I’m sure a lot of fans were thrilled to finally get another Star Wars film not written or directed by George Lucas.  The series creators’ abilities
have been more than questioned over the recent years with the disappointment of the prequel trilogy.

Unfortunately for these cynics, the results are worse than anything that appeared in said trilogy.  I liked Episodes I-III more than most, but
“The Clone Wars” definitely disappoints.

To anyone familiar with the conception of this film, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it lacks an interesting plot or good pacing.  “The Clone
Wars” is basically the first handful of episodes of the upcoming TV show squashed together to reach feature film length.

This means that actions sequences are way too frequent, and the plot lurches forward in between them.

But what really sinks “The Clone Wars” is the dialog.  The dull quips and endless exposition really suck the life out of what could have been
an entertaining action film.

And one does have to give some credit to director Dave Filoni, who skillful executes a few spectacular action sequences.  The combination
of fluid and handheld camera styles work very well to create an exciting visual experience.

This is in spite of the somewhat stiff animation.  But considering it has basically been made on a Cartoon Network budget, it’s actually fairly
impressive.

In addition to the action sequences, and in spite of the dialog, the film is actually very well acted, with good voice work all around.  The only
returning film actors are Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu, Christopher Lee as Count Dooku and Anthony Daniels as C-3PO.

Also missing from the main film series is composer John Williams.  And while Kevin Kiner’s score certainly can’t hold a candle to the
maestro, it’s pretty good on its own right.

It’s just a shame that the screenplay by Henry Gilroy, Steven Melching and Scott Murphy is so flat.  Otherwise it could have at least been
comparable to the very cool and visually spectacular animated “micro-series” of the same name that ran in between Episodes II and III.

But even though “The Clone Wars” doesn’t make for a good film, I think that in its intended format (20 minutes a week), the show wouldn’t
be half bad.  I’ll at least give it a chance.  As a feature film, however, I can’t recommend “The Clone Wars.”  Move along, move along.

* *
(out of four)
STAR WARS:
THE CLONE WARS

Directed by: Dave Filoni

Written by: Henry Gilroy & Steven Melching & Scott
Murphy

Starring: Matt Lanter, Ashley Eckstein, James Arnold
Taylor, Dee Bradley Baker, Tom Kane, Nika Futterman

Music by: Kevin Kiner

Released: August 15, 2008; 98 Minutes