STARRING: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden
Christensen, Christopher Lee, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson, Temeura
Morrison, Pernilla August, Frank Oz, Ahmed Best, Kenny Baker, Anthony
2002, 142 Minutes, Directed by: George Lucas
Description:Ten years after Episode I, Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), now a
senator, resists the creation of a Republic Army to combat an evil
separatist movement. The brooding Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is
resentful of his stern Jedi mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor),
tormented by personal loss, and showing his emerging "dark side" while
protecting his new love, Amidala, from would-be assassins. Youthful
romance and solemn portent foreshadow the events of the original Star Wars
as Count Dooku (a.k.a. Darth Tyranus, played by Christopher Lee) forges an
alliance with the Dark Lord of the Sith
If you (like my wife) literally fell asleep within the first fifteen minutes
or so of the latest Star Wars movie, Attack
of the Clones, and only woke up before the last forty minutes or so,
the truth is that you wouldn't miss much.
Not much, that is, except the dullest dialogue since, um, the last Star Wars movie and the most
unconvincing screen romance since, well, I don't know.
I almost said Titanic,
but even the teenage couple in that movie came across as more convincing.
At least they didn't seem to fall around like clumsy mannequins without
any facial expressions or real emotion. The last forty minutes or so the movie begins to pick up: there is a
fan-pleasing scene in which Yoda kicks butt (to put it bluntly). And that's
If you stayed awake (like I forced myself to) the chances are
that by then you wouldn't really care any more about what was happening
on-screen. You'd be wondering how it ever came about that one day you'd
complain that the latest Star Wars movie was so dull after
having the original movie turn you onto science fiction back in the
"A huge chunk of the movie feels as if one is trapped in an
endlessly dull business meeting . . ."
you exit the theatre you'd be arguing with your companions over which
one was worse: Phantom Menace or this one. Actually I think that Phantom Menace was better: at least it had
that pod race that thrilled one for five minutes or so before it became
Also, it had a very exciting light sabre duel towards
the end that slowly built up in momentum. Whereas the light sabre
duel in Phantom Menace freed up action and movement thanks to
the athletic Ray Parks (as Darth Maul), in Attack of the Clones
they seem as stilted as that first duel between
Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars. It feels like a step back.
In general, the action sequences in Attack
of the Clones lack a point of focus: they are all over the place and
never build up any excitement whatsoever.
I suppose at some fanboy level one could argue that this one is better
than Phantom Menace: it didn't have Jar-Jar (but although he was
annoying as hell, at least he - it? - wasn't a lifeless zombie) and
there's no sign of that annoying kid who couldn't act. Instead we have an annoying teenager who can't act. I
know my father's Dracula (Christopher Lee) stars in this movie, but in
seems as if all blood and life has been sucked from everybody in it! Instead, for a huge chunk of this movie, it feels as if one is trapped
in an endless business meeting.
It's that bad, yes. The characters talk
endlessly: all dull plot exposition. Despite this, you would have a hard
time following what is going on. And don't try applying any logic to it.
That way anger and the Dark Side of the Force lies as Yoda would say.
The bad guy (Count Dooku - yep, that's right) appears only about halfway
through the movie - not a good sign. The plot is just plain confusing
the effects are great. Sort of. None of them feel real, pretty much like
most computer generated effects do nowadays.
Composer Williams seems to
be rehashing musical cues and tunes from past Star Wars movies
in much the same way Lucas is rehashing old sequences.
A similar asteroid
chase scene in Empire Strikes Back is much
more exciting - it didn't have a sleepwalking Ewan McGregor in it, that's
why! Nothing we've seen here is new or even done better.
Maybe it's unfair
to compare this movie to the original beloved movies, but the point is
that even compared to recent blockbusters Attack of the Clones
come short. The people in Spider-man for
example seemed a lot more alive than this lot! And at least Spider-man
ran 21 minutes shorter than this movie - Attack of the Clones at
almost two-and-a-half hours (even though it feels longer) is the longest
of all the Star Wars movies . . .
I'll get a lot of hate mail for this, but Attack of the Clones
is dull, dull, dull. I never thought I'd say that of a Star Wars
movie, but the original Star Wars Trilogy (that includes the oft-reviled
Return of the Jedi) had a certain energy, simplicity
and life. They were FUN, damn it! This one is like slogging through maths
class late on a Friday afternoon . . .