Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Attack of the Yoda

Last time I reviewed the "first episode" (fourth movie) of the Star Wars saga. Here, then, is my assessment of Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones (2002).

Rating: *** three stars ("worthwhile")


  • Again, the CGI special effects are well done. In particular, I liked the scene where Obi-Wan and Anakin chase the bounty hunter through Coruscant, the completely urbanized planet that serves as the seat of the galactic government. (Although it is worth pointing out that by chasing the bounty hunter both Jedi abandon the senator they're supposed to be protecting.)
  • Mention had been made of the Clone Wars in the the original trilogy of films, so to finally see those clones is pretty cool. It is a great concept, and the realization that this army will eventually become the evil stormtroopers is eye-opening. (And, boy, do six year olds ever love clone troopers!)
  • I like our first glimpse of the evil within Anakin after he confronts the sand people: "They're like animals - and I slaughtered them like animals! I hate them!" This is one of the few moments where I found the dialogue compelling. If we have to listen to Hayden Christensen talk, please give him lines like these. At its core, Star Wars is an over-the-top ridiculous experience, and most of George Lucas' dialogue is too clumsy and ponderous for the medium. The actors need to be chewing through the scenery like this to make it work.
  • Natalie Portman looks hot in her tight, white outfit. Bare midriff? Yes, thank you! (George Lucas, what were you thinking putting her in that awful clown queen makeup in the first episode?!)
  • There isn't much memorable in this movie. Going into it this time, I had a real hard time remembering what the plot was. The action scenes are pretty good, but there aren't very many of them. And there is no major bad guy or key sequence to latch onto your memory.
  • Again, the dialogue leaves something to be desired. The scenes between Christensen and Portman are almost painful to watch. It is neither believable that they are falling in love, nor that their love is forbidden. Put me in a scene with Portman and there will be no doubt - I will go Tracy Morgan on that ass.
  • Jar-Jar Binks isn't used as much in this movie as in Episode I, but he is still annoying.
  • The use of C3PO (and to an extent R2D2) as comic relief does not work as well in this movie as it did in the original trilogy. (Yet another reason why they just don't belong in this trilogy.) The comedy is forced rather than subtle, and it makes the movie clunky.
What the...?!
  • Yoda fights Count Dooku in a lightsaber duel. He limps up, throws his little cane to the side, and starts doing flips all over the place. I half expected him to shout, "¡Ándale! ¡Arriba!" I'm on the fence on this one: ultimately, it's ridiculous, but it's also entertaining.
So here is my movie review quote (for the back of the Blu-ray packaging): "Well done... a great concept... I found the dialogue compelling... Natalie Portman looks hot... ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba!"

And here is the Crazy People quote: "Six year olds love clone troopers... dialogue is too clumsy and ponderous... there isn't much memorable... ultimately, it's ridiculous."

P.S. - Want a second opinion? Click here for an in-depth, 90-minute rant from Red Letter Media. (Fair warning: some of it is a little disturbing.)


  1. Hey, easy big fella! What ya got against little people with big light sabers? Lay off the Yodameister... (papa)

  2. i think you were too forgiving. the only redeeming features were the ocasional dialouge-less combat scene, and most of the clone-trooper related ones didn't make much tactical sense anyway.

  3. Anonymous, you failed to mention at least one redeeming feature (Natalie Portman: bare midriff), but I have to agree about the screwy military tactics. That's really an ongoing feature of the entire Star Wars series, though. For example, in the original movie ("Episode IV"), why did the Death Star have to go around Yavin to get to the rebel base? You've got a freaking DEATH STAR!!!Just blow up the entire planet and end the war right then and there!