I recently wrote a review of The Land of the Lost, er, I mean, Journey to the Center of the Earth after going out to see it with my oldest daughter, Vicki, on a daddy-daughter date. What I failed to mention is that I went on another daddy-daughter date with my middle daughter, Zoe, the next day. She decided she'd rather see Star Wars: The Clone Wars than go mini-golfing. I will admit I groaned inwardly at the thought. I had read a few reviews about Lucas's latest offering and really had no desire to shell out for the big screen to see it.
Keep in mind that this movie should not be confused with "Star Wars: Clone Wars," the phenomenal Cartoon Network micro-series produced by Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of the equally awesome "Samurai Jack" and "Dexter's Laboratory." Which is out on DVD, you really should go pick it up. Especially if you plan on seeing THE Clone Wars any time soon. You'll need something to cleanse your palate.
I'm getting ahead of myself, though. Here's your plot summed up: Anakin (Matt Lanter) and Obi-Wan (James Arnold Taylor) are tasked by Yoda (Tom Kane) and Mace (Samuel M-Fing Jackson) to find Jabba the Hutt's (Kevin Michael Richardson) huttnapped son. To add a little needed female flare, Anakin is saddled with a new padawan learner, Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein) who apparently is really young, whatever. On their mission they face such dastardly villains as Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) and his sith apprentice Ventress (Nika Futterman), though never as spectacularly or thrillingly as in "Clone Wars" (put it in your to do list.)
I don't have a problem with this. Even though it explores the same retreaded story of the reluctant teacher who learns a lesson while the learner learns learning from the learnee, blah, blah, blah. The same old jokes are trotted out to amuse the kiddies. It helps to keep in mind that this show is geared to them. The battle scenes, while not as good as those in "Clone Wars" (seriously, you need to check it out,) are entertaining enough, with plenty of clone (Dee Bradley Baker) on droid carnage.
The movie is watchable up until the subplot/plot twist, wherein Padme (Catherine Taber) and C-3P0 (Anthony Daniels) encounter Jabba's uncle, Zero the Hutt (Corey Burton) back on Coruscant. Zero, in case you haven't read about the furor surrounding the character, is so obviously gay in every stereotypical way Lucas could jam into your eye and ear holes during his scenes. He is painted bright purple with day-glo pink tattoos, a couple of pretty feathers on his head, and a grating southern belle-wannabe gay accent. Oh yes, Zero speaks English just fine, unfortunately. The voice itself is a horrible caricature that makes me wince just thinking about. He gives other gay stereotypes a bad name. It's horrible, just horrible.
Had they left Zero's completely unnecessary presence out of the movie altogether, I would probably rate this movie higher. As it is, I give it four out of twenty-one baby huttlets that are better left unmentioned on a scale I just made up that doesn't mean anything. Oh, I can't wait for this to become a regular series on Cartoon Network, yipee!
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