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     " It will leave you pulling your hair out and wondering why you paid 10 bucks to have your intelligence insulted. "

      Title: Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones by Lucas Films

      Format: Sheer Sci-Fi boredom on the big screen.

      Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult

      The Hype: Way back when most of you were still a crib bound and new to the world, George Lucas made it big with a great little flick about a magical farm boy who destroys the most expensive machine ever built. It was fun, exciting, full of morals, and without question one of the all time great "popcorn" movies in history. From there followed 2 sequels that all joined together to form a fantastic trilogy that may well be the most recognized intellectual property of all time. Unfortunately, since then things have gone horribly, horribly wrong.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Story and Acting: When I was in junior high drama we spent a quarter writing, directing, and performing our own skits. They all had three essential things in common. They were way longer than they should have been, the scripts had almost no logical progression, and they were acted by…well, 7th graders. So, if you haven't guessed already, I am very chagrined to tell you that, evidently, George Lucas was in that same class and has made almost no progression in his productions from those days.
          The height of tedium, Episode 2 plays out like a strange combination of bad children's theater and a Spanish soap opera. It's long, dull, confusing, and oh so melodramatic.
          The movie takes place 10 years after Phantom Menace and we are quick to find that the 18-year-old future Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker, is every bit as boring, overblown, and inexplicably egotistical as an adult that he was as a child. With evidently nothing of merit happening between the movies, Anakin and the ever-lethargic Obi-Wan Kenobi are now called upon to save the former queen and now senator Amidala from an unknown assassin. Much wackiness ensues and ends up with the start of a full-scale war between the forces of evil and the Republic.
          Unfortunately, filling the vast and numerous spaces between any interesting plot developments are the hackneyed love story between Amidala and Anakin and the down right comical beginnings of Skywalker's decent towards the dark side. And though you may be tempted to say all that sounds interesting, the down right "B" grade acting by new comer Hayden Christensen as Anakin and the positively uninspired and completely lifeless script will leave you pulling your hair out and wondering why you paid 10 bucks to have your intelligence insulted. .5 out of 5

      Action: The good news is that there is a fair amount of action in Attack of the clones. I say "fair" because given that the flick is a day and a half long and is supposed to be a popcorn movie (or, if it's not supposed to be it should be), you spend an awful lot of time sitting on your arse listening to Anakin whine. The bad news is that "fair" isn't nearly enough and what you get is half assed at best. First, we start off with yet another cgi chase scene. Long, overly emphasized, and ultimately dull, it's Episode 2's version of Ep. 1's pod race all over again. Then, despite some minor events interspersed here and there (all, by the way, blatantly and obviously created for the future video game tie ins), we're really left until the very end before we get any real excitement. When it does finally come, in the last 25 minutes or so, it is the big screen equivalent of "Bright lights flashing seizure boy" and we are bombarded not with quality, but with sheer quantity of flying lasers and swinging lightsabers. Really, the only true saving grace for the action oriented is "Wushu Yoda" and that fight scene only lasts for the blink of an eye. Definitely a huge disappointment, especially if you got suckered in by the commercials that made it seem like it was going to make up for the actionless Phantom Menace. 3 out of 5

      Visuals and Directing: This review is running long and, since I can keep this section short, I will. As a matter of fact, I think I can sum it up in three sentences: 1) Lucas is still way, way, way too out of practice to be taking on a project like this himself. 2) Cgi does not look as good as real life and, without question, we are not "fooled" by the all cgi characters (Note to George: You're filthy stinking rich. Stop being a bloody cheapskate and spend some money on puppets). 3) It doesn't matter how much you inundate us with overly stimulating backgrounds and fast cuts, if you don't give the viewer a real tangible world to lock on to, your movie has no more contextual effect than a Britney Spears video. 2 out of 5

      Sound Track: John Williams is, and forever shall be, the man. What he can do with an orchestra is epic and worthy of all the praise in the world. However, there is way too much a push to keep the "classic" Star Wars score alive and there is only so many ways, and in so many contexts, to make the old Darth Vader theme viable- and this movie definitely pushes the bounds. 4 out of 5

      Value vs. Admission: The only part of this movie that's actually worth watching is the last half hour, so despite it's 2+ hour running time you're not actually getting what you pay for. And, though I've heard a lot of people say they want to see that last bit again, personally I didn't think it justified the admission price the first time. This movie is long, dull, and entirely forgettable. Save your money and rent the first 3 Star Wars movies again. 1 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       I've heard a lot of people say that Attack of the Clones kicks ass when compared to Phantom Menace and that may well be true. But saying that is much like saying that a Nickel is worth a fortune when compared to a Penny. Sure, it may be true, but it doesn't change the fact that you still ain't got shit.

      The Good: Wushu Yoda.

      The Bad: 2 hours of junior high level acting and a story not fit to squat on.

      The Overall Ugly: George Lucas is running his once historic property into the ground, and I really hope he's smart enough to see if someone else can salvage the final installment.

      What it's Worth: Group rental, when it's on the 99-cent rack, for the laugh.

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