The Force Awakens has FINALLY arrived, folks (read my review here) and, in honour of the return of the Star Wars franchise, I have been going back and re-viewing each of the prior films in the beloved franchise every day this week. And now, continuing my reviews of the films is Attack of the Clones.

Having reviewed the original trilogy at the start of the week and, just yesterday, The Phantom Menace, it's only fair to now move on to Attack of the Clones - which is, perhaps, my least favourite from George Lucas' disastrous prequel trilogy. When The Phantom Menace first released and didn't live up to all the masses of hype, fans were skeptical to get excited for the sequel. Everyone was still holding on to shreds of hope, in anticipation of this film being at least somewhat good and actually being a Star Wars film. However, when this was released, fans were solely disappointed. Tarnishing the legacy, this was the film that truly put this franchise in the ground - after the first one was thought to be just a misfire. However, this was the actual crash.

Taking place around a decade after The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones reunites us with Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and the now older Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen). Having left home a young boy to come and train as a Jedi, the sought after supposed Chosen One, Skywalker has been learning to master The Force under Kenobi's tuition. When the two discover a planned attack on the Galactic Senate, Skywalker is reunited with former Queen and now Senator Padmé (Natalie Portman), sent to protect her on Naboo - a forbidden love blossoming between the pair in the process - whilst Kenobi heads off to Karmino in pursuit of the attacker, uncovering much deeper, darker plans and a more powerful force at work - an army of Clones - along with an old friend of his, leading the Separatist movement.
Honestly, I didn't love The Phantom Menace. But, if there's one film in this franchise that is just as bad, it's Attack of the Clones. Sure, this film has its moments to shine - the epic battle between the clones and all the Jedi on Geonosis; the Obi-Wan and Jango Fett fight sequence on Karmino or the final ensuing lightsaber duel between Count Dooku and Yoda. However, aside from these moments, this is a dull, mawkish and lacklustre film. Not only is it a bland Star Wars film, it's a bland film in general. With a runtime of 142 minutes, really only about 45-60 minutes of that is actually competent. The premise is so poorly handled and rather convoluted with all sorts of different, unnecessary subplots crammed in. But, the screenplay is the real factor in this film's failure. The execution and handling of the plot is awful and lazy, in-cohesive and messy, and the dialogue is forced and awkward and cringe-worthy. The original trilogy was so well-written, in all aspects, but the prequels can't hold up.

This resulted in another film in which the characters are stoic and stale. We begin to see hints towards Anakin's inevitable regression to the dark side but it simply isn't as effective as it could be because there's no emotional attachment to the character that eventually becomes one of cinema's most hailed villains ever - there's no stakes here. The romance story between Padmé and Anakin is awkward and out of place too and, again, our lack of interest in these characters means it's even more unnecessary and tedious. The acting is okay but the actors just simply can't shine to their potential because of the awful material they've been provided with; also, the chemistry between Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen feels forced and their relationship is hard to believe and to invest in as a result. Ewan McGregor is a highlight though and manages to breathe some life and energy - albeit if only a little bit -into Obi-Wan.

Rather than listening to the fans and correcting the mistakes that he made with its predecessor, George Lucas' second of three prequels is yet another disappointment. The film is poorly written and actually hard to sit through, dragging on a lot and at a painfully grueling and soul-crushing pace. There are a few moments of actual entertainment but they are few and sporadic in appearance. The film isn't even visually on-par with the originals either, despite releasing quite some time after - when technology has advanced. The bloated CGI is messy and obvious and unrealistic and it takes away from the authenticity and the immersive nature of these films and this world. In the end, Attack of the Clones is dull and boring and tedious and yet another lazy, mawkish and frustrating Star Wars prequel film.

The prequels continue with yet another bloated, tedious mess. Attack of the Clones is an attack on the Star Wars franchise.

About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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