Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones (Part 1)

Previously on Star Wars...

Writer-director George Lucas set the bar for CGI and green screen usage in blockbusters, while simultaneously lowering the bar for quality in blockbusters. We journeyed back to the days when Darth Vader was a young boy, and two hours of ENDLESS BULLSHIT followed. The important takeaway is Chancellor Palpatine is in the middle of executing a brilliant master plan to become the unopposed dictator of the galactic republic, and EVERYONE is too stupid to figure this out. He also apparently knows everything that is going to happen in explicit detail thanks to his Sith powers, so any of the actions of our heroes are completely futile. Whoo, that makes for an exciting film!

Star Wars has been dominating the news headlines lately, all thanks to the release of the highly anticipated release teaser trailer of the RABIDLY anticipated new film The Force Awakens. This minute and a half trailer shed a light on a great deal many things we can expect from the new movie, but I think the most important was the revelation a great deal of Star Wars fans are racist degenerate fuckwads. That... was probably something I didn't want to know, since I REALLY didn't need another reason to hate one of the former loves of my life.

The trailer opened with a shot of one of the stars of the movie, John Boyega, in a Stormtrooper outfit and BOY did this piss off the KKK card holding contingent of Star Wars fandom. To their credit some fans only complained about the fact all Stormtroopers should look like Jango Fett, which I will admit is a fair criticism since there's NEVER EVER been an established moment in the franchise where characters impersonated Stormtroopers by wearing their armour. EVER. Like, NO ONE has ever dressed up like a Stormtrooper that wasn't a Stormtrooper in Star Wars before.

But what if he actually WAS a Stormtrooper? It's been at least thirty years movie time since the end of Return of the Jedi and the Empire has fallen, a lot can change in that amount of time. I have no idea why Stormtroopers are still around, but since they obviously are is it too large a leap of faith to think maybe they now accept applications from people? The Empire obviously does employ non-clones as all the Imperial officers didn't look like Jango Fett, is it THAT impossible they'd maybe hire some people to be soldiers as well? If that Stormtrooper had been one of the film's white actors like Adam Driver or Domhnall Gleeson do you think these fucking racists would still be posting about the “purity” of the Stormtroopers?

But these “fans” that have never seen a A New Hope were just a small portion of people bitching about Boyega, the rest were HORRIFIED J.J. Abrams would DARE to make a black man a LEADING CHARACTER in Star Wars. A New Hope was all white dammit, and that's the way Star Wars should always be! Black people have no place in a galaxy far, far away! I've spent a lot of time reading Twitter and message boards about this because I've been in a fairly good mood lately and really needed to be depressed. My favourite were the learned internet hellspawns whining Abrams was shoving his “social justice warrior” agenda into Star Wars, because in addition to having a black man kick off the trailer, he also had a scene with a WOMAN in it. A WOMAN. OH MY FUCKING GOD!

Could you have imagined the shit storm that would have resulted if he featured Lupita Nyong'o in the trailer, who is both black AND a woman?!? The internet hate machine probably would have donned their KKK robes and burned Disneyland to the ground. Thank God for small miracles, I guess. Boyega, who is now officially my favourite actor in the entire world, handled this with nothing but grace and class as he posted this message to his Instagram account:

Thank you for all the love and support! The fan mail and fan art has added to my joy! Isn't it crazy that Star Wars is actually happening? I'm in the movie but as a star wars fan I am very excited! A year is a long time but it will be worth the wait. To whom it may concern... Get used to it. :)”

I'll be honest, I was excited by the trailer but really didn't care that much. The prequels and special editions truly killed my lifelong love of Star Wars dead, but the reaction to the trailer has single handedly revived it. I WILL support a Star Wars movie that has the SHEER AUDACITY to cast a black man and a woman in it. I WILL be there in line on opening night December 18, 2015, in the finest disguise I can muster to hide by zombieness unless movie theaters have lifted their racist anti-zombie policies by then. Spite, the only emotion stronger than love.

And speaking of the prequels, that brings us to today's review. Way back in May I reviewed Episode I: The Phantom Menace on its fifteenth anniversary, at the time saying I wouldn't be doing the sequels anytime soon because holy shit those movies are brutal to watch. Well, I think with everything going on it's high time I take a crack at the next one. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones was released on May 16, 2002. I never saw it in the theaters because I just didn't care, and when it came out on DVD six months later I never even finished WATCHING IT. I saw the majority of the film, but the second Yoda showed up with a lightsaber in his hand, I said “I AM DONE” and shut it off. The sad thing is I knew this was coming since the trailers spoiled like ninety percent of the movie, but to actually see it in the movie was too much.

Since it has been twelve years since I've seen this movie, you can basically consider this a first time review. I remember very little of the film, something I'm sure I could say even if I've seen it three hundred times. I consider this THE WORST MOVIE EVER MADE, and I say that with no hyperbole whatsoever. We'll get into what makes a movie the worst ever in this review, so I suggest you grab some snacks and get cozy. This is going to be a long one. I give you A Ghoul Versus Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones!

