Star Wars Episode II - Attack of the Clones review by Tom Blain

Disappointing

The new Star Wars (Attack of the Clones) is just another example of why George Lucas is such a genious and such an idiot. Ok that was harsh, idiot might not be fair. The problem is that when you put the Star Wars name on a slice of celluloid, you bring out not just movie fans but STAR WARS FANS and the film must be weighed on a special scale. So emotions run high and things get said which we don't mean.

So what do I like?

The worlds Lucas creates puts even Calvin's imagination to shame (FYI... thats Calvin from Calvin N' Hobbes. I know someone won't get that and say 'Who the hell is Calvin?'). Just as grand as his imagination is his ability to project it on screen. It seems like his mind functions in another universe and is constantly travelling that universe taking snapshots. He creates worlds green and full of waterfalls. He creates worlds where it always rains. He creates worlds of complete desolation. He creates worlds of jagged purple mountains. All of these worlds are populated with creatures that are downright weird and downright funny looking, and created with just as much imagination as their own world. This is what we expect from Star Wars, and with new computer technology, he can do so damn much. One of the reasons people go to movies is to escape into a new world and Lucas fulfills that need like no one else. My one complaint is that he could use fewer computer generated scenes. Sometimes it feels like Star Wars is becoming a comic book. Spiderman is a comic book; not Star Wars (although I know there are Star Wars comics, thats not the point!)

Then there is the history. The drama created with the first three (which are actually the last three; or are they the middle three? whatever), wasn't confined within itself. It shot into the past. Star Wars referred to its own history book that hadn't even been written. Seeing it written on screen in front of our eyes is pretty damn exciting. We can jump forward and see parallels in the other films. We can try to put the pieces together ourselves given the start and finish. Watching the Star Wars films becomes more than watching films, its very involving. You fill in the missing pieces of Darth Vader, Jaba the Hut, and even fan favorite Boba Fett. Not to mention the ninja-like history of the Jedi (or is it Jedis, is there a proper plural?). Lightsaber fights kick ass by the way.

What I don't like is the lack of character creativity. There is the cookie cutter romance between Anakin and Amidala. Anakin whispers lines that have been shot down in bars across America and Europe, but somehow hotty Natalie Portman bites. C'mon! There is no intrigueing character interaction like that between Han Solo and Princess Leia. That, on top of the effects, was what made the first star wars series so enduring. Its seems like everyone frowns and works toward the mission at hand (whether its emotional or political), and shows no signs of discernable character. All of the interesting characters are the ones that look like cartoons. Yoda nearly saves the show twice: once for republic and once lack of characters I give a damn about! When he stepped up to the plate and tightened his Jedi shit up, there wasn't a man, woman, or child in the audience who wasn't wearing a grin. And I also kinda like the fat alien guy who runs the diner. He looks just like this one dude where I work; I think its the mustache.

And in particular, what is with Anakin Skywalker. He is carrying the Darth Vader legacy on his shoulders. Vader was one bad cat. He had the empire together and he had the Force together. He was crushing necks because people made bad decisions! But my man was cool as jazz about it, just doing what needed to be done. Then you hear that in his early years, he was a good man, and a great Jedi who was turned by the dark side. What you don't hear is that he bitched like a DIVA when he was a kid! Anakin's pubery reactions are straight out of a WB teen drama. He whines about Obi-Won, he whines about not getting his way with his Jedi test, he whines about his mission. Someone needs to smack that kid. Put him in a line-up with a boy band and I guarantee you couldn't tell the difference. I wanted to see someone who was cool, with a hint of darkness. Then see something REALLY terrible happen to the poor chap, and force him to the darkside. I wanted to like the young Darth Vader but I just can't.

In closing, this is the kind of movie you REALLY talk about. I was discussing it in the gym locker room (trying to avoid old men who don't wear towels). I found myself saying this and that, mostly bad and mostly what I have said above. I made some jokes about it and said the script was garbage and the movie felt a little disjointed. But in the end I said, it was probably worth the price of admission. Its strange, but thats what the Star Wars saga does to a man. No other movie would make me that furious, but justify its theatre worth. So go see it and make you own decision. Just remember, I am right. :)




5 out of 10 Jackasses
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