Monday, April 16, 2012

Machete Order Double Feature: Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Seen: On dvd on my friend Rachel's tv, rented from Hollywood Express in Cambridge.

Ok, ok, before you question my seeming lack of sane judgment, let me explain! A school chum and I have been watching the Star Wars series in the Machete order, which goes like this: 1) A New Hope, 2) Empire Strikes Back, 3) Attack of the Clones, 4) Revenge of the Sith, and 5) Return of the Jedi. There is no Phantom Menace because it sucks and according to this method it isn't really imperative to the overall story. We also fit in Genndy Tartakovsky's Clone Wars tv series between AotC and RotS, because that show is SO great! Genndy Tartakovsky is SO GREAT you guys, he should be making shit tons of movies. He should have made all the Star Wars prequels. Anyway. So I had already written about the original trilogy which is why I haven't been talking about this, but now for the first time on this blog here are my thoughts on Lucas's newest live-action Star Wars offerings.

Um so plot... Anakin (Hayden Christiansen) and Obi Wan (Ewan McGregor) are fighting and going on missions for the Jedi Council, Anakin's grown up to be a whiny asshole, the Trade Federation is seceding from the Republic and starting a war, Padme (Natalie Portman)- now a senator- is almost assassinated so Anakin becomes her protector, Obi Wan stumbles upon a clone army being built for the Jedi to use in war against the separatists, uuuuuuuuuum that's all I can remember right now.

The main thing I remembered about Attack of the Clones was how goddamned boring Padme and Anakin's stupid fucking romance is, jesus. NO ONE GIVES A SHIT YOU GUYS. At least she gets to wear some kickass outfits though. This movie is pretty dumb in general, really. The dialogue is the worst thing in the world, and the CG is already showing its age. Hayden Christiansen just sucks so hard, and I do not want to watch him whine for two hours. Sadly this is the only film where Padme gets something vaguely resembling a personality, and it's nice she gets to use a gun at one point. Obi Wan has the more interesting storyline as he finds the clone making factory and fans learn the origins of Boba Fett, BUT I'm totally distracted by his weird mullet. Without all the awfulness, Attack of the Clones does have some cool world-building and interesting connections to the original trilogy. Plus I like lightsaber fights.

Aside from the tedious romance my main issue with this movie (and all the prequels, really) is that I am incapable of following any of the political subplots. Every time people are talking about the Trade Federation or the Senate or the Republic, I just sort of zone out without meaning to. It's hard enough to care about most of the characters (aside from Yoda, Mace Windu, and Obi Wan), how the hell am I supposed to care about convoluted trade disputes and an old dude masterminding a war? Just get back to the fighting and flying around!

2/5

Here's an image from Clone Wars to remind you that this show is awesome! It's got badass lady Jedi and General Grievous and Mace Windu and lots of fighting and Jedi lore and rat people! The whole thing is only about 2 hours so it's basically like a bonus Star Wars movie.

Ok back to the actual movies, blegh. Revenge of the Sith is definitely the most watchable of the prequels. Padme is pregnant, Anakin is having scary dreams about her death, the Republic is crumbling under the weight of the Clone Wars. Anakin gradually goes over to the dark side because he believes Sith power will allow him to save Padme from dying. Also because Darth Sidius is mad manipulative, it's kind of hilarious how stupid Anakin is whenever they talk because it's SO. OBVIOUS. Alsooo Obi Wan does stuff, I don't really remember. Leading clones into more battles or whatever. Chillin' with the Jedi council.

Hayden Christiansen still sucks and Natalie Portman has even less to do than usual, but Obi Wan's hair gets better so it's not a total loss. Also Yoda gets to be totally badass, which is everyone's favorite thing even if I miss the puppet version (the CGI just doesn't really sell it). Various characters and plot points finally come together in this one, including several things that will lead us into A New Hope. There are still a lot of inconsistencies and half-assed explanations, but for the most part things add up, if you sort of stretch it a little in your head.

The whole things gets better as it goes on, climaxing in very dramatic final battles and an unintentionally ridiculous moment when Darth Vader is unveiled. Watching them in this order I'm definitely able to see more parallels and in-jokes among the films, but mostly I'm looking forward to get getting back to all my old friends from the original trilogy when we watch Return of the Jedi this week!

3/5

2 comments:

  1. The thing that irritates me about the whole "Drop Phantom because it sucks" thing is that it, as cheesy and ridiculous as it is, is WAY better than Attack of the Clones, which is such an abysmal goat-fuck of a film I want to stick magnets all over whatever hard drive holds the master copy.

    And seriously, what the fuck, George? You deliberately dumb this story down for kids (Jar-Jar, spastic action, whatnot) and then saddle on an ongoing plot about tax representation and political intrigue? It's like The Wire, if The Wire had awkwardly tried to insert teen lingo and occasionally mentioned viral YouTube videos. And if The Wire was utterly clueless about politics.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think too many people working for Lucas were too much in awe of him. They didn't have the guts are the common sense to say "George! This sucks."

    I really didn't mind the movies that much but you can't stand them against the first three at all. I could have written much better. I'm sure most fans could have.

    This a pretty funny critique of Phantom http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxKtZmQgxrI

    ReplyDelete