Thursday, 10 December 2015

Attacking Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

I started this blog to share my love of movies. Nothing more, nothing less. LOVE LOVE LOVE. But this... this movie. Star Wars: Attack of the Clones is a very tough film to love. It's a tough film to even like. Not quite from start to finish because it definitely has some good moments. But wow you have to wade through some neck-high sloppy shit to get there. It gets everywhere. You try to tilt your head back to stop it slopping into your mouth but it's no damn good. The taste of George Lucas' worst-ever bowel movements fills your face.

And after it started so well. Because this never gets old:

But then, after a big chase showing us how reckless Anakin has become and how bored of being in these movies Ewan McGregor has become, we get this:

Fucking packing. It goes on for hours. I have no idea what they're saying but it goes on and on and on. Darth fucking Vader mopes around like a spoiled little shitbag, while Natalie Portman acts more like a mother than his potential love interest. She might as well be packing his bags and sending him off to Jedi summer camp. And this isn't even the last scene to feature luggage. Next we get Anakin carrying her bags around as she's shipped around the galaxy to make sure she's safe. Which she isn't. But who really cares anyway? I got so sick of seeing her bags by this point, that I was hoping for something nasty to have been packed in there while she wasn't watching. What the hell is Anakin Skywalker... Darth Vader... doing carrying her freaking bags around for? And why are we seeing this in a Star Wars film? Couldn't they have been doing something... anything... more interesting as they talked? Scrap that. Could they just not talk?

Because it's these scenes between bloody Padme and bloody teenage Vader that really set me off. I can't decide whether I'm angry, disappointed or just half asleep. They go on forever. Every time you think the plot might be moving on, it cuts back to these two simpering black holes. Every scene stabs at you and twists the knife. I wish Darth Maul would just come in and impale them both on his double-ender. Here they are in King's Landing wandering around but sadly there's no Joffrey around to castrate Hayden Christensen.

It all looks like Lucas cares way more about the landscapes than he does about the script, the characters or the story. You become intently aware that Lucas didn't feel the need to give Vader much of a backstory in the original trilogy. Because this shit just wouldn't sell. You can type it, but you sure can't say it. I start to wonder if the actors are just sitting in a green room together. Hell, did they even film their scenes together? Were they even involved in the making of this film? Or did Lucas just digitally create their performances too?

Finally, some comic relief. We learn where Legolas didn't get his moves from. Anakin rides a giant tick to impress Padme and then gets thrown off. Ordinarily, this would be the worst scene in the film, but at least it offers some respite from all their talking. And somebody gets hurt. Not badly, but I'll take what I can get for now.

Then there's some shit going on with Jango Fett and his little boy Boba which again shows that Lucas is just trying to throw in fan-pleasing stuff, but doesn't realise that he is destroying the collective memories of millions at the same time. Oooh there's some serious signposting and foreshadowing going on. Boba looks angry at the Jedi. Wonder where this is heading?

Lucas actually uses a fireplace at one point. That's as sexy as it gets though. No she doesn't disrobe in this shot. Get your heads out of the gutter; this is Star Wars.

Joel Edgerton pops up, as did Rose Byrne earlier in the film. Both look confused. I wish I could reach into the screen and let them know that their careers are going to work out quite well. "Don't worry", I'd whisper in their ears, "no one gets to show what they can really do under George Lucas".

Finally, the dark side I wanted to see begins to emerge. No more moping, no more snogging, no more fireplaces or riding giant ticks. This is where the prequel trilogy should have started. Maybe then it could have just been one film. I wouldn't have to sit through all this and you wouldn't have to read it. How cool is that shadow? Hands down, best moment in the film.

Anakin goes off to do his business and then unfortunately it's back to bloody Attack of the Clones business as usual. More bloody moping. Seriously?

 Not even Sam L. Jackson throwing some serious shade can save this now.

But then we get a shitload of lightsabers and my insides light up a little. I wonder how much of the love for these films comes down to one simple thing: lightsabers. They look incredible, they sound incredible and every scene they appear in is instantly iconic. I could literally watch people fight with lightsabers all day. And that's about how long it feels as if I've been watching the film for now. An entire day.

As with The Phantom Menace and its three way lightsaber duel, Attack of the Clones is almost saved by its final fight. Yoda looks a little ludicrous, but Christopher Lee is a commanding presence, undeterred by Lucas' direction. God knows what he says to his actors... "ok guys pretend there's some scenery around you... there will be I promise... now you're fighting Yoda but he's bouncing around like a fucking pinball get it?" Lee's is the first really decent bit of acting in the film AND he's probably acting opposite thin air, or maybe a tennis ball or something. Quite fun it is, to see what Yoda can do when he's not sitting on his wrinkly green ass.

I want to leave it there. I should leave it there. I wish Lucas had left it there. But no. Then there's this. They're not going to... yep they are going to. Vader snogging Padme. Look at that annoying little rat's tail. I hope it gets caught in a blender. It's all so wrong.

One more prequel to go. If you haven't read my dribbling on The Phantom Menace, click the link below and please share this if you enjoyed reading!

The Highs and Lows of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

The Sith Hits the Fan: Revenge of the Sith

Star Wars: The Original and Still the Best?

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