Hey Folks, Harry here with something that is going to cause a rain of hell. A review of STAR WARS EPISODE 2.... very spoiler filled. Now I wouldn't run this if I didn't think this guy was kosher. Corban is the fella that sent in some info earlier in the month. That news checked out, not only that, but in response to that news and the bit about the opening scene and the GANGS OF NEW YORK end shot, the President of ILM issued a memo to all employees of ILM asking that they keep their mouths quiet... I heard that from a few ILMers, which seems to indicate that Corban and the other spy touched a nerve. Now sure, the other spy's info could have been valid and Corban's was brushed off... BUT his other info checked out. So until other sources invalidate the following info, I'm accepting the review. NOW... having said that, we already know that Lucas knows that the film has alot of work left to do, thus the reason he's calling for quite a bit of shooting here very soon. SO literally it is possible that any complaints that Corban has below, could be completely invalid by the time the film comes out.
Obviously the score, sound and effects are all temp... and on a movie like this one, that's quite a bit. Now if this review turns out to be 100% dead on, there are a stunning amount of spoilers and I've eliminated only one from the story as I didn't want to know it myself and I'll be damned if I let it out, flame all you want, but I won't mind... It's the sort of spoiler that people could put in a simple sentence and ruin a major twist... NO WAY I'M DOING THAT! Oh and to read this report, you're gonna have to highlight the whole damn thing, and it is long!
Okay, right off the bat –
Is this movie better than The Empire Strikes Back?
Is it better than A New Hope?
Nah, but it is better than The Phantom Menace!
(This depends on which type of Star Wars fan you are though. I like ESP the most, than ROTJ, A NEW HOPE and lastly TPM)
Am I crazy for saying that a film brought to us by a man who many think had lost his touch with filmmaking (and as some say, reality) after making the greatest Sci-fi Trilogy has actually produced a fun filled, action packed new chapter in the Skywalker saga? Well, some of you will think I am but hear me out. This is the Star Wars you’ve been waiting for. This is what TPM should have been. Now, that’s not saying this movie is perfect. It still has a problem that Episode One had (I’ll get to that later) and I have some problems with a couple of the characters, but this by far a really nice chapter in the Star Wars Saga. It feels like one of those really old science fiction movies with funny monsters and fun action but with a really, really big budget.
Before I get into the full, spoiler filled review, I’m going to go over the characters in the movie and talk about what I liked about them and how they have changed since TPM.
First up is….
OBI-WAN KENOBI - So, what’s up with this Jedi Knight? Well, he has an apprentice now so his character is a little less brash and now takes most of his time having to teach his Padawan lessons. He’s got a much bigger part now than in TPM and that’s where I have a little bit of a problem. I like the fact that he’s on screen half the time. In fact, I wish he had more screen time but I just wish it wasn’t spent having to do so much investigating. I wish it were with Anakin. I wanted to know what it was like when an apprentice and his master let loose or trained. But, I guess that’s for us to imagine. We do get to meet a couple of his friends and get a little bit into his past. His character, in the end, has changed very much from TPM but he doesn’t really evolve in this film. I guess that’s fine. This story spans only a few days and there’s no reason for his character to change too much.
ANAKIN SKYWALKER – Hayden will be a star after this movie. Or should I say I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he did become one. This kid can act, and that’s what Lucas really needed. This story (and EPISODE III) is carried on his shoulders. If Lucas hadn’t gotten someone who could handle this role, this film would have fallen apart. It really would have. This story is all about Anakin so they really needed someone who had a lot of range. His character is the only one in this film that does change from beginning to end and that’s fine. He has a great attitude in the start of the film (wait till you hear some of the bickering that goes on between Obi-Wan and him. You’ll laugh and you’ll know that Lucas most certainly did not write that dialogue), but he does change after seeing certain things and starts acting a little more wisely. I love this character and I know many fans are going to love him. He’s also in an amazing battle at the end where he does some major ass kicking and your going to be blown away. It’s some awesome stuff and I’m glad Lucas has chosen Hayden. He seems perfect for this part.
