(Or, Attack of the Clones. I probably should have specified that in the title.)
Thus continues my review-along of the Star Wars films, which mostly consists of ragging on the prequels and praising the old ones. I know, original, right?
2002's Attack of the Clones is the second episode in the Star Wars prequel series. It follows Anakin Skywalker, Padme Amidala and Obi-Wan Kenobi ten years after we met them in The Phantom Menace as they fight and fail at negotiating peace in the Republic.
If you were tired of hearing about politics in the last film, sorry. This one's got more politics. Something, something, 'trade disputes', Padme's a Senator now, and so on.
Padme's political career is all well and good, but I don't think that's exactly what most of us were looking for in our campy space movie.
Attack of the Clones opens with an explosion. Padme's ship explodes as it lands on Coruscant, but we learn that she flew another ship in so she is fine. However, this spells the beginning of a series of assassination attempts against Padme, all of which fail.
Obi-Wan Kenobi and his padawan Anakin Skywalker return to Coruscant after ten years. Obi-Wan has grown a beard and Anakin has sprouted both a libido and about two metres.
Kids, this film is ninety percent about Anakin Skywalker trying to get some. Apologies for my colloquialisms, but it really is.
However, since this is HOLLYWOOD DRAMA, Anakin's a jealous prick with more midichlorians than sense, and Padme just goes along with it, because the pair have to get together in the end in order to create Luke and Leia.
George Lucas, could you not have made Anakin such a total egg? The guy's incredibly jealous and pushes Padme far past her boundaries. She knows that a relationship with a Jedi will jeopardize her career, and Anakin fails to listen to her when she says that his flirting is making her uncomfortable.
I get it, 'Hollywood Byronic Hero' and all... Men must be tall, dark, and a little bit of a bad boy to get any sort of credence on screen, but really? Anakin's an ass.
Yet, in the end, Padme falls in love with him because the past demands it. Ho hum.
That's essentially all that happens in this film, by the way. Anidala kiss, Obi-Wan is sassy, there's some clones, and Padme doesn't die. It's pretty bog-standard, but there is a couple of decent fight scenes so it's not totally unwatchable.
I just wish they'd tried harder. The weird balance between slapstick comedy (Jar-Jar, and often scenes with C-3PO) and the encroaching threat of mutiny in the Republic don't work well together. Choose an angle and stick with it - don't break up action scenes with 'humorous' set pieces, especially if they hardly read as humorous at all.
Anakin slays an entire village full of Jawas, including the children too, because he's in a rage. A film can't have a mass killing and then break it up with some 'ooh C-3PO is so clumsy'! The tone is all wrong.
However, in the end, Attack of the Clones is far less irritating than The Phantom Menace. (shudder).