Clone Wars: The Movie

I thought I could super-spoiler the Clone Wars movie or I could do a review. I did both.
Clone Wars is aimed at the Kiddie Set. Instead of the scroll that we've seen at least six times before (several video games in the license have used this too), we get a cheezy news reel narration. Instead of subtitling Jabba, people react and his protocol droid occasionally steps in. Rather than aim for the kid-lit crowd, Clone Wars aims for pre-lit crowd. While all of theSepartist gizmos (robots, vehicles, weapons) are on parade; the Republic side is sparse: Clone Troopers, Navy, a few Jedi and Padme for good measure. A nice small cast that even a six-year old could remember (that's handy for when they go intoToys'R'Us the next day). There is a real video game feel to this movie. It feels like you have a bunch of challenges to overcome: some fighting based, some logic based. If a video game isn't imminent, it could be knocked off in a weekend by pulling CGI models, clips for cut sequences and a couple of light saber shaped health meters. At times, I think I saw my score climbing as I watched the film.

The fight scenes are amazing-- on par with any of the movies. The movie is high on action, low on plodding political intrigue. The movie feels like the 2-D TV series of shorts, popped into the third dimension-- almost like thatSimpsons Halloween episode where Homer gets pulled into the third dimension. In an interesting budget-saving device: holograms are used very frequently. I have to think that is for economy: why render a character in all of their shades, when you can just draw them in shades of blue. While the foreground characters have that animation detail doled on them, background characters look like they're just being dragged across the background by some intern who thinks his days at Skywalker Ranch are numbered.

The soundtrack of Star Wars is memorable. My daughter hums the Imperial March. The symphonic feel of the music is gone. Tiny snippets of John Williams-esque music can be heard. In its place, the drum, string, flute melodies that are close to the incidental music from the Battlestar Galactica TV series. As this is not a Fox joint, but a Warner Brothers release: I have to wonder what was tied up in legal tangles and could not be moved out from the clenches of Rupert Murdoch.

Almost the whole voice cast are animation people or up-and-coming actors. Samuel L. Jackson and Christopher Lee voice Mace Windu and Dooku respectively (keep getting thosepaycheques, boys). Ahsoka Tano is voiced by Ashley Eckstein who fits the voice to the role. She has that aggravating quality that kids will find endearing. What is "fun" (I cannot believe I am about to write this): the troopers are extra New Zealand-y. BecauseJango Fett was originally voiced by Temuera Morrison, Clone Troopers have that accent-- I was expecting them to say, "Load up the Lorry, we're off to the beach, mates!" It worked. You can tell that the Troopers get bored on those trips through hyperspace; and they're tired of saying "No, I'm Trooper-3263827-- you're thinking of Trooper-03003817659." They're all sporting different haircuts (colors and styles)-- again a nice touch-- as a clone with 10,000,000 copies of me wandering around I would like likely try to make myself look a little unique.

All-in-all: this movie is for the pre-teen set, die-hard super obsessed fans and people who like decent animation. Please park yourstormtrooper outfit at the door-- you won't be able to sit down and you'll delay the start of the movie, you geek.


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