Friday, September 22, 2006

Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Tomorrow night, the next installment in the "Star Wars" saga, "Episode II: Attack of the Clones," airs on Sky satellite TV. Originally released in the summer of 2002, this may have been the last film I ever went to see with my evil ex-wife, the Black Queen, and her spawn. George Lucas directs again and again I found it somewhat unsatisfying. As bad as I thought the casting of Jake Lloyd, as the young Anakin Skywalker, was in "The Phantom Menace," Lucas seems to be trying to outdo that flub with Hayden Christensen as the grown up Anakin. His acting just seems awful.
In contrast, Ewan McGregor seems to be growing nicely into his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi. While the original "Star Wars" films took unknowns and turned them into gems, the second trilogy doesn't achieve that. McGregor was already a big star before being cast in this role. More and more big Hollywood names seem to want to get into the act, with Jimmy Smits joining the cast and Christopher Lee, as the absurdly named, Count Dooku. We also are treated to the origins of Bobba Fett and meet his father, Jango Fett, but Jango is dispatched even more quickly than Bobba Fett was, in the original trilogy. Another interesting character wasted.
Still, the special effects are top notch. Finally, some battle droids who at least look menacing. The final big battle scene is spectacular. If anything, I fault it, slightly, as being too visually busy. There is simply too much happening on screen, at times, for the human eye to take in at once. For the first time, we get to see Yoda fight in a light saber battle as a Jedi. Many viewers loved that scene, although I thought it looked a bit silly. I much prefer the battle with Darth Maul in "Episode I." Although this film has more action than "Episode I," I think "Episode I" had a better storyline. Still, a mediocre "Star Wars" film is still much better than the majority of films in existence, so I shall be watching again, tomorrow night.


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