May 19th, 2005
The Cast: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits, Frank Oz (voice)
BASIC PLOT: Anakin Skywalker (Christensen)is tempted into the dark side of the force.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: There are many exciting battles scenes with breathtaking special effects. This must be seen in a state-of-the-art movie theater in order to be fully immersed in its amazing sounds and visuals. Even though the running time is 2 hour and 20 minutes, it flies by so fast because you are sucked into movie from the very first frame. The acting is mediocre and the plot has very few surprises. The most entertaining character is Yoda, who manages to generate a few much needed laughs. The rating is deservedly PG-13, which is higher than any rating for other Star Wars movies. The scene with Anakin's burnt body can be disturbing for little kids--especially because it looks so effectively real. Come Oscar-time next year, this movie will definitely be up for best sound, best make-up, best visual-effects and even best editing.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: The story is moving at times, especially when Padmé (Portman) confesses that she is pregnant with Anakin's child. Yoda is obviously the most thought-provoking character with his great wisdom--and good fighting skills. However, Anakin's metamorphosis to Darth Vader is not convincing enough because it happens too quickly and easily. If a better actor would play Anakin instead of Christensen, perhaps the multi-layers of emotion would be more evident, but as it is his character seems too bland and emotionless. The script is also weak because it is stilted and too laconic at times, such as an evil character who retorts by saying "Good!" in such a bizarre way that is almost funny.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Anakin's switch to the dark side of the force is not believable enough given the weak script and acting. Also, Chewbacca and Jar-Jar Binks just have a cameo that is all-too brief that it doesn't even count. They were such fun characters!
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
THE BOTTOM LINE: A breath-taking ride full of stunning visuals and amazing sound effects. The script is weak and the acting is mediocre, but it is still definitely worth the price of admission for those who want to be entertained from start to finish.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "S" Menu