Okay, you’re probably sick of reviews. Go see the movie and decide for yourself, or if you’re REALLY not sure, DivX that puppy (or wait for the DVD). I’m not really reviewing so much as saying what I thought of it. MINOR spoilers, nothing you couldn’t glean from the trailers.
* War. Good god, y’all. The first battle in the Clone War was damned impressive. LotR is gonna have to work to achieve that level of mayhem when they finally get around to doing a REAL war scene. Having some Jedi involved slicing and a-dicing was a sweet treat too — especially since they were dying left and right too, as they realistically would be.
* The romance subplot sucked, but seeing Annikin sliding down the long slope towards the dark side WHILE wining and dining his honey was nice. Particuarly whenever it creeped out Padme (and it did, often. Not often enough for her to clue into the fact that he’s gonna become the poster boy for Manic Psycho Depressive Motherforker Magazine, but…)
* Couruscant. It looked a lot like Epcot Center, all clean and colorful and futuristic, but it really felt great to zip through and even looked good at street level. If they ever do a Wipeout XL / 2092 movie, this is exactly the way it should look. I LOVE NEON LIGHTS.
* Yoda. Yes, he busts out with the m4dsk1llz, and it’s unintentionally funny for the first few seconds until you’re like ‘DAMN, Yoda’s awesome!’. Awwyeah.
* Mace “BMF” Windu. Not a lot of characterization there, but the whole Samuel L. Jackson vibe you get from him covers the gap.
* Ewan IS Obi-wan. Excellent work by him.
* The script. As in, THE WHOLE SCRIPT. Dialogue. Pacing. Etc. Sucks. Horrible. Wooden. Nasty. Forgettable. Pathetic. A steaming pile of shirt.
* The dialogue during the romance bits, which was so bad that it deserves its own bullet point. When Annikin, in a moment of frustrated passion asks “Are you in as much agony as I am?” some guys in the back of the theatre went “Yeah, dude!”. And I couldn’t stop laughing, because everything out of his mouth belongs to Lame Romance Movie Line Guy from truemeaningoflife.com. Actually, this made the romance stuff watchable; you could snerk and MST3K the absolutely horrendous dialogue.
* Pacing. Slow slow slow slow slow slow slow slow slow WHAT intense agh war eee boom done, WTF?
* “We just captured you after a meaninglessly frenetic and ultimately pointless fire factory sequence, so instead of shooting you in the head, we’ll play Dr. Evil and put you in a gladatorial arena to be eaten by three monsters with high toyability factor who don’t really seem to want to eat you and have to be poked with sticks to comply. Then once you easily escape we’ll sit back and watch you take the upper hand.” …unless this was some clever idea of Count Dooku to make their trap easily escapable on purpose (it’s never even implied) then this ranks pretty high up there on the list of James Bond Villian Boneheaded Moves, y’all.
FINAL VERDICT: Well, it was better than Menace, and possibly better than the cheesy Return of the Jedi (Ewoks? Nighttime tree chat?) and it was mindlessly entertaining. I won’t say it wasn’t time well spent; I had a lot of fun, even if it could’ve been more, and that works for me. Could be a bit tighter paced and a hell of a lot better written but it’s worth a matinee or a rental fee. A must-see movie eventually if you’re following Star Wars, but don’t break your back trying to get into a theatre if you have better things to do. Read UE instead.