May 20, 2005

Star Wars: Return of the Myth

Okay - so of course, this is Star Wars week, and the blogoverse is abuzz with excited droid-heads everywhere, eagerly hoping against hope that Lucas, that gee-whiz kid now grown up, has made an adult story that moves beyond the laughable prequels that revisited his fantasy world with only more technical fireworks, and less substance.

Fans lined up, sometimes for weeks, to be the first bunch to say "I saw it, and it didn't suck!" By some bizarre twist of luck, I was given a ticket to go to an advance screening on Wednesday 5/18, the day before the official opening. We got there, and saw a line out the door that we thought was for this screening, but was actually for folks waiting to get into the first "official" show at this theater, which would start at 12:00 that night.

Before I say what I thought, it seems that the aforementioned blogoverse will be buzzing for a while about this one, as proponents of the "he redeemed himself" worldview will surely feel more bolstered by this latest installment, and the haters will keep on hating.

And there are a lot of haters out there. Check out this scathing, and laugh-out-loud funny, New Yorker review. Or this one in the current issue of the Village Voice.

I guess I'm just sick of this series, and feel that it's too simplistic in a lot of ways, and overly complicated (or self-important) in others. It was hard to figure out what was happening in some parts of the story, because there are separatist factions, duplicitous maneuvers by statesmen and warriors, and gratuitous digital candy money-shots (anything with a wookie or a wizened old, green Jedi master gets a large ovation from the over-zealous crowd).

I didn't have any emotional connection to what was happening, and what's worse, I laughed out loud at the dialogue (again). I'm all for action movies for the sake of action movies, but after 6 movies with the same cast of characters, you'd think that I'd care about more than a beeping trashcan (yes, I admit, R2D2 was my favorite character, because even if his accent was annoying, at least I didn't have to try to figure out what he was saying and why I should care).

So there you have it. Star Wars III? I'll hold my cash for Spiderman III. And definitely X-Men III, onto which Kelsey Grammar has just signed on to play Dr. Hank McCoy, the lovable, huggable, quotable Beast. Wow, first Sideshow Bob, and now the Beast? I like Grammar more in these roles than as the stuffy talk-show therapist on Frasier.


someone else said...

Oh my god, i was lauging so hard while i read that New Yorker article. I stopped when I got up to the gratuitous vivisection of Yoda and the mean-spirited ending in which we learn that Anthony Lane actually just hates these movies altogether and there's nothing that could possibly redeem them (or the people who enjoy them) for him.

But it was a hilarious article. Thanks for the link :)

Rage said...

No problem - thanks for reading. I was cracking up all the way to the theater...