Star Wars in Review: Episode II
A review by G-FUNK!
Continuing on from last weeks The Phantom Menace review we know take a look back at Attack of the Clones.
Director: George Lucas
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Christopher Lee, Frank Oz, Samuel L. Jackson
Plot: No idea.
Review: Really, can anyone really explain the plot of this movie? So there’s some group called The Seperatists – who supposedly are the big villains this time around even though we barely see them nor do they do anything to further the plot – and they’re putting the Republic in a position where they’re going to consider forming an army of clones. Putting aside the legion of unstoppable Jedis or good, old-fashioned conscription, the clones seem to the crux of the plot here. Anyway, Padme returns wanting to stop the formation of an army to fight the army that’s threatening them, but Obi-wan then finds out that there already is a bunch of clones and then the Republic suddenly know about the clones as well and somehow lay claim to the entire army and although he was strongly against a war Yoda leads the army into a war in order to save his three friends and there’s this guy Count Dooku who…I have no idea.
The glaring plot holes and idiotic jumps in logic are unfathomable. Who is this mystery Jedi who ordered that the clone army? He gets mentioned a few times, but we never see him, find out why he ordered the clones, who he was working for or what happened to him. I was waiting for it all to come to together when it’s revealed that Count Dooku is really this guy or whatever, but this never plot point never gets resolved. It feels as though Lucas had the idea in his head but forgot to put it in the script. And this is just one of many blaring inconsistencies in the script.
Whilst the plot is just as much, if not more, of a mess as in The Phantom Menace, at least the characters start to show some semblance of personality. We have an annoying teenage kid, an annoying middle aged guy and an annoying stuck-up politician. Now that they have some character, they’re on a par with the robots who make stupid noises.
Hayden Christenson puts in a truely awful performance as key role Anakin Skywalker, but I don’t hold this against him. When you’ve got shithouse performances from Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson, et al, you can only blame the director.
The main theme of the movie, and the key selling point for the film, is the forbidden romance between Skywalker and Padme. This relationship does, in fact, form the turning point for the three prequel films, being instrumental in creating Darth Vader and setting up the events of the original film. But there’s a problem – it’s impossible to see what either of these people could possible see in each other. Every time Padme says anything, Anakin counters by turning it into a bitch-winge about himself. Padme’s been working on this political action – Anakin starts bitching about his mentor and friend. Padme talks about how much she loves the view – Anakin complains about how much he hates sand. Padme talks about her passion for democracy – Anakin takes that as a cue to talk about his love of facism.
How, in the name of all things, did she come around to wanting to secretly marry this guy by the end of the week?
Just to finish the movie off, Lucas seems to have stuck in every ‘wacky’ idea that made him giggle. The viewer is bombarded with a stream of nonsense that takes them straight out of the experience. The 50’s style diner filled with sassy robot waitresses and alien short-order chef, C3PO getting jumbled in with soldiers during a battle, and so forth. It’s unfunny nonsense that is completely out of tone with the scenes around them, such as a man being decapitated in front of his son.
The action may have exciting, but the change for Jedi’s from noble, wise warriors to invincible magical badasses fighting in a perfectly clean and sterile CGI environments takes any suspense, and therefore any interest, out of the equation.
Final Score: ONE outta TEN
I never understood why we were supposed to think the Seperatists were villains, I mean what were they doing that was so evil?
I’m under the impression that they’re a sort of combination secessionist movement and worker’s union – both of which are somewhere between ‘communists’ and ‘generic middle eastern people’ on the list of Things The American Establishment Think The American People Are Afraid Of.
That sounds like an exciting science fiction romp for all ages [/sarcasm]
Welcome to 2002. Welcome.
So, no love for the prequels in the House of Geekery?
I can tell you right off the bat that Episode III will be getting a better review next week!
I like Episode II… Awkward!