Star Wars Prequel Blog-a-thon: Attack Of The Clones [Week 2]

Star Bores Episode II: Attack Of The Inanities. 

There is unrest in my brain. Several thousand cells have declared their intentions to rebel against the prospect of having to sit through this tripe a second time… 

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“I have a bad feeling about this…” – Obi-Wan Kenobi.  

Greetings, my young padawan! 

Here we are again, in collaboration with boxofficebuzz, on the Star Wars prequel trilogy blog-a-thon.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones is an absolutely marvellous piece of work. 

Against all odds, it managed to be EVEN MORE DETESTABLE THAN THE PHANTOM MENACE. Which, unbelievably, is quite a feat. 

Unfortunately, in my time, too many trips to the cinema turned out to be lousy and ultimately wasted days out, but, without a doubt – and, by Jove, it pains me to say this – Attack Of The Clones is one of the MOST UNDERWHELMING SF MOVIES EVER.  

So we were promised far less of that annoying Gunganso what? We were lumbered with an even greater diverse range of crud to seriously spoil our already somewhat lessened expectations…

And they made that Gungan a Senator… 

Rather than suffer through that great disturbance of a movie all over again, a few scenes were selected. What’s it like going through this material 14 years later? 

What Works (This Is Going To Be Tough):

Darth_Tyranus_AotC

“You must join me, Obi-Wan, and together we will destroy the Sith! …It may be difficult to secure your release…” – Count Dooku.

First, and foremost:

If anyone could bring the required menace the Dark Side deserves, then it was the Master of Horror himself. His voice alone is tinged with “Sith Lord.” But would the character have been named “Count” if anyone other than Lee had played him…?

However, there is just one quibble that annoys me: just think of the terrifying names of some of the characters this late legend has played: Dracula! Scaramanga! Saruman! Dooku! Dooku…?! Get outta here: always sounds more like a puppet on a daytime kids TV show…

  • “You wanna buy some death-sticks?”

“You don’t want to sell me death sticks.”

“Ah, I don’t want to sell you death sticks.”

“You want to go home and rethink your life.”

“I want to go home and rethink my life.”

At this point, numb with boredom, yours truly felt like having a good chortle. As it had been so long since having a good laugh, thought it best to exercise the necessary muscles, just to see if they still worked… 

  • The lightsaber battle between Obi-Wan/Anakin/Yoda and Count Dooku: 

Distinctly remember the groovy lighting effects as Anakin fought Dooku alone in the darkness. When Yoda hobbles in, his saber flies into his hand and then – whoa! – see the pesky Little Big-Ears GO! Whoo-hoo! 

That got the biggest laugh in the cinema! Come to think of it – the only laugh…

  • Jango Fett does his blaster twirl:

The only highlight of the Geonosis arena sequence. Nice touch… 

  • Slave 1 chasing Obi-Wan through the asteroid field: 

Trying to select the outstanding scene from this Episodebelieve me, it was such a struggle. This was the first that sprang back to mind. One of the very few scenes to catch my sagging interest on that fateful sole viewing, it was amazing to see Slave 1 again and get some well-deserved action. Other than spectacular visuals – what is most impressive about this sequence are the sound effects, particularly those seismic charges. Oof, Brad digs a good seismic charge.

But hey, just this once, let’s overlook that problem of having sound effects in space at all…

Stand by!

What Doesn’t Work (How Much Time Have You Got?):

sw2-crap-attack

“If you are suffering as much as I am, please, tell me” – Anakin Skywalker.  

Let’s deal with the main offender straight away: 

  • Hayden Christensen: And you thought Jake Lloyd was bad…

The inner torment, the struggle to suppress conflicted emotions, the lure of the Dark Side calls for deep, insightful drama, tackled by a fine young actor. Shame this production could produce neither…  

  • Natalie bloody Portman: (aargh! yet again!):

She turned out to be just as awful as you can imagine. This time, her “acting” (if you can call it that!) is more annoying than the script. How Padme still wants to have younglings with that whining, petulant whelp is one of modern cinema’s inexplicable quandaries…

  • That chase on Coruscant: guaranteed to give me a migraine just thinking about it… 

The worst scene ever featuring Obi-Wan is when – extremely against character – he leaps through a window, somehow grabs onto a probe and gets whisked through the busy sky-lanes of city-planet Coruscant. There then follows a quite ridiculous chase for a bounty hunter (other than Jango Fett); Anathema – ha ha! sorry! – Anakin just drops out of the speeder and – through thousands of other crafts whizzing by – somehow manages to land on precisely the one (eureka!) in which the shape-shifter is in (bollocks). It binds us, it penetrates us, etc. but no use of the Force canand should – ensure such error-free reckless daredevil antics. Suspension of disbelief, my eye…