PADME – There isn’t a lot to say here. Her character hasn’t changed. She’s now a senator but that really doesn’t make much of a difference. The acting is the same from Natalie. She has a few tender scenes but they seem so manufactured. She can’t even LOOK like she’s crying. We should have added tears. That might have helped. I’m not trying to say Portman is a bad actress but she hasn’t really impressed me in these Star Wars flicks. There are nice scenes with her and Anakin but the dialogue is pretty bad in these scenes. It works better though than most people have thought. Not bad, especially since there’s more filming going on. We do get to see Padme kick some ass too, but fans won’t be paying attention to her fighting skills as much as staring at her half exposed body. Her clothes get torn up everywhere.
JANGO FETT – I wish we could have learned more about Boba’s daddy but you can’t get everything. Not much of a big deal though because we get to see this guy in action and it’s just awesome. Not only does he take on a Jedi but he’s the face of all of those clonetroopers. This guy only has a few lines but by the time he steps into the Slave 1, you won’t care. You’ll probably cheer for him more than you will for Obi-Wan.
BOBA FETT – A little boy clone. I know Lucas has said a million times that when you watch all of the movies in order, it’s all going to be great. Well, now that we know who Boba is and everything, his death in ROTJ is pretty pathetic. We also learn why he hates the Jedi so much.
PALPATINE – He is great in this flick and we finally get to see Palpatine himself doing some dirty work. And unlike TPM, the politics in this movie are fun to hear about. Plus, this guy is up to more than we know in the meddling of Skywalker’s life.
Okay, the rest of the characters are the same. Threepio has his coverings and all. Plus he gets to fire a weapon. R2 is the same as always. Yoda and Mace have more cryptic lines in this movie and of course there is one other character in this movie that I love and I am so mad we don’t get more of him . . .
COUNT DOOKU - A ton of fun to watch. I mean Lee has gone beyond what I expected. This guy is evil and scary. No wonder Anakin fears him. I would be more scared of fighting this guy than going against Maul. He taunts Anakin and Obi-Wan and he has his own tricks up his sleeve. This guy is crazy and the fans are going to love him. He also has a connection that makes sense with one of the characters. Lucas has done a good job here.
I can tell Lucas couldn’t wait to do this movie. It is a lot of fun. He needed to make TPM to introduce us to these new characters. Now he gets to go all out and enjoy himself. He now uses these characters to elevate the story to what we know is coming soon – Anakin’s downfall.
The plot (with some details of course):
Someone is out to start a war and the Jedi know this. Padme has almost been killed twice but narrowly escaped thanks to chance the first time and the Jedi the second. Palpatine has ordered Obi-Wan to investigate what’s going on and Anakin has to take Padme home safely. After the second attempt on Padme, Obi-Wan has found a clue to help him. A dart that is made only on one planet. His friend Dexter (you’ll love this guy) helps him out with this info. During all of this, Anakin tells Padme of his dreams that he has been having about about his mother. He wants to go home.
When Obi-Wan reaches Kamino, he discovers that someone has given the okay to create clones for an army. The senate had voted earlier and decided against it. So of course he knows something is amiss. He finds out from these weird looking aliens (think long necks and small heads) that a Jedi Master had told them that he was coming and that they had been expecting him for a while. Obi-Wan plays along to find out what’s going on.
We eventually find out that clones are being made from the blood of a man named Jango Fett. He was given a clone son as a gift. That sons name is Boba Fett.
After brief introductions, he discovers that Jango was the one who killed a bounty hunter that tried to assassinate Padme. After a scuffle with Jango (Obi-Wan loses), Kenobi tracks his ship to a rock-infested planet. Where’s Anakin you say?
Anakin and Padme had left to Naboo. He was to watch her. Well, Anakin meets her family and talks to Padme about his mother and the dreams he’s been having. They decide to take a risk. They’re going to go to Tatooine. Once there, we find the Lars family and Anakin discovers that his mother is now married. She has gone missing though. Anakin decides to look for her and leaves Padme at the Lars homestead with a finished Threepio.
After searching for a long time, he senses something. He does find his mother but she is dying. He is holding her dead body in a Tusken Raider hut and is, of course, very pissed. We get to see a bit of the dark side in him. We don’t really see what he does but we get the idea that he’s about to kill some little Tusken kiddies and their mother. Dark stuff here! The only thing is, he senses that she might have been killed another way. More on that later.
When he returns, he tells no one about what happened and a distress call is sent out by Obi-Wan. He needs there help on the planet Geonosis (This is the planet where the battle droids are being built and is also the location of Jango’s ship. Of course they go. And of course, a big battle ensues.
