Ten years after the events of The Phantom Menace, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is learning the ways of the Jedi under Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). Anakin is set on an assignment to protect Padme (Natalie Portman) after an assassination attempt on her life.
Director: George Lucas
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee
MPAA Rating PG for sustained sequences of sci-fi action/violence
Fun Fact: Many actors auditioned for the role of Anakin. Some of these actors were Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
I want to start off correcting an error from my Phantom Menace review, and that was not mentioning John Williams and his fantastic score. The music he made in that movie was phenomenal and like this film he’s a legend in the Star Wars universe.
With the release of The Phantom Menace, it divided fans and critics alike. Many people expressed what they liked and didn’t like. George Lucas listened to a bit of it by cutting Jar Jar Binks’ screen time, but what we got was worse dialogue, more blue and green screens that are that look worse than the previous installment. We get a boring, slow moving movie that feels like it takes forever to get to the end. The film relies on CGI way too much that there isn’t even a real clone trooper in the whole thing!
What the biggest selling point for this film is the dark turn that Anakin needs to have to get to Vader status. Lucas also must sell a love story that is so horribly written that to this day that I still question if it’s the dialogue or is it the actor. Hayden Christensen’s performance is one of the worst in the whole franchise. The delivery of the lines is off, and the performance is laughable. I will give him credit though, when he doesn’t speak and expresses his emotions through facial expressions, he does well. He must go through horrible dialogue and there are many of them. What I don’t get is that there is supposed to be a romance, but according to Lucas, Jedi’s are not allowed to love. The problem with this is that Padme’s outfits become more revealing through the movie, but this mission is supposed to be strictly a business mission. So, she obviously has feelings for Anakin, but once again the dialogue and the now forbidden Jedi love plot device is a chore to get through that we are supposed to believe all this is happening.
Remember how awesome Darth Maul was? How menacing he looked? You would think that an even more awesome villain would come out of this movie. Someone more menacing and freighting that would really stand out in the universe. What did we get? We get an old Christopher Lee as Count Dooku. Ok I love Christopher Lee, but really? I’m supposed to believe that this guy is a strong Sith Lord? Sorry, but I’m going to say pass.
While the production values are high, it feels off. The actors stand out in the blue and green screens and that’s not in a positive way. The places they’re in don’t look real and don’t feel like its there. We also get the worst lightsaber fight in all the films. They just twirl the lightsabers over their heads, and it ends quick. We see Yoda finally use a lightsaber, but something feels off with it. Yoda in all the other movies needs a cane to walk. Now all the sudden he can do back flips and spins in the air? I will admit that the battle in the arena is kid of fun and we finally see other Jedi Knight’s finally do something other than sit around and talk about things.
Overall. Attack Of The Clones is actually worse than the Phantom Menace. We get even worse dialogue and acting. The romance between Anakin and Padme is forced and a cringe to get through. Its biggest crime is that the film is boring as we get even more political talk, but to the films credit there isn’t nearly half as bad as the previous installment. The reason that it’s boring is that it’s a chore to get through and at one point I wanted to turn it off so I can’t recommend it. Ewan McGregor does well with the material, but it’s not enough to save the film.