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Worst Star Wars movie: Attack of the Clones

Star_Wars_attack_of_the_clones_6

I’ve long thought that Attack of the Clones is the weakest Star Wars movie of the two trilogies.  Sure, the entire prequel trilogy is weak compared to the original trilogy, but it is still enjoyable to me.  Mostly.

I popped Episode I into the DVD player the other day and watched it, and still the only thing that annoys me about that movie is Jar Jar Binks.  That character’s purpose could have been served with a less annoying character who wasn’t a complete imbecile.  Then I popped in Episode II last night, and it really hit home how lame this movie is.  There are still some parts worth watching, mostly the special effects and fighting scenes, but what a horrible, horrible movie otherwise.

Lets start with the name:  Attack of the Clones.  That right there gives the impression that the movie is a cheesy, horribly acted, low-budget, SyFy original movie piece of shit.  That sounds like the name of a movie released in the 1960’s.  If he had just called it The Clone Wars, that would have been light years (parsecs?) better.  That gets the movie off on the wrong foot there.

Then there’s the “love story” (I have that in quotations because it’s the most terribly written, most unbelievable love story ever written).  It starts with Anakin getting nervous before meeting Padme for the first time in ten years, telling Obi-Wan that he’s thought about her every day since they last saw each other.  I suppose that’s plausible, although somewhat creepy and obsessive.  Most of the movie Padme appears to be repulsed by Anakin.  He repeatedly looks at her as a stalker or rapist would look at their prey, at one point prompting Padme to tell Anakin to stop looking at her like that because it makes her uncomfortable.  They frolic around the plains of Naboo (while Obi-Wan does all the hard work).  All the while Anakin is dropping hints about the person he will become.  He blasts democracy while advocating totalitarianism.  Later, when he confesses to killing an entire tribe of tusken raiders in cold blood, Padme sits down next to him and comforts him. I’m no expert on the opposite sex, but most women don’t stick with serial killers.  Then, right before they are to be executed, she finally confesses that she loves him, despite being seemingly annoyed by him for most of the film.

During the Battle of Geonosis, there is a purely comedic routine going between C-3PO and R2-D2 which, while funny, is completely pointless and has no place in a Star Wars movie.  Sure comedy is acceptable, but this was more slapstick comedy.  How likely is it that 3PO would inadvertently get his head switched with that of a battle droid?  And while I’m thinking of R2, where were those little rocket thrusters in the original trilogy?  Were they removed between Episode III and IV?  If so, how did he lose them?  Giving R2 those thrusters added an inconsistency between the two trilogies that didn’t need to be there.

The writing in the movie is extremely sophomoric and intellectually sterile.  And it shows on the actors’ faces when saying their lines.  Watch the faces of Natalie Portman and Samuel L Jackson.  Even Hayden Christiansen (it’s harder to tell with him because he’s a terrible actor).  The dialogue in the lightsaber duels at the end of the movie is atrocious.  “Surely you can do better,” Count Dooku (stupid name, by the way) says to Obi-Wan.  “It is obvious that this contest cannot be decided by our knowledge of the force, but by our skill with a lightsaber,” Dooku says, quite pathetically, to Yoda.  Who talks like that?  And who wrote that shit?  Well, George Lucas did.  Man, how the mighty have fallen.

Then there’s the ligthsaber duels themselves.  When Obi-Wan fights Dooku, it’s over pretty quick.  Obi-Wan, who handled Darth Maul and Darth Vader, couldn’t handle Dooku?  And he lost with the quickness, to boot.  Then, there’s the duel between Anakin and Dooku.  You don’t even get to see this fight.  The scenes of this fight are zoomed in on Dooku’s and Anakin’s faces for the majority of the duel.  This might be considered artistic, but it’s extremely lame and boring to watch.  The duel between Yoda and Dooku is pretty epic, but at the end Dooku uses the force to knock over a pillar onto Anakin and Obi-Wan as they lay on the ground, writhing in pain.  Yoda drops his lightsaber and uses the force to stop the pillar.  Dooku was standing right next to Yoda.  Does he strike him down while his attention is otherwise diverted?  No, he runs like a little bitch into his ship and takes off. That makes sense, right?

Another issue is Samuel L Jackson playing a Jedi.  He is just not convincing at all wielding a lightsaber.  He swings it around slowly in broad, clumsy arcs.  Even when deflecting blaster bolts.  He’s also not very convincing when spewing Jedi philosophy.  It just feels wrong that Samuel L Jackson is promoting peace and pacifism.  It’s Samuel-mothafuckin-Jackson, dammit!  I’m talking ’bout Shaft!  I am a huge fan of Samuel L, but he is just not right for this part.

Lastly, the casting of Hayden Christianson as Anakin is arguably the biggest mistake in the entire trilogy (it’s a toss-up between him and Jar Jar).  While Christiansen does a great job with the action scenes and the lightsaber duels, that’s only a fraction of his part in the movie.  Watching him act is just painful.  He can’t emote, and his lines are mostly in monotone.  Think Ben Stein, Jedi Knight.  Oh, there is one other thing he does well in the movie:  look pissed.  After his mom dies the look of pure hatred is genuine.  Overall, though, he does a lousy job in this movie.

