A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Directed By: George Lucas
Produced By: Rick McCallum
Written By: George Lucas, Jonathan Hales
Starring: Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Christopher Lee
Running Time: 142 Minutes
George Lucas proved through Episode I that he was capable of going “a bit too far in some places” even when it came to his legendary saga.
Three years, a new century and an example of how to crush the dreams of millions of fans across the globe were in Lucas’ possession leading up to the creation of Episode II – Attack Of The Clones, therefore one could assume it was his chance to right the wrongs of 1999 and give the fans what they deserved.
Regrettably, Episode II is and most likely will be regarded as the saga’s worst film forever more, for numerous reasons. A chance to improve and strike while the iron was lukewarm, Episode II is a convoluted, confused and underwhelming mix of clone warriors, more computer-generated sets, locations and characters and, of course, a whiny, arrogant and intolerable Anakin Skywalker.
Obviously tentative in his approach to the second instalment of the prequel trilogy, George Lucas appeared to have completely lost his mind. For so many audiences to be either be outright offended upon the long awaited first screening of The Phantom Menace or living in denial regarding its mediocre nature, there was a responsibility, a favour, a duty for Lucas to adhere to in his next instalment.
A lot needed to change, but much to his stronghold in the creative process, we were given something similar, but much worse all the same.
Taking place 10 years after The Phantom Menace, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) are assigned the task to protect Senator Padmé (Natalie Portman) following an attempted assassination.
Suspecting a former Jedi by the name of Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) may be behind it, Kenobi journeys to a deep and secluded planet to discover an enormous army of clone warriors being created.
His suspicions of certain characters lead to the discovery of an enormous threat to the Jedi at large as The Dark Side begins to grow beneath their clouded thoughts.
Whilst Kenobi is investigating one of the largest threats to the Jedi race, Anakin is frolicking about in a lush resort-like location with Padmé of whom he creepily pressures into falling for him, which for what ever reason is forbidden amongst the Jedi.
Soon to be the darkest villain in the history of cinema, Anakin is listing the reasons why he doesn’t like sand, all the while complaining about Obi-Wan’s mentorship… what a intolerable little brat!
The performances are slightly less stale compared to Episode I, however most still seem rather robotic and uninspired. Ewan McGregor gives it his all, and with a script such as this, it’s all one can hope for. Everything that could possibly have been said about Hayden Christensen has been said, so hearing that he overacts, has the personality of a doormat and a face you’d love to give a good slapping is nothing new.
There are familiar faces to many audiences in Jay Laga’aia, known mostly to younger Australians as one of the members of the Play School. A few other recognisable Aussie faces can be spotted within the picture in Jack Thompson, Rose Byrne and Joel Edgerton, all of whom are much younger in their miniature roles. Lastly, having Sir Christopher Lee as the primary antagonist for the picture is an enormous acquisition, nay, a privilege!
A strange and forgettable character, Count Dooku is nothing more than a good-guy-gone-bad that happens to have an iconic face and voice.
Concluding in an off-putting fashion when Lee’s CGI head faces off against a CGI Yoda, his performance may have been sound, however, like the rest of the cast, Lee sadly wasn’t given much to work with.
An underwhelming picture that leaves an even sourer taste in audience’s mouths than the first episode, Attack Of The Clones is the worst of the lot, primarily because it should’ve known better. Lucas felt the backlash of Episode I and had no excuse not to return to the product that won the hearts of millions in 1977.
With audiences still holding on to hope, one could only assume they wouldn’t have felt a greater heartbreak than journeying to the cinemas to be presented with this mess.
This was the chance to show one of the most harrowing descents into evil put to screen, it was Lucas’ chance to recapture his former glory and present fans with something truly special and he squandered it for a second time.