View Full Version : Episode 2 Review

16-05-2002, 01:39:40
Well, a short one. :D

It was surprisingly good, not perfect but good. Lightyears better than Episode 1.

Like every movie it had some bad dialogues, some computer animated scenes looked extremely 'computer animated', Jar Jar was in it and there was a bit too much love :love: :love: for my taste ... but overall it was ok. Certainly not a classic, but not a bad movie either.

16-05-2002, 09:08:05
Excellent, that's really promising.

16-05-2002, 10:45:09
Going to see it tomorrow, ahoooo!

16-05-2002, 11:52:11
The emotional climax of "Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones" is fabulous. Soaring and majestic, it reaches deep inside you to stroke chords of fond memory, to reaffirm the pleasure and healing power of narrative, to liberate the imagination.

Unfortunately, it comes in the first two seconds. That's when the legendary words "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . ." materialize on the screen and John Williams's familiar music rises thunderously. After that, the movie doesn't go downhill or uphill; it doesn't go anywhere. It flatlines.

Memo to George Lucas: Hire an editor, bud.

You're a great man. So what? You still need an editor. Everybody needs an editor, and nobody needed an editor more than the writer-director of this film. It's too long, it's too dull, it's too lame. Only in its last 40 minutes or so, several eons from the beginning, does it leap to the warp speed of kinetic grandeur, and even then it's the grandeur of spectacle, not emotion.

Lucas has previously taken his talking points from the great storytellers and story thinkers of the species: from Joseph Campbell, from Homer, from Thomas Malory, from Akira Kurosawa, from John Ford, from 4,000 years of tradition of epic voyages and grand adventures. But the mythic source he seems to have based this episode on is . . . "The McLaughlin Group."

It is inordinately obsessed with politics. Talking heads, some of them green, sit around and say things like, "It's outrageous that, after all those hearings, and four trials in the Supreme Court, Nute Gunray is still Viceroy of the Trade Federation. I fear the Senate is powerless to resolve this crisis. On an ontological scale of 1 to 10, with 10 representing metaphysical certainty, Mor-ton, do those moneymongers control everything?"

That's almost, but not quite, an exact quote, as the fiery Sio Bibble gets in his licks at a conference between Padme (also known as Senator Amidala), Queen Jamillia (blue lips), a couple of advisers and himself in the Naboo Palace. It gets the gist of much of the early blabbering in the film, which is largely stilted political commentary about legislative bodies, parties, maneuvers, treaties, personalities and reports we know nothing about. It's like reading the latest dispatch on the Mongolian parliament, as reported by Elizabeth Drew in a really cranky mood.

But as for human contact with the story, as for the themes of love and honor, of loyalty to family and tribe and kind, of heroism and sacrifice, wisdom and craven opportunism, there's almost nothing, certainly nothing like those sounded in the first cycle of "Star Wars" films. Not even the action sequences truly stir; too often, they simply resemble "Jetsons" shtick individual space buggies as sports cars buzzing through Tomorrowtopia re-created digitally at a budget of billions.

Agh! It's so frustrating to see so much pictorial energy wasted. But then that appears to be where the energy was invested: in an immaculate vision of that long-ago faraway place, which now more than ever has come to resemble a dream in the mind of the smartest teenager of 1935. Even the ships have been retro-ed back to '30s art moderne, and when Senator Amidala's chrome hood ornament of a ship glides in for a rooftop landing, all gleamy, creamy, shiny and sleek, the sound produced isn't the whoosh of rocket engines but the drone of props. Very impressive. It's like the Hindenburg mooring at the radio mast of the Empire State Building. Strange, but impressive.

What little story creeps out in dribs and drabs never really assembles into a coherent whole; the conflicts are never clarified. I think it goes a little something like this. Senator Amidala (Natalie Portman), who was Queen Amidala in the last one but never mind, journeys to the Republic's capital city-planet, Coruscant, to lead opposition in the Senate to some plan to create a clone army to dissuade the growing threats of the Separatists from . . . I'm lost in space already.

