Star Wars: Episode II-Attack of the Clones

Bomb Rating: 

When was the last time anyone said "no" to George Lucas?

I can dream:

EXT. SPACE

A small, unobtrusive ship speeds across the screen, followed by another, more menacing ship, which fires on the first ship, missing.

INT. JAR JAR BINKS SHIP

Jar Jar Binks pilots the controls of the first ship.

JAR JAR
Meesa gotta important message for Senator Amidala.

INT. JANGO FETT SHIP

Jango Fett pilots the second ship. He positions Jar Jar's ship in his targeting sights and fires.

INT. JAR JAR BINKS SHIP

The blast hits Jar Jar's ship. A fire starts.

JAR JAR
Meesa melting!

In a fit of special effects wizardry, Jar Jar begins to melt, revealing his skeleton and his organs, which explode as they heat up.

EXT. SPACE

Jar Jar's ship explodes. Jango Fett's ship flies off.

(Writer's note: no further mention of Jar Jar or what happened to him will be mentioned at any time in the script. Characters will happily continue on as if Jar Jar never existed.)

I read in the Time magazine advertorial for this movie that it came as a complete surprise to George Lucas that theatergoers found Jar Jar Binks to be the most annoying thing since fiberglass enemas. Exactly how often does Lucas venture beyond the borders of Skywalker Ranch? And when was the last time anyone said "no" to George Lucas? 1976? A good creative process necessarily involves some creative tension, a give-and-take between creative forces -- writers, editors, designers, directors, what have you -- to weed out the good ideas from the bad. But backed by a self-perpetuating firestorm of biannual guaranteed grosses, Lucas has been able to build himself a creative empire free from such rebellious annoyances as "input" or "audience reaction." Although to his credit, it did take him a mere 25 years to get around to installing females among the ranks of the Jedi.

Like "The Phantom Menace," "Attack of the Clones" reeks of a Lucas script that George kept under wraps because he didn't want any of it exposed to criticism. Lucas reminds me of the conceited elementary school kid who doesn't want anybody to read his poetry. When the mysterious words are finally dragged into the light, breathless anticipation turns into peals of laughter, then uncontrollable vomiting. Unfortunately, nobody wants to tell George that his skills as a screenwriter rival Anna Nicole Smith's.

Fortunately, the satisfaction of seeing a "Star Wars" movie (even a bad one) in advance tends to mitigate the pain. You stroll by pathetic losers who've been camped out since Christmas, wave your secret pass, and laugh a villainous laugh. They look worried, but don't quite know why until you emerge from the theater and saunter their way, casually relaying such tidbits as "Yoda dies" or "Amidala's a man."

The Harlequin-rejected love story is enough to make any hard-core romance fan start skewering kittens with knitting needles. Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) spends much of the movie rubbing himself and lustfully glowering at Senator Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), then throwing tantrums when she views this approach as less than romantic. Eventually, however, she wears down, apparently finding pheromonal bliss in his incessant bitching and whining.

Natalie Portman plays her half of this love connection like a lithium patient who's wandered onto the set of "Elimidate." Such mastery of the art of staring straight ahead hasn't been seen since Cindy Crawford in "Fair Game." Hayden Christensen isn't much better. The only reason you know these characters aren't computer-generated is that they don't have the expressiveness or range Lucas affords his digital creations.

By now, everybody in the world knows that Yoda kicks ass in this film and that he's more of a badass than the rest of the sorry Jedi, including Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson), put together. You just know the little green guy is hung like a bull, which sheds some light on what inspired the design for the first light saber.

Let's face it: Everyone with a brain knows what's going to happen in the next episode. Senator Amidala is going to have twins and then she's going to be killed. She can't be killed by any of the Sith because then Anakin wouldn't really be compelled to join them. She's going to be killed in some freak accident and then Anakin is going to brood for a really long time until he feels like becoming Darth Vader. Since Episode III will be the last chance to avoid classifying the entire trilogy as a colossal waste of time, it's time for somebody with more talent than Lucas to take the helm. Lucas can continue working on the special effects. Considering this, Mr. Cranky has taken it upon himself to solicit the input of today's top directors. Here's how they replied to the question of how they'd wrap up the series:

Christopher Nolan: "The third film would start right after Anakin has become Darth Vader. However, he will have no memory of how he became Vader. He'll have some neat 3-D images of Obi-Wan and Amidala, but won't remember who they are. Gradually, as he begins conducting the war to wipe out the Republic, his memory will slowly come back to him. In this way will we learn how he became Vader, but by the time he remembers everything, he will already be a prisoner of the Dark Side."

