HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  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 4820 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
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: