HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
   
 
Newest Articles
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
   
 
  Empire Strikes Back, The Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Dark Side
Year: 1980
Director: Irvin Kershner
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz, Alec Guinness, Jeremy Bulloch, John Hollis, Jack Purvis, Clive Revill, Kenneth Colley, Julian Glover
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  9 (from 5 votes)
Review: The Rebellion against the Empire is faltering as their main base has been discovered and the Rebels are scattered to various points across the galaxy while their foes hunt them down ruthlessly. But Lord Darth Vader (David Prowse and James Earl Jones), who answers to no one but the Emperor, has become preoccupied with tracking down one of the Rebels in particular: young Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and to do so has sent robotic probes to every planet he thinks Luke might be hidden on. One arrives on the icy world of Hoth, which happens to be the correct location for Vader's quarry, but first Luke has a more pressing problem: he has been captured by an example of the native wildlife...

Now that you can watch any Star Wars film you wish, whenever you wish, the three-year wait between the original Star Wars and its sequel The Empire Strikes Back seems unimaginable. But it didn't seem quite as long a wait between the cliffhanger ending of this instalment and Return of the Jedi which followed three years later: it really felt like a more downbeat version of the serials producer George Lucas loved to watch in his youth. While the previous film had been revolutionary, this one had to exist in a cinematic landscape that was post-Star Wars, and as a result had to up the ante as far as thrills went. In many fans' opinions, that's exactly what they carried off.

Much of the credit must go to the emphasis on character Empire brought to the table, something which ironically the more simplistic original had eschewed. This was down to a more sympathetic director, Irvin Kershner, and a writing team comprised of veteran Leigh Brackett and up and coming talent Lawrence Kasdan who built upon all the good work Lucas had offered (the storyline was his) and deepened the links between both heroes and villains. Thankfully, the attempts at humour - never a strong point of the series - were more successful too, and the odd silliness aside didn't distract, but added texture to a rich mix.

The Darth Vader of Episode V is even more driven, yet more obsessed. Now he has lost the calming influence of right hand man Tarkin from the first film, he is a megalomaniac, killing off the officers who show signs of failure (using his throat-crushing techniques of The Force). His counterpart is not Luke, who for most of the story pinballs around in the thrall of his "destiny", but a little green man called Yoda (a puppet acted and voiced by Frank Oz) who Luke dutifully visits on his swamp planet after receiving a ghostly message from Ben Kenobi (Alec Guinness returning for a cameo). Yoda is this unlikely-looking Jedi master whose abilities with The Force will teach Luke as a potential saviour of the galaxy.

That's all depending on whether Luke can take Yoda's advice and not heed the call of his friends, who are outnumbered and in desperate trouble. The Empire Strikes Back is more complex than a fight between good and evil, there's duty, loyalty and love to complicate matters as Luke is foiled in his attempt to save all of his friends and the relationship between Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) blossoms reluctantly into romance. I tell you, it's all here, and taken as seriously as the film's followers do which explains the respect the film commands. Not only that, but there are spectacular battle sequences, exciting chases through an asteroid field and a climactic light sabre duel that left fans reeling when Vader reveals exactly his interest in Luke. All that and one of John Williams' greatest scores to impress on the audience the importance of what we were witnessing. So the next episode, the grand finale, had to be the best of all... hadn't it?
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4332 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: