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Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Review written by: Alex Sandell
"The CGI is strong with this
If you go into Attack of the Clones thinking that it will be the Star Wars you've been waiting for ever since The Empire Strikes Back, you'll be sorely disappointed. If you go into Attack of the Clones thinking it'll be a pretty fun flick, even if it doesn't manage to come close to the original Star Wars or The Empire Strikes Back, as is the case with Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace, you'll be sorely disappointed. If you go into Attack of the Clones expecting much of anything, really, you'll be sorely disappointed. George Lucas, what were you thinking? There is so much to say about this film, and so little time to say it in, that I'm just going to go down a list of things that stood out to me (I promise to keep the spoilers to a minimum, so you can read this without having much of anything given away):
1. The romance. Lucas must have had sap on the brain when writing this melodramatic excuse for a love affair. This relationship should have been something special. At the very least, it shouldn't have been embarrassing. This is honestly one of the most moronic things I've ever seen put on the screen. The audience busted out laughing with EVERY SINGLE LINE that fell flatly from the lover's lips like dried turd. With lines such as, "I don't like sand ... it's not soft and smooth like you," I suddenly know why the man behind the Star Wars saga can't get a date.
2. Hayden Christensen cannot act. This Canadian pretty boy should have stuck with soap operas. Hayden Christensen makes Jake Lloyd look like a Thespian. Then again, he was good in Life as a House. Maybe it's not his acting but the fact that ...
3. George Lucas cannot direct actors. This is Lucas's worst attempt, yet. All that matters anymore are his CGI (Computer Generated Images/Imaging) cartoon characters. Real people just get in the way of the new stuff he will want to add in the inevitable Special Editions.
4. No one can act in the movie, with the possible exception of Ewan McGregor, who does a good imitation of Alec Guinness, and maybe Christopher Lee, who hams it up as Count Dooku.
5. What's up with Amidala's clothes? Mr. Blackwell and Joan Rivers would have a field day with this one.
6. We've been here before. It's always fun when Lucas throws a line or two in from past Star Wars films, but this movie is one big cut and paste. It's very apparent that the Lucas well has run dry. The, "I've got a bad feeling about this" line is becoming similar to Bond's, "shaken, not stirred." The audience just wonders when it's going to come, and when it does, it's obvious the only reason it came was to get it out of the way.
7. Why are all the Clone Troopers CGI? What happened to extras in nifty looking armor plated outfits? If I wanted to see cartoon bad guys, I'd replay The Lion King, or watch FOX News.
8. Jango Fett. See "Clone Trooper" comment above.
9. Boba Fett. Jango ruined him. Thanks for wrecking the mystery of Boba Fett, George. The reason Boba Fett is such a beloved character is because he is shrouded in a cloud of anonymity. Who is he? What does he look like? What does he sound like? What are his motivations? Giving Boba a face and a back story is like Greedo shooting first ... over and over and over again.
10. Some of the worst special effects ever. Sure, Yoda looks simply incredible, as far as CGI goes, but what's up with the scene with Anakin riding that cow sort of things to impress Amidala (it would have been better if he would have just gotten it over with and rode Amidala. I'm sure Lucas would have found a way to wreck it with CGI boners and electronic moans.)? Or how about C-3PO flying around the factory (and no, he doesn't actually fly, he's swung around on a machine - I had a freaky mutant write to me complaining that I was a "faggit" for not knowing C-3PO doesn't actually "fly," so I thought I better clear this up)? These effects are inexcusable.
11. This didn't feel like Star Wars. It felt like a movie ripping off Star Wars. Something wasn't right.
12. Did I walk into the MTV edit of Attack of the Clones? Lucas has always cut between scenes, but not like this. You can't really get involved in anything, because George is too busy jumping to the next scene before you have time to care about the last one. The movie is like three hundred premature ejaculations strung together by a billionaire whose imagination has been fried. I finally know why so many women find sex boring. If it doesn't last long enough for it to feel really good, it isn't worth the initial excitement in the first place. It's ironic that in his attempt to appease geeks with short attention spans, Lucas ended up directing the slowest Star Wars yet.
