111 of 151 people found the following review helpful
Utterly dreadful - the final nail to a once magical series,
This review is from: Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
Before I incur the wrath of the hordes of Star Wars deadheads who seem to reflexively rate any negative review of this woeful movie "Unhelpful", consider this: I am a lifelong fan of the original Star Wars Trilogy and had as much hopeful investment as anyone in the success of the second trilogy. The sad fact is that Attack of the Clones - despite what you've heard - is even worse than The Phantom Menace (if you can bring yourself to believe that something so ghastly could actually exist). Willing this to be a better movie than it actually is (which seems to have been the response of most US critics and - it has to be said - Star Wars fans) is a pointless exercise in delusion. The sad reality is that even the weakest of the original trilogy - Return of the Jedi - is infinitely superior to anything we've seen since. The amount of times I found myself asking "Who wrote this [stuff]?" is matched only by the amount of times I had to hold back laughing aloud at the infantile dialogue and plotting of this utterly charmless movie. This is quite possibly the worst writing EVER in a major Hollywood production and should fast find its natural place in screenwriting classes as a case study in how NOT to write a script. The completely unmoving, unconvincing romance between a wooden Hayden Christensen and an uncharacteristically bland Natalie Portman is only the most obvious clumsiness. The [weak] fortune cookie dialogue given to Ewan McGregor finds appropriate expression in a disinterested performance (how else can any self-respecting actor work with wannabe banter that amounts to exchanges of "Yes Master"; "No Master"; "I try Master" ad infinitum?) Such puerile gems as "The day we take democracy for granted is the day we lose it" simply cry out for ridicule. The deterministic, completely unconvincing and unsympathetic movement of the Anakin character towards the "Dark Side" - a process underpinned by a cynical array of contrived situations and the worst depiction of teenage angst ever put to screen - only further raises the rubbish factor. Anakin scowls around saying things like: "You're like a father to me master"; "He doesn't understand me"; "It's all his fault!"; "He's holding me back!" It's like the last teen movie George Lucas has seen was in 1955 (doubly strange for someone who was the director of the superior, textured teen movie, American Graffiti) - come back John Hughes, all is forgiven. It also has to be said that - in a series never characterised by great acting anyway - Hayden Christensen gives the worst-ever performance in a Star Wars movie. Possibly the most untalented actor of his generation by this evidence - his charisma-free range appears to be pouting and... pouting. When Christensen says "I have a bad feeling about this!" - a line most familiar to series fans courtesy of Luke and Han at various points in the original Star Wars - he only prompts reminders of the rugged charisma and naive charm of the actors - and characters - that preceded him. The comparison is fatal! As for the much vaunted digital effects - well! If the miserable CGI creations menacing our heroes in the stadium execution scene are a standard, then give me Ray Harryhausen anyday. Hopefully these will look better on the Playstation 2 - where they probably best belong. In this regard, Star Wars has aways been a commercial exercise but the ... plugging of possible videogame content is distracting (most obviously when Anakin applies platform-game timing and strategy in avoiding a series of blades and hazards). So it appears, unfortunately, that the best thing techno-merchandiser George Lucas can do for the final instalment of this truly pitiful second trilogy is hand over the directorial reigns (as he did with The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) to a journeyman director (where are you Irving Kershner?) unpressured by the burden of pop culture expectation. The man is clearly no longer capable of telling a decent, well-paced story. Lucas recently said he welcomed the competition provided by Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings series. Don't kid yourself George! There's no competition. Peter Jackson is an infinitely better director - and Attack of the Clones against Lord of the Rings is like a shopping trolley against a Ferrari. And these - fellow Star Wars fans - are the sad truths we should stop denying!
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 24, 2007 9:55:39 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on May 25, 2012 11:42:22 AM PDT]
Posted on Oct 10, 2008 3:22:41 PM PDT
Michael Flanagan says:
Have you even wached the original trilogy? you make them sound like citizen cane, its not some infallable amazing movie. yes they were awsome but come on mark hamill is a terrible actor too. OK this movie is obviously not a 5 out of 5 but its also not a 1 out of 5. thats saying this movie is as bad as it gets. this is a terrible review and you should get off your nerd high hoarse you scruffy looking nerf herder.
Posted on Apr 28, 2009 2:05:32 PM PDT
J. Ault says:
Great review. AOTC is without a doubt, one of the worst films in human history. When I saw it in the theater, it was like I was attending a funeral. In a way, I was--the funeral of Star Wars.
Posted on Nov 8, 2010 8:14:39 PM PST
you're right a deplorable disaster. Fan boys fleeing in infestations on amazon when people put negative reviews up for their 'precious series' Pleassse they say 'you are not a real star wars fan'. phttttt I have a collection of memorabilia from the 70's and 80's locked in my parents storage container that easily is worth 50k, I was a die hard, slept ate and breathed for every moment for the next three....this was absolutely dreadful...
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2011 12:27:44 PM PST
Kendrik Lau says:
Actually, the original trilogy can be compared to Citizen Kane since they, not the prequels, originated the iconic imageries that is now part of our pop culture. The acting may not be up there either but at least the cast of Hamill, Ford and Fisher have chemistry and the characters are likeable.
Posted on Jun 10, 2012 12:44:43 PM PDT
I think if I'd seen the original Star Wars as an adult, as I am now, instead of as a boy, I would've thought they were pretty cheesy too. I've been rewatching the new trilogy with my son, and they're not as bad as I thought they were when they were originally released. That said, Hayden Christensen is a god-awful bad actor, my son kept asking me why I was laughing so many times when he was delivering his lines, it was my first opportunity to explain to him what bad acting was.
Posted on Apr 22, 2014 2:41:22 PM PDT
I agree with everything you said in this review. Well-put!
Posted on Jun 6, 2014 6:26:32 AM PDT
I keep hearing people comment about Natalie, Ewan and Hayden, I thought the worst performance by far was Samuel L Jackson. Talk about miscast, was this is first movie? In each of the movies he was in he sounds like all he is doing is reading his lines. I was glad when his charater got killed.
Posted on May 21, 2015 4:05:23 AM PDT
Daniel Ferguson-Maltzman says:
Best review of this film that I've ever read.
Posted on Dec 7, 2015 2:49:47 PM PST
Amazon Customer says:
Have you heard of them?