LEFTY STRIKES BACK:Review by Lefty Leibowitz
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Like every other decent, hard-working American, I have been anticipating for the last three years the release of the second installment in the Star Wars prequel series, Attack of the Clones. Though I was extremely disappointed with Phantom Menace, I still felt that George Lucas would be able to make amends with the next film, and that he would bring Star Wars back to its former glory.
Unfortunately, many pointy-headed pseudo-intellectual film-critic types did not share my enthusiasm. In the weeks before the film's release, I read several reviews (from such effete baboons as A.O. Scott at the New York Times and Michael Atkinson at the Village Voice) which clearly demonstrated their authors' prejudice and loathing towards all things Star Wars. When reading these articles, one got the feeling that they were written before the reviewer even saw the movie in a feeble attempt to prove to themselves that they are better than the movie-going masses. Here's an example from Atkinson's Voice review:
"As the nationwide sidewalk camp-outs come to their climax, the maniacal wwwooooooos siren through the theater (even at the Lucasfilm Ltd. logo), and virtually every adult I know admits to a publicity-hammered submission, it's easy to feel like 1984's Winston Smith struggling with 2 + 2 = 5."
Yes, that's it, Mike. The whole world has been duped by the marketing machine except you, the smart guy counterculture intellectual who alone perceives the truth. The hubris apparent in this statement is maddening, and made even worse by the fact that it is utter nonsense.
Anyone who was a child when the original Star Wars film was released knows that the appeal of these films has little to do with publicity or marketing. Kids didn't drag they're parents out to see the movies 3, 5, even 10 times because of marketing tie-ins at Burger King. They went because Star Wars was the first film to completely capture their imaginations in a way that no other film has then or since. They went because Darth Vader was the toughest SOB in the galaxy. And that's the reason they go now. It's a very rare thing in this world to be able to relive that childhood enthusiasm and to get another taste of the joy and wonder experienced back in 1977.
Atkinson, a degenerate piece of human trash who opens his review with a reference to the "nasty heat of a good f--k", then goes so far to blame Lucas for the world's political apathy: "Contemplate, if you will, the huge contribution Lucas makes to keeping the people obsessively distracted from the verities of political and corporate enterprise." He does not appear to be joking.
While not quite as offensive as Atkinson, A.O. Scott of the New York Times also weighs in with a few gems in his brutal review of Clones:
"Like weary Brezhnev-era Muscovites, the American moviegoing public will line up out of habit and compulsion, ruefully hoping that this episode will at least be a little better than the last one, and perhaps inwardly suspecting that the whole elephantine system is rotten."
While this may be an interesting insight into Scott's personal feelings towards the Star Wars phenomenon in general, it goes a long way in tipping off the reader as to Scott's obvious prejudicial views before he even watched the film.
The good news is that nobody (except for a few other bitter, twisted rejects who are still mad that they couldn't get a date with the head cheerleader in high school) gives a damn what these pretentious jackasses have to say.
So let's get down to brass tacks: Attack of the Clones is a fine addition to the Star Wars series and I am convinced that anyone who goes in to see the film without having already prejudged it will enjoy himself. It is by no means a perfect movie, with a ton or really bad dialogue and many other kitschy moments. In the end, however, the Star Wars fan and fans of movie magic in general will get what he came for. There are many fun and exciting moments in the film, and Lucas does a great job of bringing further richness and depth to the Star Wars universe. Jango Fett battles Obi-Wan Kenobi on a mysterious storm-tossed planet in a scene that is both beautiful and engaging. The climactic light-sabre duel between Yoda and Count Dooku is a classic that ranks alongside any scene in any of the Star Wars films. The sight of Yoda going off and Christopher Lee clearly having a grand ole time hamming it up for the camera is worthy of the great films of history. Anakin's explosive rage towards the Tusken Raiders gives the viewer his first real taste of the evil to come. And when they start playing that Imperial March it will bring a tear to your eye. By the time you leave the theater, you will be engrossed in the questions yet to be answered: what will become of the remaining Jedi? How will Luke and Leia be born? How will Anakin finally be seduced by the Dark Side?
We will have to wait three more years to find out. Hopefully by then the Times and the Voice will have hired new reviewers who will treat their craft with the gravity it deserves, and who won't use their position to broadcast noxious and bitter venom to ameliorate their own insecurities and hatreds.