Star Wars : The Clone Wars (2008)
If you loved Episode 2 : Attack of the Clones, then you'll love this thing.
Episodes 1-3 have made the Star Wars universe rather irrelevant. I blame George Lucas, since it was he that made it this way with the "quality" of the prequels. This was an opportunity to follow up the decent Star Wars : Clone Wars animated series and bring back some of that relevance. George Lucas had different plans. George thought it would be best to take his "opus" film series and literally defecated on it for the sake of making more money than he can spend in his or his children's lifetimes.
There were warning signs to the quality of this before the movie even started. I saw this at the AMC 84th St theater last night at a free preview. Lets just say the "over-sold" event was anything but (more than a dozen empty seats remained). The rest of the seats seemed to be filled with house-less people (as George would call them). I felt as if I was a stadium extra on the set of Major League 5. There was a row reserved for the press, but strangely it remained empty. Phones were confiscated and placed in zip lock bags with raffle tickets. Bags were searched and people were scanned with metal detectors. Funny, I still managed to get in with a camera. I didn't use it and also didn't have any notions of doing so. I am trying hard to forget the 90 minutes of my life that were wasted. Sadly the neuralizer has not been mass produced yet.
The movie starts with a Starship Trooper introductory narrative, disembodied reporter missing. The story takes place somewhere between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The war between the Separatists and the Republic continues. Jabba the Hutt's tadpole-like son is kidnapped and the Republic's traveling rights through the Outer Rim (controlled by the Hutts) is in jeopardy. Skyywalker is sent in to the rescue, a new unwanted (and quite annoying) padawan (Ahsoka Tano) in tow. Hilarity and adventure ensues..... I wish.
The story is trite and predictable. The voice acting is generally atrocious, Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano) being the worst of the bunch. Matt Lanter (Skyywalker) doesn't fare much better. Christopher Lee and Samuel L. Jackson both reprise their roles, but much like Yoda and Obi-Wan, their presence is mostly filler and in for the backseat role. This is mostly the Anakin and Ahsoka show and boy it sure sucks. The jokes are juvenile at best as well as the character motivations and plot. Lucas spares no movie from his creative racism, this time, by including an English speaking Zero the Hutt, who sounds a lot like Truman Capote. The animation, the savior of most bad CG movies, was rather distracting and flat at times (i.e. R2D2 running over the patterned floor in the monastery).And why are the clone warriors called Cody, Rex and Odd-Ball? Sounds a bit like the cast of High School Musical. Even the battle sequences, I felt as if I were watching a capture the flag session of Star Wars : Battlefront, complete with first person perspective. But I wasn't playing.... for an hour and a half.
This is very obviously meant for an audience of pre-teens and should never had been released on the big screen. It is, at best, a straight to DVD release. I feel it should have been more appropriate as a 3 part event on Cartoon Network or as a downloadable in the iTunes store and no more. George is no longer a film maker (to me at least). He is a hack and anything he touches turns to dust. He has reverse Midas syndrome. He should only be allowed to touch Disney movies or remakes of Disney movies.
Star Wars is officially dead and irrelevant to me now. I will still hold on to episode 4-6 and some of the comic books, but anything new will be ignored, as it will likely have George's mark on it. This new Star Wars is marketed towards a certain group of people, such as the young man who sat in front of me during the movie. He was explaining to his friend how Revenge of the Sith ended on a high note.