As Jedi master Obi-Wan, Ewan McGregor, left, manages to instill a little zest into the proceedings. (20th Century Fox)

Someone tries to kill her. Ka-boom, there goes the chrome ship. The president Palpatine (who will become Emperor) assigns two Jedi to protect her, the master Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) and his young mentee, Anakin Skywalker (played by 'N Sync star Justin Timberlake no, no, played by Hayden Christensen, who looks like an 'N Sync kid but doesn't have as much talent). There's another attack on Amidala's life, this time by poison caterpillars, which Anakin lightsabers into sushi, and then that sports-car chase through the corridors of the city 2,000 feet up.

Hmmm, I forget what happens next. Somehow they get separated, the two youngsters on their own, hiding on Anakin's native planet of Tatooine, I believe, while Obi-Wan tracks down intimations he's heard that the clone army has already been built, on a star system whose location has been removed from, er, star system central.

I'll tell you one thing: no star system central, as in, say, MGM, would have built a movie around the dim Americans who haunt this one. In fact, the movie is kind of a laboratory on American vs. British technique. Score: Brits 10, Yanks 0. That's because to the Brits, who work from the outside in, acting is physical mastery of face and voice and body, strategically employed at certain moments for impact. An actor imposes himself on the character, and invents charm and wit and sparkle where none exists. So even the guy playing Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) is creepy-elegant, and McGregor, athletic and earnest, can even bring a little life to a line like, "I am concerned for my Padawan. He is not ready to be given this assignment on his own yet."

The Americans, on the other hand, are trained to get into the character's mind and imagine as he would imagine, to work from the inside out. But there is no inside here: These characters are nothing but pop-cult props, and that leaves the performers helpless and inert. Natalie Portman has always enjoyed good press, but she was at her best as a child in "The Professional." She's just overwhelmed here. And even an actual great actor, Samuel L. Jackson, seems ridiculous. He never looks comfortable as the Jedi Mace Windu, in robes and boots, and there's nothing he can do at all with a line like "The Genosians aren't warriors. One Jedi has to be worth a hundred Genosians!"

The 'N Sync kid is even worse. He seems to have wandered in from a Pepsi commercial. No, that would have been Justin Timberlake. Who knows where this dreary boy has been?

There's no reason for the woodenness of the cast other than the director's decision. Has Lucas lost the will to work with good, spontaneous, creative actors? He seems to prefer the closest thing he can get to droids. But it wasn't always so: In the original three "Star Wars" films, Lucas got extremely good work out of Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and especially Carrie Fisher. The trio sparkled, and between them was something like chemistry, even in the childishness of the emotional situation. That never happens here: We see handsome children dully repeating memorized lines on dreary soundstages; they seem not to imaginatively see what will be digitally painted in around them.

It is true that eventually "Episode II" springs to some kind of life, when the clones actually attack, as the title promises. In fact, soon enough it's clones vs. droids for control of the empire, but as to the technical difference between a clone and a droid, that I can't tell you, because then I'd have to kill you.

Lucas rather haphazardly just decides to end the movie on a lollapalooza: A rescue (Anakin of Amidala) becomes a romp through a droid factory (clank clank go the stamping machines) which becomes a capture which becomes an execution (by giant crab, no less) becomes another rescue becomes a battle becomes an even bigger battle with ships exploding becomes a series of lightsaber fights between new villain Count Dooku (Christopher Lee, still a legend) and, one by one, Anakin, Obi-Wan and even tiny li'l Yoda, who, animated digitally, turns into quite the fencer.

And then it's over. And not an eon too early. And now, for at least three blessed years, peace.

16-05-2002, 11:59:44
Of course the film is going to be about politics - something has to happen that transforms the 3000 year long galactic republic in to a evil dictatorship under the rule of a mysterious emperor and his dark lord henchman. Try telling that story without including politics in to it.

16-05-2002, 13:02:15
Can't you limey bitches say anything without whining about America? For fucks sake, get over it. You're not a world power any more. Stop being jealous.

Vincent Fandango
16-05-2002, 13:03:05
Usually this is done by rotating newspaper headlines

16-05-2002, 13:03:22
Huh? Who was whining about America?

