Star Wars Special: Attack of the Clones Review
The second film of the Star Wars prequels did not really make things any better. Lucas did not manage to reprimand his errors of the previous Jedi adventures, but only made things worse.
Genre: Action / Fantasy / Science-Fiction
Director: George Lucas
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Christopher Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Frank Oz, Temuera Morrison, Jimmy Smits & Ian McDiarmid.
Run Time: 142 min.
US Release: 16 May 2002
UK Release: 16 May 2002
German Release: 16 May 2002
Welcome back to my review series of Star Wars. Following yesterday’s post for The Phantom Menace, I will be writing today about Episode II - Attack of the Clones, which in my opinion made things only worse. The basic plot was a good idea; the unrest in the Galactic Republic due to a separatist movement that could bring on a civil war and the senate’s decision of creating a great army, as the Jedi are overwhelmed.
Sadly those ideas were badly elaborated on screen and focused on that what made Episode I bad. The screenplay written by George Lucas took the plot in a very different direction, skipping the formation of the separatist movement and their members and once again focusing on much talking, more wooden acting and a lot of walking in front of a green-screen. The plot also revealed a lot of inconsistencies.
— WARNING, THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS! —
Starting with what bothered me the most; the dialogue and story development was awful! I don’t know if Lucas ever had a conversation with another human being, but that is not how you write a dialogue. Characters ignored one-another when talking to each other, completely missing on an engaging discussion.
An example for bad dialogue would be the love scenes between Amidala and Anakin, which are completely dysfunctional and feel forced. Anakin comes of as a stalking freak with tantrum problems, while she obviously seems to be scared of him, yet they end up together. Not relatable at all!
Another relationship that bothered me was the one between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin. Skywalker was bitchy, arrogant and ungrateful to his master, while Obi-Wan was constantly overcritical and distrustful of his apprentice. That is not how a Jedi & Padawan relationship should be, especially knowing that Kenobi always gave Luke the benefit of the doubt, even when Yoda had his doubts!
From here on onwards, I compiled a list of things that made me want to scream:
Anakin and Padme going heads in first to save Kenobi without a plan and getting caught.
The rest of the Jedi doing exactly the same in a pathetic try to save the three and getting slaughtered.
Samuel L. Jackson as Jedi Master Mace Windu and the order of the Jedi being portrayed as presumptuous a**holes.
Sith apprentices spawning everywhere (What happened to the rule of two?).
The gladiatorial battles set up for Obi-Wan, Anakin and Padme and the Viceroy of the Trade Federation complaining about it like a b****.
Finally, the return of Jar Jar Binks even though he did have a much smaller part.
But not all was bad. I thought giving Boba Fett an origin story was quite interesting and wished for a little more insight into it. I also liked the twist about the revelation of the Clone Troops and their order to be created by Jedi Master Sifo Dyas.
Character wise, much was done wrong. The persona of Anakin Skywalker was portrayed and developed wrong; Hayden Christensen played him as a spoiled brat with tantrums making the persona very unlikeable. Anakin should have been a respectful young Padawan, with vast knowledge of the force and always impressing his Master, his faith in the force severely shaken by the death of his mother. That would have made the character more likeable and sympathetic to the viewer.
Christopher Lee I did like as the villainous and mysterious Count Dooku, but I do wish for him to have been shrouded more in mystery and to not reveal his Sith heritage in this movie. Ian McDiarmid’s impression of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine was once again good; he did the best with what he was given.
Like I stated at the beginning, this movie overuses computer imagery again! Lucas designed an incredible amount of alien races, far to many different spacecrafts (who thought that a space shuttle with sails would look good?), and all displayed in an ungodly CGI fest that does not look good during this time of age. I understand that the Galactic Republic has a vast selection of species, but by then Lucas was adding up to 50 different species in each new instalment, but never truly used one of the original series!
While we are at it, the Clone Troops should never have been computer animated! Again, what happened to using practical effects and extras? The original trilogy used an amount of extras, but if Lucas was worried about the battle he could have simply multiplied the extras during editing. I also thought that Coruscant was portrayed like a cheap futuristic Tokyo with flying neon cars and billboards. If going for futurist cities with a Tokyo-like style, Lucas should have gained inspiration from Scott’s Blade Runner.
The only scene in this sci-fi flick I would call impressive is the last shot where the Destroyers leave Coruscant to fight in the Clone Wars and an immense horde of Clone Troopers, getting ready to be deployed. That was an incredible and epic shot, even though it was all computer generated.
Verdict: Overall, I found Star Wars - Episode II: Attack of the Clones to be the weakest instalment of the prequel trilogy. It uses far too much computer imagery and green screen, the main characters are really unlikeable and the story is boring and filled with plot holes. This is was by far an even bigger disappointment than Episode I and the weakest, live action Star Wars film of the series. I’ll give it a 4.0 out of 10.
Do you agree with my opinion? If you think otherwise, be welcome to leave a comment below. Tomorrow I’ll review the animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars as well as the TV series on my other Blog, so if you are interested look out for it! Thank you very much for reading and if you enjoyed this review click the like button!