Most fans thought that The Phantom Menace was bad, but had hope that maybe Episode II: Attack of the Clones would save their judgment and bring hope to the prequel trilogy. I’m sure as you know by now, it did not. In fact, in my opinion – this is the WORST Star Wars film to date. Once again, I am not complaining about the story. The story of Star Wars is one of -if not- the greatest story ever told. Also, Anakin Skywalker is the greatest character in film history. We seen him as a innocent boy in The Phantom Menace, but in Attack of the Clones, we see his anger start to grow more and more. Incase you didn’t know, Anakin turns into Darth Vader. And in this film, this is where his journey to the dark side begins.
I will start this review off by saying that I have not seen this movie in a very long time. Again, I am not a fan of Attack of the Clones. So why would I watch it? After watching it for 10 minutes, I was somewhat engaged. It was the opposite of The Phantom Menace where that film started wrong and had a good ending, this had a good start and ended badly. The main story here is the forbidden love between Anakin and Padme. As you know, Jedi are not supposed to fall in love – but Anakin of course does. At the same time he witnesses the death of his mother, so the young apprentice is full of emotion. It is very sad because the audience knows where this all leads – to him becoming Darth Vader. I know what you’re thinking, this story sounds GREAT. It’s unfortunate that the delivery once again could not match the powerful story.
After viewing the movie, I looked at my notes(I always take notes while reviewing a movie) and was surprised to see that I jotted down a few things I liked. Other than the story being good, I did enjoy the relationship of Anakin and Obi-Wan. There even was a subtle joke where Obi-Wan tells Anakin, “Why do I feel like you will be the death of me?”. As much as I enjoyed the companionship of Obi-Wan and Anakin, I did also enjoy the scene where Anakin felt anger towards Obi-Wan while talking to Padme. This scene also took place in the same room/garage where Luke discovers Princess Leia’s message from R2-D2 in A New Hope. It’s that dynamic that makes it that much harder to witness the fall of Anakin in the following film(review for that will be posted tomorrow!).
It was also great to see the great Christopher Lee in the film as Count Dooku. We see him have the plans for the Death Star, and even tell Obi-Wan that a Sith Lord is in control of the senate. His separate lightsaber duels with both Anakin and Yoda unfortunately did not live up to the one lightsaber duel at the end of The Phantom Menace. Once again, Ewan McGregor does a fantastic job playing Obi-Wan Kenobi. We do get to see him cut off someone’s hand in a hideout(reminiscent to A New Hope), so that was pretty cool. He really does a great job being Anakin’s mentor, which also makes it more sad to see them duel in the future. I did also enjoy seeing all the Jedi fighting the droids at the end since we never have seen that many Jedi on screen fighting at the same time. There was also a subtle hint during the scene where Anakin and Padme talk about government, which leads Anakin to somewhat believe the galaxy should be ruled under a dictator – obvious reference to the future Galactic Empire.
Now to the stuff we hated about Attack of the Clones. Of course it is full of CGI just like the previous film, and I really wish they could have changed that. Luckily for us The Force Awakens uses less of that. The thought of knowing the actors are in front of a green screen most of the time is horrendous. Maybe if the actors/actresses were in natural scenery, the acting could have been a lot better. Speaking of acting, everybody loves to bring up Hayden Christensen. Yes, he looks like a robot. Yes, even though the character is going through some serious emotional shit, he has the same look on his face. Every time he is about to cry, it looks forced rather than natural. Hell, even the times where Anakin is talking how much he loves her – he comes across as a creepy stalker. Honestly, I blame George Lucas for that and not Hayden. He should have stepped in and told Hayden how his acting was looking like. And since the story revolves around the downfall of the Republic, we get more talking and walking and more senate meetings. At least there was more action this time around, but even that couldn’t save this movie. Kudos to George Lucas for making Jar Jar Binks the reason why Palpatine gains control over the senate. Truly a “fuck you” to the audience for that one.
It’s crazy because from writing this review, I was thinking how could I possibly hate this movie so much? I just pointed out so much stuff I liked, but then I remembered – this review is about the MOVIE and not the STORY. The cheesy dialogue, the forced acting, the CGI fest, there was nothing keeping the audiences engaged. Most of the times I wanted to turn the movie off, but I knew I had to finish it. I honestly thought The Phantom Menace was better, and that was terrible. However I was a fan of the John Williams score of course, especially “Across the Stars”. I can see why this movie sucked because it was just a filler until we see Anakin turn into Vader in the next movie. So for the story alone and Ewan McGregor acting as Obi-Wan, I give Attack of the Clones a 4/10. If it wasn’t for those 2 reasons alone, it’d be even lower.