Star Wars II – Attack of the Clones

I finally watched the second episode (or is that the fifth episode? whatever) of Star Wars, as a co-worker had the DVD with him and I borrowed it for an evening. I won’t post this as a DVD review because I didn’t bother with any of the extras on the second DVD in the package.

The second prequel movie deals with the beginning of the Clone Wars. We witness Anakin Skywalker’s budding relationship with former queen Padme, and the beginning of his slip into a less than pleasant human being.

The biggest problem of the Star Wars prequels has always been that we pretty much know what will happen. We know that Anakin will fall to become Darth Vader, and we know that the Empire will rise out of the ashes of the Republic. It’s all a matter of the details; the story has been spoiled long before the movies were made.

The second big problem of the prequels is… the story. The scripts are simply poor. Episode one had this problem, but at least it was kind of focused on the action. Part 2 switched back and forth between two plots: Obi-wan’s search for the mysterious bounty hunter, and Anakin’s “protection” of the ex-queen (HA. Protecting… so that’s what them youngsters call it these days.)

The Bounty Hunter story is interesting, sort of. It has good action and beautifully rendered scenes (I really liked the Asteroids chase, for example), and it furthers the story directly, whereas Anakin’s slow descent into madness is just… annoying. Maybe I don’t like the actors involved, but I don’t think that’s it. It’s too much of a cheesy romance story, plastered with annoying little details… like the idiotic tiny boat they get out of in one scene.

Yeah, the details. A really big weakness of this movie. In the arena scene – which in itself wasn’t half bad – a monster attacks Padme. And what does it do? It rips her shirt in such a way that she runs around with her belly showing for the rest of the movie. Now there is nothing wrong with a good looking girl’s stomach showing, but when Star Wars has to descent to the pitiful idea of “sex sells”, then something is seriously out of whack.

The final battle was well done, not a space battle but a desert ground battle for a change. Nicely rendered. On the other hand, the final light sabre battle was totally dumb. Yeah, so we get to see Yoda in action (Karate Yoda, to boot, too), and that was nicely done. But the evil Lord of the Sith basically beat both Anakin and Obi-Wan. So… he’s better than they are, and that somehow doesn’t really fit the feeling of the story. Yoda is a supporting character; Anakin and Obi-Wan are the main characters of the story. The ending was decidedly anticlimactic.

So… did I like the movie? Yeah, except the chick movie Anakin and Padme parts. It was good action and it had really nicely done graphics (Yoda looked absolutely real).

But I am very glad I didn’t spend money on this movie in the cinema. I don’t think George Lucas is going to manage to make many real fans with the prequels.

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