Francis Ford Coppola: "The third film will not focus on Anakin at all, but on the family history of the Sith lords. We follow their entire history as they've emigrated across the galaxy from one planet to another. At the very end, Darth Sidious simply makes Anakin an offer he can't refuse."

Bryan Singer: "Who is Darth Sidious? Anakin will become incredibly absorbed in this question as the film goes along. After Amidala is murdered, clues point to Senator Palpatine's complicity. The Jedi assign Anakin to investigate. Since Palpatine is old and feeble and has developed a limp, Anakin never suspects him, but becomes enthralled with Palpatine's stories of the notorious Darth Sidious. Anakin's curiosity turns him to the Dark Side as Senator Palpatine limps off and we realize that he's Darth Sidious."

David Fincher: "The Sith lords will hatch an evil plan. When Anakin is out conducting one of his Jedi missions, they will kidnap Senator Amidala and decapitate her. Darth Sidious will then turn himself over to Obi-Wan and Anakin, but demand to be taken to the mysterious planet of Gonchar. When they arrive, the three Jedi will take a land speeder to a remote section of the planet where supposedly nobody has ever been. There will be a box sitting there. Anakin will ask over and over again: 'What's in the box?' Anakin will open the box, find Amidala's head, then kill Darth Sidious. His hatred will then turn him into Vader."

Ron Howard: "The Jedi will take Anakin to a doctor at the very beginning of the film after one of Anakin's many bouts of aggressive and disobedient behavior. The doctor will diagnose him with a strange Jedi form of schizophrenia. Though the Jedi will try to help him throughout the film, Anakin will gradually lose his battle with the disease. Thus, the film will end with Anakin believing that he is the evil, all-powerful ruler of the entire galaxy. If this doesn't win the Best Picture Oscar, then it damn well should."

Michael Bay: (Editor's note: No official request was made of Michael Bay, but his agent got a hold of us, and cut us a check so that we'd include him among this list of directors and suggest that he makes great films.) The Jedi will group together and walk in slow motion toward the Sith lords, who will walk in slow motion toward the Jedi. There will be a big fight followed by several huge explosions. It will all be accompanied by really loud music.

Kevin Smith: "At the beginning of the film, Obi-Wan is kidnapped by the Sith lords. Anakin, dejected because he thinks his mentor is dead, takes to hanging out in front of a local galactic Quick Stop, where he meets two other banished Jedi masters, Jay and Silent Bob. Jay convinces Anakin that he should threaten to join the dark side unless Amidala allows him to have intercourse with her in 'an uncomfortable place.' She doesn't and he becomes Darth Vader, ass pirate."

David Lynch: "After Amidala has the twins, Anakin will quit the Jedi and devote himself to domestic chores. While he is cleaning the kitchen, Anakin will have a dream about a midget who talks backwards and tells him that he should kill his wife and take over the galaxy and call himself Wally the Slug, King Cheese, or Darth Vader. After a scene featuring Anakin and Amidala running butt naked through a Gungun forest (including full frontal nudity), he kills her and chooses the name King Cheese, but is told by his master that "King Cheese" will get him laughed out of the Sith lords' Thursday poker night.

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Mr Cranky put more effort

gamerarocks's picture

into this review then Lucas did in any of 4 5 or 6, the prequels.  Probably more than he did combined as far as writing.  What a fucking waste of film, and who in the fuck thinks Boba Fett is fucking cool?  What a pathetic buffoon.  His one, ONE, accomplishment was tracking Han to the Cloud City.  Wow, what a guy.  He utterly SUCKED at everything else, and managed to make that walking pile of smeg on TV look positively skilled in comparison. 

One out of four people is freakishly stupid. If three of your friends are normal, then it's you.

 

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