Ultimately, Attack of the Clones is poorly written, poorly acted, poorly cast, and poorly conceived.  The only thing that works in this movie are the special effects (the only thing Lucas is really good at) and the battle scenes.  The battle on Geonosis is pretty fun to watch, but not much else in this movie is.

What’s your least favorite Star Wars movie and why?

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Discussion

19 thoughts on “Worst Star Wars movie: Attack of the Clones

  1. I’ve actually only seen the first of the three new movies, so I can’t say whether or not I agree with this, but I will tell you that Jar Jar pissed me off enough to agree with everybody in the known universe on that one, and I also agree that when I heard Samuel was in it I was sort of shocked. Shocked to the point of not wanting to watch it because he doesn’t belong there.

    I fully agree with Randal’s accusations in the Clerks cartoon when he yells at George Lucas, telling him that he wrote the new movies in the matter of a weekend. When the first outrage of Jar Jar was out, I read that Lucas purposefully left him out of the next movie as much as possible to keep people from not wanting to watch it because of him. So if that’s the case, then the movies weren’t written like they should have been, right? They were altered to make the fans happy, instead of being laid out there like the vision he supposedly had as an artist told him to do it.

    I have seen the original three many times and like them, but I’m more of a Star Trek fan, always have been, and while I understand the craziness surrounding Star Wars and all that, it’s just not for me that way.

    Like

    Posted by beefybooyawn | July 29, 2011, 8:39 pm
  2. I like the Star Trek movies, most of them anyway, but can’t get into the shows.

    And, yeah, it seems like the prequel trilogy was written in a matter of hours and while I don’t mind humor in Star Wars (the back and forth between Han and Chewy, for example) the slapstick bullshit with Jar Jar in the first movie and the droids in the second was fucktarded.

    There was a little bit of that crap in the third, with some sarcastic comments coming from the battle droids in the beginning of the movie, but he ultimately dropped that crap from the final movie. To me, it seems as if his target audience was children and that’s fucked up. I don’t mind making the movies kid-friendly, because they should be able to enjoy them, too, but damn.

    I just watched Episode III and found some stupid stuph in it that really never bothered me before. I guess cause I write all the time now I’m overly critical or just on the look out for criticism to dish out. Who knows?

    Hopefully, Lucas will either die or release his death grip on the copyrite on the Star Wars franchise because there are some Star Wars books that definitely should be made into movies. I won’t hold my breath, though.

    Like

    Posted by twindaddy | July 29, 2011, 9:53 pm
  3. I agree, Episode II is the weakest mainly because of the “love story”. The concept (boy meets girl before they are adults, then they are reunited as adults and fall into forbidden love) is believable, but the implementation was really crappy. All of the movies have stupid crap in them but the stupid crap in Episode II (the “love story”) dominated too much of the story.

    I also noticed the close-up in the duel between Darth Tyranus (a better name for Count Dooku) and Anakin — it was cheap and a lazy way to get out of choreographing the fight. It’s disappointing considering how awesome the lightsaber duel between Darth Maul and Obi-wan/Qui-Gon in Episode I is.

    The best part of Episode II was Jango Fett. He’s one of my favorite characters. I also liked the fact that it tied in the clones and Boba Fett with the original trilogy, and the use of Darth Tyranus posing as Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas to the Kaminoans (so that the Sith made it seem like the Jedi created the clone army) was quite brilliant.

    But all that was mired by poor dialogue. Poor dialogue plagued all of the prequel movies, but moreso in Episode II because of the “love story” dialogue that took up more of the movie. At least the other movies could rely more on action, so the dialogue wasn’t quite as obvious or dominant.

    Like

    Posted by Null | July 30, 2011, 8:33 pm
    • Agreed on all points. It makes you wonder what happened to Lucas in the 20 years between trilogies. Did he forget how to write or was he so arrogant by the time it came to do the prequel trilogy that he knew he could mail it in and still make a shit-ton of money no matter what?

      Like

      Posted by twindaddy | July 30, 2011, 9:29 pm
  4. Perhaps you don’t care because he acted horribly in the series, but it’s spelled Hayden Christensen. You even misspell it two different ways in consecutive sentences? Google is not hard.

    Like

    Posted by cnelson13 | January 16, 2014, 1:56 am
  5. My eyes are bleeding… Okay, Jackson sucked up the place. Some of the dialogue was rank awful. But the score was gorgeous, the last scene awesome, battles wicked, lightsabre battles amongst the best, and it’s Star Wars. Star Wars. I forgive you, George!

    Like

    Posted by Trent Lewin | February 10, 2014, 10:17 pm
  6. This one is definitely weak. There are some great set-piece action scenes – like Obi-Wan’s fight with Jango, but the rest of the movie lacks the emotional weight it needs to build Darth Vader’s story.

    Like

    Posted by L. Palmer | June 27, 2014, 2:35 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Nonsensicalness and other inconsistencies in the Star Wars movies | Stuph Blog - August 3, 2011

  2. Pingback: Disagreeing with my brother | Stuph Blog - August 10, 2011

  3. Pingback: Why the Star Wars movies are so bad – but good. | Blog of The Imaginator - March 16, 2013

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