HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
   
 
Newest Articles
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
   
 
  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 3939 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
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: