Sunday, May 19, 2002

*** Stars out 5
I did enjoy Attack of the Clones more than Episode 1. I think my expectations were much lower given the first movie debacle. That said, I think it could have been a *much* better Movie. Some criticisms:

1.) Huh? Jedi's can't fall in love? Can't marry? Since when? I don't seem to recall Obi-Wan mentioning this little tid bit to Luke when he said he wanted to 'become a Jedi like my father' (and you'd think, given that his *father* was a Jedi, this would be an important point to bring up). And if Jedi don't marry, and the Force is a genetic trait (see that whole mitichlorion nonsense from the first movvie, oooh!), exactly how does it get passed down? Or is it OK for Jedi's to sleep around...but just not to get into any serious relationships.

2.) The kid they got to play Anakin was hardly adequate. I didn't buy his play of emotions. He never sold me on any kind of 'love' for seemed more like an obsession. But part of it might have been part of the next problem...

3.) The script. It was A-W-U-F-U-L. Just as bad as the first one. They try to make up for it with all those cutting from scences to scenes...but you just don't buy these characters. They all seem schitzophrenic.

a) One moment Anakin and Obi-Wan are chumming around...the next Obi-Wan is dressing him down in front of everyone (for no apparent good reason that I could get...Anakin's suggestion that they try and figure out who the heck was trying to kill Senator Padme seemed like a pretty darn good idea to me...alot better than sitting there passively and waiting for the killers to come. It isn't as if they were forbidden from investigating...and since when is it bad for a padawan learner to think indepdently?

b) Again we are supposed to get the impression that Anakin is too reckless. But frankly I'm on his side when he is *asked* for his opinion on an issue as a Jedi, and Padme makes this big deal about how he's not a Jedi yet. First, that's nonsense. Obi-wan was constantly refered to as a 'Jedi' in the last movie. What Anakin isn't is a 'Jedi Master'...but he sure as heck is a Jedi. And if he wasn't, so what? He was asked for his opinion, and Padme jumpin in there just made me want to tell her to 'shut up, b***h! Mind your own!'

c) And how about this love relationship, anyway. The script really doesn't work for us there. Unlike the mutual sort of 'anger' that developed into a love between Leia and Han that worked so well...this one seems to be all over the place. One minute Padme is treating Anakin like a stalker. You expect her next move to be to take a restraining order out on him. Next, she's all lovey-dovey with him. Huh? And you never really *feel* like this is a relationship. Like its a love story. The awful 30 minutes of them just hanging out in the grass (ugh, ugh! I wanted to get up an leave! Ick! I've seen B-rated soft porn flicks with better relationship scenes). Maybe its because we know Anakin is a bad dude (and isn't it nice how Padme overlooks the little fact of him being a mass murder in deciding to marry him). I think its just that they hired the same script writers from the first one. Proof that incompetence is not always a bar to a good career.

4. Is Anakin just dumb? He's been a Jedi for 10 YEARS. And he waits until he's had weeks and months of bad dreams about his mother, the galaxy is in an inter-planatary crisis, and his mentor is in big FINALLY go see about his mom? Was there *some* reason in the last 10 years he didn't hop on a starship and get his mother out of slavery? It isn't as if she was living a life of luxurey...she was a slave!!! And he's on pretty good terms with the Jedi Council, the Senate, and Naboo. What, no one could fork over the money to buy his mother out? And we are supposed to believe this?

5. Did anyone else agree with Count Dukoo that the Republic is pretty useless? Anakin mentions it himself. This is supposed to be some great defense of democracy...but so then why is it the Republic that is trying to prevent other planets from freely *leaving* it? This gov't is frozen by indecision (though why the Senate was supposedly 'deadlocked' on sending troops itself...but had no problem voting to give the Chancellor dictatorial powers so that *he* could send troops is beyond me), it can't defend its members...and some of the members want out. Wouldn't it be the 'democratic' thing to do to...let them? Ask yourself, if it weren't for all the moral cues given to you by the movie (the Dark side, the attempted murders of the Jedi, etc.)...would you be a supporter of the Republic? I sure wouldn't.

6. So Naboo has a Queen. But she's elected and term-limited. And they seem to always elect teenagers. Okey Dokey....

7. Jar Jar Binx was in the movie. Nuff said. (though, happily, he wasn't in much of it. )

8. So were we supposed to be playing the game of 'how many parallels between this movie and Empire can you pick out'? Is anyone else annoyed by this formulaic adherence? We have Cloud City (except this time its in the ocean...everything else seems the same). We have the obligatory hanging by one arm from outside Cloud City (except this time its Obi-Wan and not Luke). We have the trounce through the steel-work setting with all the molten metal and sparks flying (except instead of it being a carbonite plant, it is a droid-making facility). We have the love story (except this time its not Leia and Han, but Padme and Anakin). We have the saber battle between the good guy(s) and the bad guy(s)...and the bad guy wins (except this time its Anakin and Obi-Wan against Dooku, instead of Luke v. Vader). A young skywalker gets his arm lopped off (except this time its Anakin, not Luke). Now, at least there was some stuff that broke away from the formula (it was less formulaic than Episode I) the investigation into the attempt to kill Senator Padme. But there were way too many as far as I'm concerned.

9. Uh, exactly why were they trying to Kill Padme? I never did figure that out...

10. Did anyone else realize that almost 2/3rds of the first two movies has been shuttling Padme, back and forth, between Corisant and Naboo?

SOME Pluses:

1.) Yoda frickin ruled!

2.) The CGI battle scenes at the end were awesome. As well as the saber fights. Top notch!

3.) I think that McGregor played Obi-Wan quite well.

4.) Storm Troopers as good guys. And Yoda in command. Now there's a surprising switch!

5.) Padme. In that white Leia-knockoff jump suit. With her....showing through her...(yeah, you guys know what I'm talking about. ). D.GOOCH


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