Attack of the Clones

Sunday, November 02, 2008

After the mess that was The Phantom Menace, you’d be hard pressed to make a worse Star Wars film. But somehow George Lucas reached into his mangy beard and produced an even stinkier piece of shit. This film doesn’t even have the benefit of a couple of really good set pieces to make it somewhat watchable. You just have mind-numbingly tedious action followed by risible dialogue scenes. It’s a chore to sit through.

Of course, one of the worst things is the romance between Anakin and Padme. They loll about in fields and have picnics and look at waterfalls. It’s like they’re ten or something. It’s so sexless, it’s laughable.

And then there’s the dialogue. The quote that springs to mind is this gem that Anakin says: ‘I don’t like sand. It’s coarse, and rough, and irritating and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything’s soft and smooth.’ And then he touches Padme. Dear Lord, I know people try and make excuses. They try and say that Star Wars isn’t Shakespeare. Fair enough, it isn’t. But at least when Lawrence Kasdan was writing the scripts, you didn’t want to shower the screen with laughter-propelled vomit.

And oh how it hurts to have one of the coolest characters in cinema – Darth Vader – be a flaccid, pouting teenager. Really, this is what drove Vader into insanity? He missed his mummy? Because that’s really what starts everything off. He misses his mum, then feels that she’s in pain and tries to rescue her.

However, when Anakin finally finds his mummy, she’s been tied up by some Sandpeople. It’s not quite clear whether they’ve been boning her as well as beating her, but she’s clearly in bad shape. And therefore Anakin must wreak a terrible vengeance by slaughtering them. Okay, so having some lanky aliens enslave you mum is pretty bad. I can accept that. If my mother was taken by hostile aliens, I’d be upset, too. But why does Anakin have to be such a girl about it? When he tells Padme, he begins pouting and crying. He’s like a teen having a hissy fit. We want Vader to be a badass. We don’t want him to be a character off Dawson’s Creek.

And Padme defies belief as well. She forgives Anakin in a second after he tells her that he slaughtered all the Sandpeople – children and women as well as men. I don’t know about you, but if my other half suddenly confessed to genocide, I might have to rethink our relationship. You know, that’s kind of fundamental. No cheating, no stealing and no genocide.

But Anakin tries to excuse himself by saying they’re animals and that he slaughtered them like animals. [pout] So maybe Padme forgives him because she’s a racist cow and she thinks that senseless killing is fine if the aliens don’t have beautiful white skin. In which case, fuck the pair of them!

One of the film’s biggest selling points when it came out was that Jango Fett was going to be in it – the father of Boba Fett (every geek’s favourite secondary Star Wars character). But why the fuck is Dr Ropata from crappy Kiwi soap Shortland Street playing him? Never has the quote “You’re not in Guatemala now, Dr Ropata” been more accurate. (Shortland Street joke that 0.0001% of the population will get? High five!)

But yes, we have Jango Fett and he’s a colossal disappointment. The biggest reason that he sucks is his voice. The Kiwi accent just isn’t threatening. It brings to mind large, roaming fields and men having sex with sheep behind barns. I mean, compare his voice to the voice of Boba Fett in the original trilogy (before George fucked with them). The original Boba sounded hard as nails. He sounded cool. Now he sounds like a farmer.

And do I really want to see Boba as a child? No. But again George has to be all weird and paedo-like and have Jango Fett and his son Boba hang around together without a woman in sight. Therefore there are lots of scenes with the annoying child encouraging his father to kick Jedi ass.

I also hate the idea of a clone army. You see, even though you hear about the Clone Wars in the original trilogy, you’re never told what it entails. You’re never told it entails silly-looking, lanky aliens cloning millions of Dr Ropatas to go to war. Seriously, that’s…shit.

And why do all the Dr Ropata stormtroopers have to be CGI? Okay, when you’re doing a massive wide shot with millions of men, you need CGI. But when it’s a close-up, why do you have to ruin everything with obvious computer effects? Are suits and extras really that expensive?

But the stormtroopers aren’t the only things that are completely CGI. After the horrific muppet in The Phantom Menace, we now have a CGI Yoda. And he looks, well…like a CGI Yoda. He never looks remotely tangible. He never looks like you could reach out and touch him and fondle him. He’s just a pixelated version of Yoda who exists purely in that form so that he can have a fight at the end.

And how piss poor is the fight at the end of the film? We have Yoda, a little green blob, versus old man Christopher Lee. It’s as bad as it sounds. You have an old age pensioner fighting an annoying green blur that bounces across the screen like a midget on meth. It can’t compare to the fight at the end of The Phantom Menace.

But worse than this is the Jedi fight at the Coliseum. Not only do we have to see lots of crappy alien Jedi fighting robots and flying insects, but we have to endure the attempts at ‘humour’. You see, in a hil-arious mix-up, C-3PO’s head gets fused onto a battle droid. Therefore he goes around helplessly watching himself kill Jedi while uttering moronic lines like, ‘I’m programmed for etiquette, not destruction’. I almost started sobbing. This is supposed to be funny?

And while I’m on the subject of droids, how come R2-D2 can fly now? He never did that in the original trilogy – he was just a tin can on wheels. Now he can do all kinds of fancy shit. Yet more proof of the way that CGI cripples the imagination.

But is there anything decent in the film? Well, the action scene with the flying cars was okay, I guess. But all that did was make me wish that I was watching Blade Runner.

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  1. These three movies are almost the definition of "had the potential to be great", I mean, what an awesome story it had lying in wait...the origin of the galaxy's biggest badass, how Obi Wan got to be a cool wise old dude, and the mysterious sounding "clone wars"... The best thing George Lucas did with the original trilogy was to leave the writing and direction of Empire and Return to others and not control-freakily do it all himself. He said himself one reason he did that was because he's atrocious at writing dialogue...why the fuck did he choose to go the other way with these movies??

    And speaking of the kiwi voice, i like that you mention they also ruined Boba Fett in the re-jigged versions of the original trilogy. I was thanking good god almighty they chose to also release the original versions on dvd as well so i could again enjoy Boba's original, menacing, almost whisper-like snarl... "he's no good to me dead..."

    Thanks for enduring these flicks again, I've enjoyed the reviews and looking forward to the Revenge of the Sith one if u can stomach a couple more hours of this nonsense!
    Cheers, Tom