Text crawl, take it away!

There is unrest in the Galactic Senate. Several thousand solar systems have declared their intentions to leave the Republic.

This separatist movement, under the leadership of the mysterious Count Dooku, has made it difficult for the limited number of Jedi Knights to maintain peace and order in the galaxy.

Senator Amidala, the former Queen of Naboo, is returning to the Galactic Senate to vote on the critical issue of creating an ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC to assist the overwhelmed Jedi....

This introduction makes me wonder: what's the problem?! After their moronic handling of the entire Trade Federation fiasco from the last film, the Galactic Senate has been revealed to be the most bumbling and incompetent Senate since the one that governs the United States of America. Why would ANYONE want to stay part of the Republic after that? We watch as Senator Padme Amidala's sweet silver ship lands on Coruscant, the capitol city/planet of the Republic. Padme's... sigh... TERM as a queen has ended and she has replaced Palpatine as Naboo's representative in the Republic. The ship lands, her new head of security Captain Gregar Typho commenting that his fears of any danger were unfounded.

Cut to said ship exploding and killing Amidala, wah wah wahhhh. Waitaminute, Typho is black! What the hell George Lucas, not you too! I thought you were better than being a social justice warrior! Why isn't the internet rallying against this movie as well? The first two characters we see are a black man and a woman, how did those stalwart racists miss this?! Anyway, one of the guards takes off her helmet to reveal SHE'S the real Padme and the senator was just a decoy named Corde. Still doing the decoy thing, eh? You know, for a peaceful people the Naboo sure seem to attract a lot of violent enemies.

Corde apologizes to Padme for... failing her? Wasn't taking an explosion blast for Padme LITERALLY her job description? Corde, you deserve a promotion- oh, too late. You're dead. This marks the beginning of the Attack of the Clones drinking game, take a shot for every time someone gets out some final words before dying in someone's arms. Take two shots if it's something that's stupid and doesn't make any sense. Typho springs Padme away to safety, because they're still in danger out in the open.

We journey across Coruscant to the Senate Dome, where Chancellor Palpatine is meeting with the Jedi Council over the Separatist movement. Jedi Mace Windu- ANOTHER BLACK MAN- warns Palpatine they can't do much to help because they're “keepers of the peace, not soldiers”. The Jedi Council is about as effective in these movies as a Stormtrooper in an Ewok fight, so this isn't exactly news. Hey Jedi, how'd that whole “research the identity of Darth Maul” thing ever work out? You remember, that mysterious Sith that appeared out of nowhere and had a clear interest in killing Padme, going as far as to follow her across the galaxy? Nothing? Okay.

Palpatine asks Yoda if a war between the Republic and the Separatists is inevitable, but Yoda can no longer see the future due to the Dark Side clouding everything. This is about as good of an explanation that we'll ever get as to why Yoda can't detect Palpatine is really Darth Sidious, so I hope you were paying attention. Padme arrives, asking if they've found out anything behind her latest assassination attempt. Mace replies all signs point to disgruntled spice miners from the moons of Naboo, because YEAH that makes sense. If there's one thing Paul Atreides hates, it's fucking Natalie Portman. How the fuck have they completely forgotten about Darth Maul?! Or did they conclude the spice miners were behind that too? Strong in the ways of the Sith, the spice miners are.

However, Padme believes Count Dooku was behind the explosion. Barely able to contain his derisive laughter, Jedi Ki-Adi Mundi states that Dooku is a political idealist and not a murderer. Okay, a minute ago you were LITERALLY talking about how an intergalactic war is on the verge of taking place BECAUSE of Dooku, why is it so impossible to believe he'd try to have someone killed? Don't wars usually involve a couple of fatalities? Of all the trainwrecks to come out of the prequels, and believe me there are SCORES of them, the contradictory dialogue is the funniest. Hell, might as well make that a drinking game too because being blackout drunk is the only way to get any unironic enjoyment out of these things.

Mace adds Dooku was once a Jedi, so killing someone isn't in his character. Yes sir, Jedi can never fall to the Dark Side and kill people, NEVER. The prequels certainly aren't based on another trilogy where that was the core plot or anything. The “FUCK YOU!” look Padme angrily flashes Mace is easily the height of Portman's “acting” in all three movies. Palpatine suggests Padme be placed under the protection of the Jedi while she's on Coruscant, which she instantly dismisses because it's “not that serious”. Not that serious?! Fuck the drinking game, just grab whatever bottle you're doing shots from and shotgun it down. You're going to need that considering we're only SIX MINUTES into this thing and every single line spoken so far has knocked by IQ down at least twenty points.