Now, I need to stop. I want to talk about what aspects of the movie are awesome and what needs work (or just stinks). Here, I will go into detail about certain scenes that I haven’t talked about yet.
WHAT I LIKED :
The Opening. It was fast paced and edited very well. The first scene starts off with a bang as Padme’s ship is blown apart and we find out she was not on the ship. It moves quickly and we find out she suspects that it was the doing of Count Dooku. Of course, Palpatine thinks she is wrong and we move on. It continues with Anakin and Obi-Wan being sent to protect her. Well, this is where it begins. You get to see some really nice acting from Hayden and it really pulls you in. He’s cocky and mentions to his master more than once that he is more powerful than him. Well, after about 15 minutes into the film, we get to see what will probably be remembered as one of the coolest scenes in any Star Wars films. Anakin and Obi-Wan chase a bounty hunter named Zam. She tried to kill Padme but of course failed and now has two Jedi chasing her. This is such a wonderful scene. It’s pure fun! We get to hear banter between Anakin and Obi-Wan.
"Maybe I should be teaching you a few things."
We get to see many parts of the planet Coruscant. We get a cool club scene. What more could you want?? They confront Zam outside a club and before they can get info out of her, she is killed by a Kyber (?) dart. This leads us into Obi-Wan‘s main role for the film. . confront Zam outside a club and before they can get info out of her, she is killed by a Kyber (?) dart. This leads us into Obi-Wans main role for the film. Anyway this scene set ups the type of relationship Anakin and Obi-Wan have and also starts one of the sub-plots of the film.
Anakin’s role in the film. I don’t think I can say enough about this guy. He’s really that good! Lucas did a nice job here. Well thought out characterization. Can’t wait to see what he does with him in Episode 3.
The End Battle. Yoda is the best at what he does. This is the biggest scene in any Star Wars movie PERIOD. Have you ever seen 20+ Jedi kicking ass at the same time? No, and you won’t believe it. They don’t even have the same styles. Mace is slow but has deadly attacks. Yoda’s damn fast. One Jedi even holds two lightsabers! This scene starts out with the Jedi flying in with a few, uh, new friends to save Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Padme. They are inside an arena with many types of creatures and droids. This event is all thanks to Count Dooku on the planet Geonosis. Here we see a great battle between Anakin, Obi-Wan and Dooku. It’s sort of like the end battle of TPM except for the fact that the apprentice is the one kicking ass. Even after Obi-Wan gets knocked out, Anakin uses both his and Obi-Wan’s lightsaber! Of course, they both need the master to take out this guy. Yoda comes in to save the day. Now, I know some people are going to think this sounds really funny, but Yoda jumps on his back after wearing Dooku out. It looks fine. You’ll see. Dooku slams his back to the wall injuring poor Yoda and brings down some metal from the wall as a distraction so he can escape. This entire sequence (Jedi battle, monster attacks, Dooku confrontation) lasts quite a while. It is indeed the best part of the movie.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE :
Anakin and Padmes relationship. Ok, you know what? Their scenes together are not that bad, and as it is, he really doesn’t need to add more to fix it. The main problem with it is it’s just not very engaging. And you know what? Who cares! We know they love each other. We know they get married, have kids. What more do we need? Lucas felt that we needed at least a few scenes where they were alone and expressing themselves and then we could move on to the real story. Anakin’s fall. Maybe in Episode 3, they will have some nicer scenes but you win them all. I guess Lucas knew that and didn’t really try.
Not enough background info. You know what, I’m not really going to get into this. I think this has been a huge problem most fans have been having anyway. Come on Lucas, can’t you give us a little bit more on these characters and their motivations?
No Space Battles!! This is just me complaining so don’t worry. The space battles have always been one of my favorite things about these movies and this one has none. No big deal. Just my opinion. At least we see some asteroids . . .
So, there you have it….
Not really a bad movie in my opinion. It’s fun and it has its moments. That’s where my main problem is. Like TPM, it has some cool moments. I wish the entire movie was great but there are tiny little problems that should have been dealt with. I want the whole movie to be amazing, not a cool set piece every once in a while. But what can I say, I liked it more than TPM and I could see many enjoying it more than ROTJ. Good job Lucas, you are getting closer and closer to making the best Star Wars film yet. If Episode 3 is thought out just a little bit more than this film was, we’re in for a nice treat!