Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
Starring: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Frank Oz, Ian McDiarmid, Temuera Morrison
Directed by: George Lucas
Written by: George Lucas, Jonathan Hales
Rating: PG Running Time: 2 hr 22 min
It’s official: Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is the world’s first boring Star Wars film.
This film takes all the elements that didn’t work in The Phantom Menace, and doubles down. More CGI, more bad performances and some really laughable dialog. This story sees young Anakin (Hayden Christensen) and Padmé (Natalie Portman) couple up in one of the worst on-screen romances ever committed to digital, and sends Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) the Jedi detective out to discover who is trying to kill Padmé. And that’s all you get for the first two acts of the film. The clueless Jedi council thoughtfully stroking their chins and resolving nothing, and Jar Jar Binks is somehow tapped to shape the political future of the republic.
If I look past the occasionally dodgy CGI, poor performances and horrendous dialog, Attack of the Clones does actually do a decent job of expanding the scope of the prequel saga, and nicely develops the Anakin Skywalker arc that would eventually lead to his rebirth as Darth Vader. It’s just a shame Hayden Christensen et al, were yet again let down by a lazy director more concerned with dazzling visuals, than guiding the talent through his ideas to look beyond the green screens.
If you somehow enjoyed The Phantom Menace, you’ll probably enjoy this too. Just get ready for two acts of nothing much before this film finally starts to get interesting.
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is best appreciated on a theater screen. A HD screening at home on a nice home entertainment system is the next best way to get the most out of this film.
Best Moment: << spoiler >>
Hayden Christensen’s only moment of genuine quality comes as the film heads into the last act, and young Anakin finds his mother. Her dying moments, and Anakin’s subsequent violent outburst is really nicely staged, and John William’s superb score perfectly reflects the mood of a young Jedi being twisted toward the dark side of the force.