Review by J.T. Johnson
ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: May 12, 2002
DIRECTOR: George Lucas
CINEMATOGRAPHY: David Tattersall
WRITERS: George Lucas, Jonathan Hales
MUSIC: John Williams
Believe it or not, “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones” is actually my least favorite film in the “Star Wars” saga. Now, I do ultimately like the film, but I feel that it is more flawed from a story point-of-view than any of the other films. This is due mostly to the fact that Lucas just tries to get through one important story element while paying more attention to another important story element.
In this film, several systems have broken away from the Republic and they call themselves the Separatists. They are led by Count Dooku (Christopher Lee), a former Jedi who may have even more sinister intentions. Meanwhile, the Republic is debating on whether or not to create an army in order to assist the already strained Jedi Order.
Senator Amidala (Natalie Portman) has arrived on Coruscant to reject the development of an army. Soon, there is an assassination attempt and the Jedi assign both Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his apprentice Anakin (Hayden Christensen) to protect her. After another attempt on the senator’s life, Obi-Wan is assigned to find the assassin while Anakin and Amidala return to Naboo for her protection.
I must say that the biggest element that saves most of this movie is Obi-Wan’s detective story as he tries to figure out who was hired to kill Amidala. This is because it naturally leads to even bigger revelations that will impact the saga as a whole and I can tell that Lucas had more fun writing this story than anything else featured here. Meanwhile, you can also tell that he couldn’t wait to be done with the developing love story between Anakin and Amidala.
This love story has to happen due the impact it will have on the rest of the saga. On the other hand, it is also where the script features the worst special-effects and the worst dialogue that Lucas has ever written. Every time the film switches back to this story, I can’t wait to get back to Obi-Wan’s investigation.
The final act of this film is quite the highlight, though. When the Clone Army finally does attack the droid army in order to rescue our heroes, the film features one of the best action scenes featured in any of the movies. Also, another memorable lightsaber battle commences when Yoda enters the picture to do battle with Count Dooku.
This battle could have easily been one of the most ridiculous fights in the history of the saga. Thanks to the gang over at Industrial Light & Magic, though, it turns out to be quite thrilling. It was great to see this Jedi Master finally show us all what he was made of.
Ultimately, the movie is, in my opinion, the weakest of the Prequel Trilogy. The movie jumps around a little too much and contains the absolute worst dialogue ever written for the series. Thankfully, a great detective story and a climactic third act ultimately save the film despite its numerous flaws.