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Attack of the Clones

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

What he said:

He

I am just going to come right out and say this is my least favorite movie to ever carry the name Star Wars. The Phantom Menace got a ton of heat after it came out – some of it deservedly so – but after it’s all said and done, I think this one is easily the worst of the bunch. There is so much wrong with this movie, but since I just mentioned The Phantom Menace, I figured I would touch on that first.  

Jake Lloyd’s performance as Anakin Skywalker came under heavy fire after the first movie. I think the criticism got a little unfair after a certain point and go more in-depth about that in my review of it. But when I watch Hayden Christensen’s performance as the same character in Attack of the Clones, I all but forget about young Jake’s stint. Christensen was downright brutal at times. His portrayal of Anakin was awkward and creepy, especially his interactions with Padme. There was no chemistry between the two of them at all and I personally believe most – if not all – of it came from his uncomfortable performance.

And like with Lloyd’s performance, I do have to attribute some of it some bad writing and directing; however Lloyd was a child with very little experience. Christensen had been acting for almost ten years at that point.  Not to mention, Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor were both able to salvage somewhat respectable performances out of the very same poorly written dialogue.

Speaking of Ewan McGregor, he really starts to look and act like the Obi-Wan Kenobi we know and love from the original trilogy. The character was much younger in The Phantom Menace – than in the original trilogy – and doesn’t quite resemble Alec Guiness’ version of Obi-Wan. By the end of the movie though, you can see that certain events molded him into his older self. In Clones, McGregor is virtually channeling the spirit of Alec Guiness and did as well as he possibly could be expected in attempting to playing someone else’s character. He’s one of the biggest strengths of the new series as far as I am concerned.

Another problem I have with this installment is Christopher Lee’s character, Count Dooku. I didn’t mind his performance, that wasn’t the problem at all. It’s the characters motives and behavior. If you sit back and listen to what he says, you’ll find yourself scratching your head more often than not.

Attack of the Clones

For example, the character states he left the Jedi Order because he was disgusted with the corruption in the senate and was distraught over his friend’s death – Liam Neeson’s character. Ok fair enough, but then why go join forces with Senator Palpatine? You know, the guy directly responsible corrupting the senate and death of your friend?

Then there’s the lovely little scene where Count Dooku attempts to recruit Obi-Wan as his apprentice. He tells Obi-Wan that the senate is being secretly controlled by a Sith and together they can stop him. Helllllooo, you are a Sith! He’s playing the “let’s stop the bad guys” card when he’s with the bad guys?

Did Lucas even bother to read his own script?

I actually don't mind Lee’s performance – it fits ok with a Star Wars movie – but the character is so poorly written you kind of wish he wasn’t around.  

There is also the “minor” problem of the entire movie looking like one big cartoon; and I don’t mean a good cartoon either. I’ve seen cartoons that look better. Take this cut scene from an upcoming Star Wars game for example (No really, check it out it’s one of the best pieces of animation I have ever seen). Lucas went way overboard with the CGI in this movie. He was once the master of special effects, but he’s since traded that ability in for a cheaper and faker looking alternative. I swear he’s going to stop using actors all-together one day.

The movie isn’t all bad though. There are some scenes I enjoy and if you watch only these scenes, the movie isn’t too bad, ha!

For example, anything with Jango Fett in it was pretty cool imo. Boba Fett was such a hugely popular character during the original run, but we never really got to see him in action. Jango’s scenes give us a nice look into the awesomeness that is the legendary bounty hunter known as Boba Fett. Like with Darth Maul, it’s a shame he didn’t stick around longer.

Attack of the Clones

The droid factory “battle” was a total joke. Instead of being fun and charming the way some of the lighter scenes are in the original trilogy, it feels like an insult to the viewer’s intelligence. Especially when Lucas felt the need to do such random things, suchas giving R2D2 the ability to fly, all for the sake of showing off some special effects. Stuff like this is why many people despise this trilogy.

Once you get past that part it gets slightly more bearable, but it's still not good. Seeing all those Jedi in action should have been cool, but like much of this trilogy it's anti-climatic and cartoony.

This movie has a few (and I do mean that literally) fun scenes, but is ultimately a failure in my eyes. You would have thought it would have been better considering the heavy criticism of The Phantom Menace, but Lucas somehow managed to make an even worse movie. Truth be told, I think The Phantom Menace blows this movie away. This movie is terrible.

Rating: Thumbs down

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on May 13, 2011.

 

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