Jessica and I went to see Attack of the Clones again today. Here’s my (spoiler-free) review.
Remembering my experience with The Fellowship Of The Ring, I wanted to wait until seeing the film a second time before sharing my thoughts.
I have to say, though, that the experience of a midnight viewing in a cinema packed with fans was thoroughly enjoyable. It really helped to get into that little-kid frame of mind which was so condusive to enjoying the film.
Anyway… the film itself. Personally, I love it. Then again, I’m such a Star Wars fan that I enjoyed The Phantom Menace (yes, even Jar-Jar Binks).
Attack of the Clones is Fun with a capital F. George Lucas has never disguised his love of saturday morning serials like Flash Gordon. Well, this film really captures the excitement of those popcorn fueled adventures.
But it isn’t just thrills, spills and joyrides. There’s a really great plot to be enjoyed here. From the devious machinations of the villains to Obi-Wan’s detective story, everything rolls inexorably towards the mother of all climaxes.
And here’s the weird thing… I actually prefer the first half of the movie, before the climactic clash of the final battle.
Don’t get me wrong, the battle is an absolutely amazing spectacle. But it is a spectacle - something that is there to be looked at. It didn’t involve me or suck me in like the rest of the movie.
In some ways, Lucas has made two movies. For the first half, he has a story to tell and he tells his superbly. Once he’s done that, he rewards the audience with the ultimate cinematic rollercoaster.
There’s a general consensus, even in the bad reviews, that this final battle is a great piece of cinema. It is, but… the first half of the film is a great piece of storytelling.
The weak point, as most reviews point out, is the love story. It is kind of forced and there’s some particularly clunky dialogue. Personally, I don’t mind. What bothers me is when the rest of the audience titters, chortles and makes inappropriate comments…
Yeah, I’m one of those stuck-up types that likes to enjoy a movie without a running commentary from the seat behind.
Ah, well; each to his own. Unless you’re one of those commentators - in which case, each to his own horribly painful death.
Anyway, to sum up my feelings on Attack of the Clones: if you don’t like Star Wars, you won’t like this. If you like Star Wars, you’re in for a treat (or, more likely, you’ve already had your treat); it’s a great Star Wars movie.
Great story, dodgy dialogue, some great performances (especially Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen), sloppy love story and fantastic action. In short, it’s classic Star Wars.
A couple of final thoughts…
Having a simultaneous worldwide release was a gift from heaven. I’m so glad I didn’t have to wait weeks or months to see this. I know it was probably done to avoid clashing with the World Cup, but I’m thoroughly grateful.
I can’t wait for Episode 3. I’m going to try to spend the next three years avoiding spoilers (something I didn’t do for Attack of the Clones) but I don’t know if I have the willpower.