16-05-2002, 13:04:30
Read the article? The one that kitty posted.

Vincent Fandango
16-05-2002, 13:13:42
Originally posted by Venom
Can't you limey bitches say anything without whining about America? For fucks sake, get over it. You're not a world power any more. Stop being jealous. Damned Maryland limey twats

Vincent Fandango
16-05-2002, 13:14:48
Originally posted by Venom
Read the article? The one that kitty posted. Stephen Hunter, Washington Post. What's wrong with it?

16-05-2002, 13:17:28
Originally posted by Venom
Read the article? The one that kitty posted.

That was way too long to read.

Vincent Fandango
16-05-2002, 13:18:47
Damned limey twat. I thought you were from Reading? Are you sure you are nor from Wanking?

16-05-2002, 13:23:46
Originally posted by Vincent Fandango
Stephen Hunter, Washington Post. What's wrong with it?

Real name Benedict Arnold.

16-05-2002, 13:24:35
It was waaaaaaay too long for a movie review, and too boring, and it gave away a lot of spoilers, and it's irrellevant because it's written by a damn Yank, and all Yanks smell, and I'm going to see it tomorrow, and I'm the coolest.

16-05-2002, 13:25:56
Funky Mingers, the Sony PR agent, has got all the answers.

Vincent Fandango
16-05-2002, 13:32:17
Bah, he's noting but a french limey yank

16-05-2002, 13:36:52
Don't forget the wanker part.

Vincent Fandango
16-05-2002, 13:43:41
It's included in "limey"

16-05-2002, 13:55:42
So I'm a French Limey? Interesting!
Wankers :p

Vincent Fandango
16-05-2002, 14:00:39
Like that mayor monkey. Wasn't he a frenchy as well?

16-05-2002, 16:04:00
le mayor et un sange?

Vincent Fandango
17-05-2002, 07:23:40
Limey frog.

17-05-2002, 08:26:01
10 1/2 hours until I see Episode 2... :D

17-05-2002, 08:34:15
Venom, was that a spectacularly bad 100-0 attempt?

Vincent Fandango
17-05-2002, 09:33:32
Yep. he 100-niled himself.

17-05-2002, 22:00:48
The Case for the Empire (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/248ipzbt.asp).

18-05-2002, 04:00:57
Just got back from the show and I'll say that it's WAY WAY WAY WAY better than Episode 1. That's not saying a lot and it's far from perfect but hell, it's at least as good as Return of the Jedi. Maybe even better.

Had they eliminated C3PO on Geonosis and actually had a real love story this might be right up there with Empire Strikes Back.

At times that Hayden Christensen guy was so Darth Vader and at other times he'd lapse into a semi-Jake Lloyd and phone in his lines.

Oh and Yoda. Just Yoda.


18-05-2002, 08:15:38
Yoda's fight was bizarre. Hilarious. :)

20-05-2002, 08:10:25
Originally posted by Venom
At times that Hayden Christensen guy was so Darth Vader and at other times he'd lapse into a semi-Jake Lloyd and phone in his lines.

Which means, in my opinion, he did a pretty good job of acting the role of Anakin - a little bit of a young brat, a little bit of the dark side in him. I found myself disliking Anakin more as the film went on, or to put it another way, feel less sympathy for him as the film went on, which again I thought was right - he does turn in to the 2nd most evil person in the universe afterall.

With the way Ep2 ended, it means a real serious amount of shit has to happen in the next film before the events of Episode 4 can play out. I'm looking forward to seeing how all the threads play out. Very good.

I thought the film was a Real Star Wars Film - if you know what I mean. I wish to see it again.
Go see it!

And yes - Yoda. He. Rules.

20-05-2002, 09:09:55
Where's the frontpage review?

20-05-2002, 09:21:17
in my head - haven't written it yet :clueless:

20-05-2002, 12:02:21
I agree was pretty happy with what happened to Anakin in the last fight because he was pissing me off, which was absolutely correct. But there were time when he delivered his dialogue (albeit clunky dialogue) in a "Someone show me the cue card" kind of fashion.