Palpatine nominates Obi-Wan Kenobi for the role, Mace agreeing since he's just returned from a border dispute between worlds that I'd much rather be watching right now. We cut to Kenobi in an elevator, along with his padawan Anakin Skywalker. Since ten years have passed since the last movie but in real life it's only been three, they obviously couldn't use Jake Lloyd again so they cast Hayden Christensen for the role of a lifetime. At the time, he was a very hot up and coming actor due to his roles in films such as the Virgin Suicides and the critically acclaimed Life as a House, and thanks to Star Wars his career was taken behind the woodshed and shot pointblank in the face. I've seen Life as a House, this guy can act his ass off but you would never in a billion years guess that after watching the performance Lucas directs him through here.

Anakin is very nervous about seeing his angel Padme for the first time since the last movie, as it would appear his infatuation with her has never gone away. He blows their reintroduction by making a very awkward comment about how much more beautiful she's become, so she crushes his hopes and dreams by commenting he'll always be that little boy she remembers from Tatooine. OUCH! They get down to business, Padme telling the Jedi she wants to know who's trying to kill her. Obi, who has definitely learned the lazy ass ways of the Jedi, tells her they're only here to protect her and not start an investigation.

But Anakin counters that they WILL solve this mystery, which pisses off Obi so they start bickering right in front of her like two children. Oh yeah, I'm sure she feels REALLY secure with these two chuckleheads tasked with her care. The room goes so dead during this argument that even Jar Jar, who is now part of Padme's envoy, looks uncomfortable. You KNOW you fucked this script up when Jar Jar is coming off more dignified than Obi-Wan freaking Kenobi. Padme leaves to go to bed, Anakin whining to Jar Jar how she didn't even notice him. He makes a FINE stalkery comment about how he's thought about her every day for the past decade, and if I was John Williams I would have started playing the theme to Psycho for the background music. Missed opportunity!

Somewhere else in Coruscant, we see a woman named Zam Wesell meeting with a man that looks a lot like Boba Fett but sadly isn't. We learn she was the one behind the explosion, Not Boba chastising her for her failure and reminding her the assassination has to happen. He hands her a jar of killer centipedes and tells her to try again. Zam is played by an Australian actress named Leeanna Walsman who is very acclaimed in her home country, but here falls victim to the Lucas method of “say your lines and do nothing else”. Also, killer centipedes? Why didn't she just blow up the ship while it was landing instead of waiting for Padme to get out? Surely the whole decoy thing can't be that much of a secret if half the galaxy wants her dead.

That night the Jedi go over the security detail of Padme's room, Anakin commenting she shut off the cameras in her room because she didn't like him watching her. NO FUCKING KIDDING you lecherous freak! Anakin is supposed to be the hero of this movie, right? Like he's not Darth Vader already is he? It really says a lot about the star of your movie that Padme would rather risk her life by poisonous centipedes than have him creepily leering at her. It's okay though, she's set R2-D2 to function as her eyes and ears while she sleeps.

Back at her ultra secret hideout of a ledge in plain view of the millions of people in the city driving by, Zam loads a probe droid full of the centipedes and sends it on its way. While this is going on, Obi and Anakin discuss Anakin's recurring dreams of his mother Shmi. The one they NEVER went back to rescue from Watto, despite having ten years to do so. But I'm sure Anakin was too busy growing that sweet braid he's rocking throughout the film. Anakin says he'd much rather be dreaming about Padme, because fuck Shmi and her forced servitude to a cartoon stereotype. Obi starts ranting about how senators are not to be trusted and are just greedy self centered liars, which is true, but come on... this is Padme we're talking about here. Like the only good and true person in these movies, a person that Obi knows is better than all that.

While these two idiots babble on about politics, the droid flies up to Padme's window and cuts it open with a laser beam. R2 must have fallen asleep as well, because his esteemed sensors don't sense ANY of this. Way to go R2! Few things wrong with this scene, why would anyone let Padme stay in a room that is nothing BUT windows? It seems if you were the target of assassins, you'd want to bunk down in the most secluded and secure place possible. And how did Zam know exactly where Padme was staying? Anakin mentioned to Obi that Padme cooked up a plan to use herself as bait to draw out her enemies, so did she like advertise her room number on the front page of the Naboo Times? Lastly, we see the droid cut open the window to let the centipedes in. With a laser. Why didn't it just use the damn laser to KILL PADME?!

Or why didn't Zam just set off another explosion outside of Padme's room since she knows her direct location? For THAT matter, why isn't Not Boba just dealing with this personally?! Maybe Zam is like his padawan and this is her final test, but you think he'd want to take care of a job THIS important himself. The centipedes crawl right under R2's sensors even though we see them fall THROUGH the beams when they crawl into the room, but whatever. Maybe the sensors aren't motion detectors but people detectors? R2 does briefly wake up to scan the room, but the centipedes seem to be more than just bugs because they hide from his light in Padme's bed.

Click here for Part 2!