“I hate it when he does that,” Obi-Wan complains. Funnily enough, so does Brad… 

Which brings us neatly to:

  • The Obi-Wan/Anakin “friendship”: 

Constant bickering, complaining, disagreements, and so on and and so on – sorry, but what friendship”?! Here, their incessant uneasy and turgid interaction provides anything but compelling viewing. At one point, Obi-Wan makes a remark about “falling into that nest of Gundarks.” Yeah, why couldn’t we watch that instead? Sounds infinitely more intriguing than the drivel we had to sit through… 

Whenever hearing Alec Guinness say: “And he was a good friend,” all one can do now is cringe… 

attackoftheclones-xlarge

“We’ll have to try something more subtle this time…” – Jango Fett. 

  • Obi-Wan’s fight with Jango Fett: Should be in the What Works column – but, hey! – isn’t…

Was really looking forward to this – a classic showdown between two of the saga’s greatest assets! In the end, however, it turned out to be flat and forgettable. This serves as a sad reminder that whatever talents Lucas had as a Director, they had well and truly dried up by this time. Also, his writing here was particularly poor, most notably in:  

  • The “romance”:

Such a catastrophic failure, considering how pivotal the love between Anakin and Padme is supposed to be at this stage in the saga. Banal dialogue and atrocious acting merge to create such mediocre viewing, it’s almost painful. Add that awful WTF moment in which Anakin tries balancing on the back of some wild quadroped-thing and the psychological damage cannot be undone…

What a waste, considering how epic John Williams’ sweeping score: Across The Stars (Anakin and Padme’s Theme) turned out to be.

Reek

“Kin chasa du Jedi. No bata tu tu” – Watto.

  • THIS THING!!

Whatever it is, this ugly brute symbolises the tedium of the whole Geonosis arena sequence – quite possibly the most un-Star Wars scene imaginable. Did anyone thrill to the sight of (ahem) Padme riding some giant lizard, pulling along a wheelless chariot in which her beloved is fending off insectoids with his lightsaber? Ha, thought not… 

  • The Battle of Geonosis: 

This should have been awesome, but instead – addled with copious dollops of CGI – it looks shallow, too artificial – nothing more than a video game. Sure, we get to see other Jedis, but really, blink and you miss them; they show up merely to promote their own individual action figure (methinks somewhat cynically). Considering the substantial budget, the field of marauding battle-droids and sci-fi war machines look decidedly amateurish and anything but exciting. 

Last, and by all means least…

  • The script: Let’s get this out of the way… 

It is appalling how this damning fault from the first Episode was never rectified and allowed to grind on, ruining this second instalment as well. The “story,” perhaps easier to follow than its predecessor, still fails to engage. It’s not helped in any way by the stream of incomprehensible events that litter the screen.

Where was Lawrence Kasdan when we needed him?! 

*

We will stagger regardless to the third and – thankfully – final episode in this shoddy trilogy in the next Post (“He doesn’t seem to take a hint this guy!”). 

Hopefully, my life, limbs – and sanity – will still be intact once this challenge is done. 

boba-fett-star-wars-episode-2-attack-clones

May The Force Make It All Go Away…

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9 thoughts on “Star Wars Prequel Blog-a-thon: Attack Of The Clones [Week 2]

  1. Thanks for bravely venturing through the prequel trilogy with me! 😉 Since I rewatched Attack of the Clones, I’ve been thinking about what the film was and what it actually could have been. I don’t want to pick on Hayden Christiansen too much, but I really think this film would have been better with a different Anakin. 😦 I thought Adam Driver did a much better job as a similar character in The Force Awakens. Maybe a young Michael Fassbender would have been good in this role? I thought he did the “tortured fallen hero” really well in the X-Men prequel movies. And Natalie Portman is just coasting here. 😦

    • No worries, Ash!
      It’s interesting: despite complaining about Christensen, I can’t think who – in 2002 – cld have portrayed him better.
      Fassbender can apply himself to any role, but he didn’t come to prominence until ’07.
      U mentioned th X-Men, so now I’m hyped up for Apocalypse!
      U plan to have your Week 3 Post ready for Monday? In that case, I can get mine to load up th same time as yours!
      There again, not sure I can stomach “General Grievous” 1 more time!
      Cheers!

      • Great, Ashley, looking forward to your views as well!
        Hope u have watched the Phantom Menace Review (in 7 parts) by RedLetterMedia on YouTube: th best – and funniest – critique of all the prequel trilogy faults (th lightsaber battle analysis in Part 6 is particularly interesting!)
        Cinema Sins released their Everything Wrong w Star Wars Prequels last month – hilarious stuff.
        Both come highly recommended!
        Cheers!

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