20-05-2002, 12:34:09
Or - showing the "young Anakin" side of him was still there (ie trying to "act" like Jake Lloyd from Ep1)

20-05-2002, 12:41:16
Overall, I thought it was pretty good. I would put it slightly above Return of the Jedi for quality.

I liked the political aspects of this one, a bit better fleshed out and plausible than Phantom. The love story was clunky, but I really did not have any problem with it. I could buy into what was happening and the cheesy dialogue didn't grate on me. The only scene that I absolutely did not like was Anikin's reunion with his mother. While the scenes surrounding that were perfect and did a great job of advancing the character, their dialogue fell completely flat for me. It was just a little too pat.

There were several spectacular and exhilarating sequences, most notably the chase through the city towards the beginning. The battle scenes at the end were strangely uninvolving, though. They were very well staged and executed, I just found that I didn't care about the outcome much. I believe they needed to do a little more to emphasize why this was happening and what the consequences of failure were. While Christoper Lee was amazingly good in his role, the final lightsaber battle left me a little cold. After the spectacle of Phantom's duel, I was expecting more from this one.

The design of the movie was a great strength this time around. I found the rain planet especially well presented. The aliens there were nicely realized and their environment suitably alien and different enough to be intriguing. Coruscant was much better realized this time through, you got a much better sense of the place in this film. Lots of fun stuff to look at and see throughout the film, although I was surprised to see the old animator's dodge of looping backgrounds in the Coruscant traffic scenes. The only special effects failings I saw were the beasts in the arena and the cook in the diner.

All in all, a much better showing than Phantom, still flawed, still not entirely hitting stride, but a lot of fun and showing some promise for number three.

20-05-2002, 14:23:14
Went to see the midnight showing after work on Saturday. Thought the film was amazing, probably my favourite Star Wars installment. Just lacked a huge lightsabre battle at the end :(

20-05-2002, 14:41:36
Originally posted by MattHiggs
Went to see the midnight showing after work on Saturday. Thought the film was amazing, probably my favourite Star Wars installment. Just lacked a huge lightsabre battle at the end :(

:confused: So the Obi-Wan + Anakin vs Count Dookoo; Anakin vs Count Dookoo; Yoda vs Count Dookoo and 100+ Jedi vs 10,000 robot drones wasn't enough lightsabre action for you?

20-05-2002, 17:46:54
Sometimes I think kitty enjoys the sound of her complaining more then watching movies. I nearly fainted when I read the first few POSITIVE sentences of her review.. only thing that kept me grounded was that I knew it would be sarcasm.

Just saw ep 2.. It rocks!!! made ep 1 look like a fucking puppet show.

Yoda Yoda Yoda baby!...

20-05-2002, 17:50:07
Funky, acting badly is not the same as playing a spoilt brat. Bad acting is bad acting, plain and simple.

20-05-2002, 17:54:46
I don't know ... I didn't mind anything about his acting.

20-05-2002, 19:45:22
He wasn't ever bad, there were just times where he was a lot better and more convincing than other times.

20-05-2002, 21:29:38
Originally posted by Sean
Funky, acting badly is not the same as playing a spoilt brat. Bad acting is bad acting, plain and simple.

Well personally I didn't think he acted badly at all.

20-05-2002, 23:48:39
Originally posted by FunkyFingers

:confused: So the Obi-Wan + Anakin vs Count Dookoo; Anakin vs Count Dookoo; Yoda vs Count Dookoo and 100+ Jedi vs 10,000 robot drones wasn't enough lightsabre action for you?

None of these battles were anywhere near the quality of the ones in the original trilogy. Except the Yoda one. THAT ROCKED!

01-06-2002, 04:59:10
Anakin vs. Count Dooku was quite good too. The bit with the blades looked fantastic.

They should have scratched the whole conveyer belt scene and just added 10 more minutes to the fight at the end.

03-06-2002, 16:21:39
Yoda should have chucked that column into Dooku's ship instead of dropping it on the floor.

there was a scene after the sandpeople rescue that Anakin talked about how good he was at fixing things - his demeanor in that part reminded me a lot of the kid in the first movie - something to do with the way his line was delivered, I guess.