Top critical review
17 people found this helpful
on 15 August 2008
Ok, let me start by saying I'm a huge Star Wars fan. Not only do I love the originals but I also love (rather controversially) the prequels. However even I was slightly cynical about the release of a new Clone Wars movie so I went to see it with low expectations and, in honesty, it was alright.
First things first, this is not a movie worth going to see for the story. Whilst the other Star Wars movie have a dramatic and emotional story arc running through them, this makes no effort to put forward anything of quality. Basically the separatists, lead by count Dooku, capture Jabba the Hutt's son and the Jedi Knights are given the task of returning him. There is a tiny bit more too it than that but I don't want to ruin it, I will say however don't hold your breath, it does feel like a story a child could write. Needless to say I was slightly dissapointed with the story, not least it's lack of depth, but also the way it just feels so out of character for the scheming Palpatine to attempt to do something so clumsy. And that's another problem, if you don't know who Dooku, Palpatine or the separitists are, this movie isn't for you. Although clearly aimed at kids, you need to have seen at least Episode 2 for this to make any sense at all, but for full satisfaction you really need to have seen all six movies.
The selling point for this movie seems to be the action set pieces, and it assumes that is what's going to keep the kids entertained. Well first off I would like to say I really enjoyed the animation style, sure it's not pixar quality but, once you've got used to it, it's pretty impressive. The action sequences are a lot of fun and do capture the Star Wars spirit, however you can have too much of a good thing, and unfortunatly an hour in and the action just becomes repetitive and slightly tedious. Consider this is coming from a Star Wars fan and action lover, I think the repetitive action might do some peoples heads in.
So it sounds like I really didn't like it, so why three stars? Well there are two reasons. First off, I actually really enjoyed the characters and the way they interacted. Anakin comes across far more heroic, funnier and less whiney than he does in the films and it actually really suits him. But the real nugget in this film, I think, is Anakin's new apprentice Ahsoka Tano. She is a young female jedi and genuinely feels like something new in a saga that is getting (even for my liking) rather tired. Shes actually a character I cared what happened too, and equally her relationship with Anakin is really nice. She brings out the fun and good in Anakin, aswell as showing him to be quite a good master. And this leads me onto the second reason why I gave the film three stars, it's a promising start for the new TV series. We all know that Ahsoka doesn't make it too episode 3, so this looks to be the start of a potentially heartbreaking story that may give further credence to Anakins turn to the darkside. Equally Asajj Ventress, a female villain, makes it through so she will provide further use as a story device. There's also the potential to strenghten the relationship between Obi Wan and Anakin to make episode 3 even more heartbreaking. Infact the film sets up lots of useable ideas for the future TV series, it really seems to be shaping up to something more than just clones and droids duking it out every week.
Overall The Clone Wars is an ok film, but a brilliant setup for the new TV series. As a film it is quite forgettable and is really akin to watching the first few episodes in a series, but never reaching the series finale. However it may be worth a visit to the cinema if you're a Star Wars fan, or if you're interested in watching some well animated mindless action. Otherwise you may do well to spend time catching up on the Star Wars storyline and waiting for this to be released on DVD.