|Albeit in animated form.
One of the oddest
things about STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS
is the start; there's no
"opening crawl" (Yeah, move on grandad - this is the Noughties!)
and theme tune has been tweaked. How dare they
you ask? Well if you do
ask that then you're probably stuck in a time in your life that existed for only couple of years and seemed a lot better than it actually
was. A common complaint amongst the thirty~plus
generation. Yes, the classic start to the Star Wars
movie has been modified. Wow
, move on.
Instead of the visible crawl in type we get it spoken and it was slightly reminiscent of the beginning to STARSHIP TROOPERS
in that sense (and, in a sidenote, another movie that plays with the the "greyer" side politics we now face in the post~9/11 world where the "good" are fascists and the "bad" fight for freedom)
and quite amusing too due to the narrator's voice which, sadly, didn't appear more often. I'll continue on the point of voices as there are a number of issues here. The chap doing OBI WAN
managed to capture MCGREGOR'S
and if the Scotsman's name had appeared in the credits I would not
have been surprised.
Likewise, we got an excellent PORTMAN
impersonation along with a top~hole YODA (hard, though, that is not)
. Ha ha,
that's a good name for a band - "Top~Hole Yoda"
. But ANAKIN
and, the new character, AHSOKA
don't come off as well. The former's voice is unlike HAYDEN "Jumper 2 Anyone?" CHRISTENSEN
and is quite unexpressive (cue predictable bad~acting gag - yawn)
. The latter, though very bright, isn't quite as engaging as it should be which is a pity 'cos her character was
engaging if hackneyed - the young upstart with a point to prove. These two get the lion's share of the dialogue and their antics do wear thin pretty quickly.
Anakin doesn't like her and doesn't want her as his Padawan (hence her point to prove) and so we get various barbed exchanges that, as I said, do get tedious. These guys are meant to be Jedi - all nice 'n' lovin' an' all that! A bit more tolerance purlease. Their scenes do highlight the flaws in the script - a script that throws up the odd laugh (thanks to the Battle Droids, who seem to have become comedians) but has a disjointed feel due mainly to the constant insertion of "dramatic" battle scenes. Which there are a lot of.
So it takes a bit of time to get into any sort of a flow but when it does, during the siege of the B'omarr Monk
temple, it begins to find its feet. That scene, in particular,
was well executed and, unlike the other battles, was pretty straight forward, ie.
I knew what was going on. That's when we were introduced to VENTRESS
who, you may remember (or not)
appeared in THE CLONE WARS (the 2D version)
. The 'bad' guys come off well with CHRISTOPHER "Police Academy 8 - anyone?" LEE
sounding (and looking)
good with the aforementioned female Sith
getting in on the act with some applomb.
The final part of the film (and I'm guessing episode three in the originally planned television series)
concentrated, in a very SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE
style way, the criminal underbelly of Coruscant
. It was at that point when I thought, "Why don't they make that instead?"
For those who don't
was a terrific tale, taking place between Empire
, told over a variety of media platforms. I hope at some point Lucas & Co. do
get round to filming that one as the story was solid and, dare I say, interesting
. Which brings me to a crucial
point/flaw about The Clone Wars
The story isn't that good
. It's not a bad
story, just not one that should have been committed to the big screen. If this had been the start of the television show and I had sat down to watch it I would have been enthusing on it much more. It makes a very satisfying TV romp. But as a film, and that's what Georgy Boy
is delivering it as, it falls short in that category. The Clone Wars
does not have the feel of a movie, no grand tale to tell. Sure, it looks fantastic in many parts with some truly beautiful design work but in a medium dominated by PIXAR
it looks rather small
Which is a great shame because a world as big as Star Wars should, in theory, beat the pants off films about lovesick robots or martial arts loving mammals. And, of course, it doesn't; the animation is not up to their standards. Although, I did lurve the maquette style of the characters but they didn't translate as well when dialogue took place. Pity they all weren't Clone Troopers! The score, to my surprise, was excellent and barely relies on previously established themes. Some fine work, notably during the aforementioned siege on the temple - eerie choral work with some almost contemporary "rock" sounds and even "world" rhythm "beats".
The spaceships and landscapes were all beautifully done too (they should, they've had enough practise in the last 10 years doing them) and I look forward greatly to see what new worlds (as well as old favourites) we are treated to in the "Fall" (That's for all my US readers). I will add that the design (and execution) of Jabba's son and some weird Scottish~accented alien were poor but they were the only low points in that department. Hopefully we'll get some more of the worlds of the universe (and less Obi Wan and Anakin) in the upcoming series but this is really where The Clone Wars should have debuted - on the small screen.
'Til the next time,
PS. My use of the phrase "post 9/11" was ironic in a Richard Madeley way
Labels: Clone Wars, Clone Wars Film, Clone Wars Review, Star Wars, Star Wars CG Cartoon, Star Wars Episode 2 and a bit, Star Wars Review, Star Wars The Clone Wars