Revisiting ‘Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones’

I continue my Star Wars marathon that will lead up to the December 20th release of Rise of Skywalker with the notorious Episode II: Attack of the Clones. After the mess of a movie, Phantom Menace, the Attack of the Clones looked to continue the overall narrative of the Star Wars saga while improving on what the Phantom Menace did wrong.

The result: an even bigger mess and even worse movie, the worst movie in the Star Wars saga.

Attack of the Clones takes place ten years after the events of the Phantom Menace, and it revolves around a separatist movement that is causing turmoil in the republic. The separatists hire a bounty hunter named Jango Fett to assassinate Senator Padme Amidala to prevent her from passing a motion to create an army to assist the Jedi in the conflict. While Obi-Wan Kenobi goes to investigate the one who placed the bounty on her, Anakin escorts Padme back to her home planet of Naboo to protect her. While he does this, he reveals his romantic feelings for her.

The film stars Hayden Christensen as an older Anakin Skywalker. Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor reprise their roles as Padme Amidala and Obi-Wan Kenobi. All three actors have a respectable career but considering they were given a script that was messy and devoid of realism and emotion, their performances were not great.

The biggest positive from the acting portion of this movie is Christensen. When there is little to no dialogue, Christensen delivers some of the rare emotional moments in the movie. The best scene in the movie is where Anakin finds his mother as a prisoner of the Tusken Raiders and he is devastated as he watches her die, then goes on to slaughter all the Tusken Raiders. He delivers some powerful emotions that make us feel for him. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is filled with dialogue and it is a boring, cringy mess.

Many lines in this movie come across very awkward and flat. This is especially prevalent when Padme and Anakin are talking. Portman and Christensen have no chemistry and their entire relationship, which is a focal point of the movie, falls flat as a result. There is no substance to this relationship as many of the lines come off very laughable. It is very difficult to invest in this relationship when it gets emotional. In Revenge of the Sith, where the relationship has some great moments, they don’t feel as satisfying because this movie did not set up the relationship well. Also, in the last movie, Anakin is a little kid and Padme is the queen. That makes it even more awkward and feels forced.

Empire Strikes Back showed how to do a romance well. First, the writing made it way more natural and spontaneous. A lot of scenes between Han and Leia happened while the action was happening and that allowed the relationship to develop without slowing down the movie. Attack of the Clones, on the other hand, had awkward and forced writing, and the scenes slowed down the pace of the movie to make it drag on.

Another reason why this movie is bad is the cinematography. Like the Phantom Menace, it is a bloated CGI mess and it looks so fake. The water on Kamino does not even look like water, the backgrounds on Naboo are blatant green-screen effects, and the action scenes are CGI filled messes with a bunch of random actions strung together to create a moving background that also doesn’t look natural in accordance to the world set up.

Also, the plot is once again, boring and very little happens in the movie. Half of the movie is forcing the development of a relationship that has no business working. Also, a lot of the movie is Obi-Wan investigating a political movement. Once again, politics is prevalent in Star Wars and it is still boring.

Phantom Menace was a fun and enjoyable disaster. Attack of the Clones is a boring and awkward mess. I do not recommend watching this movie unless you want to watch all of Star Wars. The only positive from watching this movie is one can appreciate the movies that come after.

Rating: 1.5/10

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