Thursday, May 16, 2002

Attack of the Clones Review

Well I was able to talk my old roomie into going with me last night! We arrived at about 10:30 and the line was already quite long. Luckly I purchased my tickets online so that wasn't an issue. We stood in line for only about half an hour, just chit chatting with others. It was a pretty "normal" group. There were a few people running around with plastic lightsabers and "jedi" outfits. Luckly they were few and relaxed.

At 11 they started letting people in. This was a good thing. They had five screens open at this theatre, each seating about 450 people. As you can imagine it takes awhile to seat that many people and give them time to waste thier money on consessions.

After a short wait, the seats were comfy at least, everyone was seated and the reviews started. Then finally the movie! I will not spoil the movie at all. I don't like when people do that.

In a nutshell, the naysayers were wrong. The movie is MUCH better than the first, of course that in itself is not saying much. It isn't quite up to par with New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, but I would have to say it is better than Return of the Jedi.

In Episode1 they really focused a great deal on developing the characters who would shape the Star Wars world. There was a bit of plot development with Senetor Palpatine, but it seemed minor to the grand scope. George Lucas learned his leasons from this movie.

Ep2 - Attack of the Clones may have a terribly unimaginative title but it makes up for it in substance. We begin to see Anakins trip down to the dark side and his love with Padme, that eventually results in Luke and Leia. That portion of the movie is probably the worst part of the movie. The acting is convincing on the part of Hayden Christensen (Anakin) but Natalie Portman's (Padme) performance seemed a bit cold, but perhaps that was the idea. But for a woman that was supposed to be falling in love, she seemed very uninterested. Her action sequences were quite good though.

There is a great deal of action as a matter of fact. Some of it is a tad rushed though. What I mean is the camera work/editing. The cuts are too fast sometimes and you loose your perspective of the scene. There is one instance were this works very well. Towards the end during a lightsaber battle they do a bunch of quick close-up face shots while in the middle of the battle. The blades cut in and out of the scenes making for a visually compelling series of images.

Visually this movie is even better than Ep1. Watto, Anakins old boss and owner makes a cameo and I was very impressed how much better he looks in this movie. We all know of course that he is computer generated, but his realisim is great. All of the CGI characters are exceptional actually.

The audio and music was excellent as well. But we wouldn't expect anything less from the group that gave us THX would we? It was nice to hear them reusing and revamping the original scores for this movie as well. They were not drastically modified, but you could tell that additional depth was added to them. The results were VERY good. They remained very true to the original score.

Unfortunatly there were a few corny lines in the movie. They were not made by Jar Jar either. Thankfully he had a minor and short role in this movie. It was actually C3-PO that said some dumb things this time. Many of his lines were amusing and fitting. But there was one in particular that I felt was completely unnecessary and just plain stupid. R2-D2 is dragging C3-POs head across the ground (don't ask) with a little grapple and 3PO says something to the effect of, "This is such a drag."

There were a few faults, as any movie with this many eyes on it can expect. It is hard to compete against the pure and simple nature of the original movies. The plot is getting thick and complex, but it needs to be. There is a LOT of story to tell. Taking that into account, this movie is right up there with New Hope and Empire, no question. I'm certain there will be those who will disagree with my assesment, but I supect they will be the minority.

My recommendation: Go see it! It is well worth the money for both hardcore fans and new viewers alike. I supect this movie will spawn a new generation of StarWars fans!

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