Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Review

The hot prequel debate rages on.

I almost couldn't type that with a straight face. Honestly, does anyone give a shit about the prequels anymore? I know I do, but it seems like the goal is to simply forget about their existence rather than discuss them.

For the sake of this review, let's go back to this hot debate I mentioned: which film is worse? The Phantom Menace or Attack of the Clones?

The Phantom Menace seems to get the brunt of the hatred and mockery due to Jar Jar Binks and the terrible script and the constant stream of silly nonsense, and at the end of the day I would vote it as the worst installment of the Star Wars saga, but...

Nothing, I repeat, nothing is worse than the romantic sequences between Anakin and Padme in Attack of the Clones. Nothing. Unintentionally funny and yet so cringe worthy that it is hard to watch. Rolling around on the grass laughing with abysmal chemistry between Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman. Sitting next to a fire on a bear skin rug, forcing their uncomfortable sexual frustration upon each other and the audience when none of it is believable. 

On the other side of the spectrum, absolutely nothing that occurs in Attack of the Clones is as awesome and exciting as the Darth Maul lightsaber sequence at the end of The Phantom Menace. So the highs aren't as high and the lows are the lowest of the low, yet despite this I find myself enjoying enough of Episode II to forgive its many failures. 

I'm increasingly having trouble coming up with specific moments I like, but trust me, there are some. I just keep thinking about the romance. It haunts me.

"I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything is soft and smooth."


The hot prequel debate rages on...



  1. Obi-Wan made episodes 2 and 3 bearable for me. There's just sooooooooooo much talking, walking, and sitting in such bad dialogue that I wasn't sure if I could make it through my rewatches a few months ago.

    1. Ewan is terrific in the films, he really is. I always reference the part in Episode 3 where he faces off again Anakin, and the fact that Ewan is so good in the scene makes Hayden's acting that much more awful to watch. It felt like Ewan was trying to win a damn Oscar, and I admire him for it.

  2. As I recall, the most ludicrous failure in #2 and #3 is that they actually tried to stack up suspense on "Will Anakin get a grip on his anger? Will he resist the Dark Side?" Well, duh, no. With an secondary, but equally ridiculous feeling of "Will the diabolical coup succeed? Will the Republic fall?" Well, duh, yes. And down the checklist of "Will he survive?" no. "Will he live?" yes....

    1. That is a really good point Big Murr, it is a difficult task to keep the stakes elevated in a prequel situation in a similar way as it is to a really well known true story: if we know how it ends, how can you still make us invested as if we don't?

      Safe to say this was never successful with the prequels...sure, I was always curious HOW everything would exactly unfold, but the films were never good enough to make me actually forget and immerse me in the experience.

  3. It's a huge challenge to writers, but the good ones somehow do it. An identical problem exists with historical movies. I always reference "The Right Stuff" actually keeping me excited about "Who will be in the Mercury 7?" or "Who will be the first of them to go up?" I knew the answers as common knowledge, but I was still 100% involved.

    The Prequel 3 Creators did not have that right stuff.