Attack of the box office

May 17, 2002

Like nearly everyone else in Blogistan, I've now seen Episode II: Attack of the Clones. I was pleasantly surprised, but I am a fan and I had very low expectations. Some sequences in the film are brilliant. But the writing is stilted and Lucas doesn't seem to be able to direct actors. While Ewan McGregor (as Obi-Wan) and Christopher Lee as Saruman, er, Count Dooku both put in good performances, as does Frank Oz as the voice of Yoda. But Haydn Christiansen, Natalie Portman and Samuel L. Jackson are completely lost in their roles turning in wooden performances with no emotion. The stilted script and lack of direction seem to be the problem, more than the actors themselves.

But the action and CGI scenes are brilliant. When the characters are not talking and doing something, the movie is quite enjoyable. Fans will appreciate many of the appearances in the movie (Owen & Beru, plans for the Death Star, Boba Fett, storm troopers and star destroyers.) I liked the ambiguity of who the cloned troops are fighting for.

Attack of the Clones doesn't stand on its own as a decent movie, but as setup for what's coming in the future for the characters. (As Obi-Wan says off-hand to Anakin: "someday, you'll be the death of me.") But, it delivers exactely what the fans want-- a little more history about how the institutions of the Empire come into being, cool effects, Obi-wan using Jedi mind tricks in bar and Yoda kicking ass.

Posted by Andrew Raff at May 17, 2002 11:58 AM