13. I wonder if HE ever saw Close Encounters. Those aliens Obi-Wan encounter look just a little *too* close to the long-necked aliens from Spielberg's classic. The entire film seems to be stealing from something or another (The Fifth Element, Gladiator, Blade Runner, on and on and on).
14. This wasn't dark. All you people saying this is dark, shut up. It isn't.
15. The comedy. It's worse than in The Phantom Menace. Out of the dozens of attempted jokes only one or two really work.
16. Lack of war in the stars. Where were the space battles? What is this crap? Wasn't this called Star Wars for a reason?
17. Why don't you spell it out for us, George? The plot seems like it was written for 2 year olds. Nothing is subtle. Every so often Anakin gets a nasty look on his face and breathes heavily as Darth Vader's theme begins playing. I was waiting for a scrolling message to appear on the bottom of the screen letting us all know that, "the person above will turn into Darth Vader. Please notice foreboding music and nasty facial expressions. If you fail to notice, we will be repeating aforementioned music and expressions numerous times throughout the film." Lucas used to be able to pull stuff like this off. Think Luke's vision of chopping off Vader's head only to find his face underneath the mask in Empire. Okay, so Lucas didn't direct that one, but you get the idea. If this were the new one, Luke would look all pissy, scary music would play and Yoda would say, "you need some son. Get it? Son. Sun I did mean. You're nobody's son." *LONG PAUSE* "Vader's son you are not ... maybe."
18. No fun. Outside of a couple scenes, the movie just wasn't fun, and the frenetic energy of past Star Wars films is nowhere to be found.
19. Lightsaber battle with non-CGI characters was worst saber battle in any Star Wars film. It's all a bunch of close-ups with everyone pretty much standing stationary. Where's Darth Maul when you need him? I love Christopher Lee, but this old guy doesn't cut it when it comes to an awesome Lightsaber duel.
20. Why was that guy who used to be on NYPD Blue in there? His role was a pointless one with a big name (Organa). Give it to somebody whose face we don't recognize, if you aren't going to expand on it. Watching NYPD Man was distracting.
21. Pointless cameos from characters in past movies. It didn't work this time. Very obvious and irritating. Watto was in this movie why, exactly?
22. Amidala was a wimp. This lady can't be the mother of Princess Leia. Lucas reduced Amidala down to a sniffling little tramp with nothing much to do, other than make puppy dog eyes and fall all the time, like the new Charlie Chaplin, making some guy -- or droid -- come and save her. I remember her being far more independent and daring in Episode 1. Then again, she couldn't be too tough, being that her "love interest," Anakin, was a whiney little brat who, if Amidala had any strength as a character, would have became Padme's bitch, not the Emperor's.
23. Duel of the Fates. Why was it even used? It seemed so out of place. A lot of the music was rehashed (an uncomfortable amount from The Phantom Menace, alone) and the limited amount of new themes weren't very memorable.
24. Exposition. We get at least an hour of it. It's delivered without an ounce of panache. It's dull, lifeless, and monotone. Everyone is acting in front of a blue screen, and it shows. People talk at the claymation Gumby pace. It ... takes ... three ... minutes ... to ... say ... two ... words. "Gee ... Gumby ... this ... movie ... blows!"
25. Too long. The film DRAGS. It could have been at least 20 minutes shorter. There are far too many useless moments and characters. With all that high-tech stuff over at Lucasfilm, it's amazing they still haven't picked up an editing machine.
26. Yoda kicks ass. I loved it. It's worth a trip to the Box Office once just to see Yoda get nasty.
I didn't hate this movie. It just happens to be the first Star Wars film that I didn't love. I didn't even like it, actually. I would recommend any Star Wars fan give it a chance, but definitely avoid paying full price. It isn't worth it. There's one scene that is easily worth the price of a matinee admission, and almost gives you hope that Lucas could still impress us with Episode III. Almost.
Lucas, you let us down.
On a scale of 1-10?
5 (because it's Star Wars. If it wasn't, it would probably get a 3 or a 4.)
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Text ©(Copyright) 2002 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved].
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