Let me preface this review by saying I am a hard core Star Wars fan boy. I read the books, bought the toys and even own multiple copies of the Original Trilogy. With that being said I have to say that The Clone Wars was disappointing.
I wanted to like this movie, I really, really did! I mean I can still remember the thrill of seeing the opening scenes of A New Hope when I was a tyke and the love I had for these movies. Then came a dark day, the release of the prequels. Lucas made it blatantly obvious this wasn’t “our” Star Wars anymore, it was his. He was gonna do what he wanted, how he wanted it and if we didn’t like it that was too damn bad because it was his ball and he would take it home if we didn’t play by his rules. This movie carries on that tradition.
Now if you’ve read my movie reviews you know I’m not a big spoiler guy and I’m gonna maintain that with this review as well. As a warning though, there will be one semi-spoiler moment later one but I’ll give you fair warning before we get there ok?
So now that all the formalities are outta the way let’s get to the review itself. The plot of The Clone Wars is…well “someone” kidnaps Jabba the Hutt’s son and he wants the Jedi to rescue him or he’ll no longer allow them to use his hyperspace lanes. Yes folks, that’s it, that’ what this movie revolves around a kidnapped slug. It also focuses on Anakin’s padawan learner, why someone who’s not a Jedi Knight yet gets a padawan is never really explained, we’re just supposed to accept it because damn it, George Lucas said so! Don’t make him take his ball away!
What really struck me about this movie is Lucas is all about the digital effects and using new technology…blah, blah, blah. If you’ve read/seen an interview with Lucas recently you know what I’m talking about., he’s all about the newest toy. In this movie he uses digital animation for the characters but still trys for the hand drawn/painted look for the backgrounds and for the details on the characters. To me it was kind of distracting to have these 3D like characters against a dull painted background. I know it’s kind of nit-picky but if you see the movie you’ll see what I mean. I will say though that the hand painted effect did work really well for the clone trooper armor and for objects that are supposed to appear as painted. As for the characters themselves, they just don’t look right. I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials and see how almost wooden they look, that look stays with them thru the entire movie. They’re very angular and again, to me it distracts from the story, Count Dooku’s nose in particular was very unique. I mentioned Anakin’s padawan Asokah (I think that’s how it’s spelled, I’m not gonna go look it up) earlier and that’s the other focus of the movie is the relationship between her and Anakin. If her intention in the movie is to annoy the crap outta you she succeeds wonderfully, if your supposed to care about her as a character then she’s severely lacking. The other thing that struck me about this movie is, for being marketed to kids it’s pretty violent in parts. Granted there’s no blood but you do see clone troopers getting shot down in the battlefield. I wouldn’t take younger kids to see this one but that’s just me.
Ok mild spoiler alert, I’m gonna talk about one of the characters in the movie, if you’d rather not hear about the mystery guest stop reading now. Still there? I warned you! The biggest issue I had with this movie was Jabba’s uncle Ziro. Ziro is the slap in the face that let’s you know that Lucas is gonna do what he likes and what he thinks is funny whether you like it or not. Ziro is a cross dressing and apparently gay Hutt. If he’s not then they did a pretty poor job of portraying him otherwise. He’s got face/body paint on and feathers on his head. He’s also got a very effeminate lisp and way of carrying himself, it’s really a farce of a character. It’s like I said this is no longer our SW, it’s Lucas’s.
Ok spoiler’s over, you can come back now! The best thing I can say about The Clone Wars? It’s better than Episode I. Thank God there’s no Jar Jar but at times Asokah is almost as annoying as he is. The other good thing about it? Christopher Lee, Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Daniels all came back to do the voices for their characters. So go see Clone Wars if your a hard core fan but don’t expect much. If your a casual fan, wait for it to air on Cartoon Network or TNT or wherever it is they’re gonna air it.
Over all grade: C+