When Clones Attack

Yet another chapter in the Skywalker saga has come to town. We went to see Attack of the Clones last night. I am sad to say that I was very disappointed.

Maybe I’m getting spoiled. Ever since Harry Potter last November, there has been something fun, epic (Lord of the Rings), or spectacular (Spider-Man) to watch at the local cineplex. And unlike most people, apparently, I really liked The Phantom Menace.

But this movie is so slow and so forced in its first two-thirds that when the final battle arrives, it took a few minutes for me to wake up! By the time I realized that I was seeing the final showdown, it was almost over. Then, the movie just stopped. No thrill of victory. No exploding Death Star. No cheering procession. And therein lies the problem with this one, I think. It’s so busy being a prequel, there’s no room left for a real story.

In its defense, the movie has a hard row to hoe. It has to turn Anakin progressively more Vader-like without turning him into the villain of this piece. It has to get Amidala (a powerful queen) to fall in love with someone she remembers as a snot-nosed kid (and who is growing more Vader-like). It has to foreshadow the rift between Anakin and Obi-Wan. It has to set up the fall of the Republic and the rise of the evil Empire. It has to fill in all those little gaps (Who’s Boba Fett? Where did Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru come fom? Why do they all think Yoda’s such a badass?). It does all of those things. (At the same time, you get to see that Luke inherited the whiny gene from his father and that Leia’s mother must have passed on the “kick butt in a tight white suit” gene).

When all is said and done, I think the movie will settle in as the second chapter of a six-chapter story. Fast forward to the battle scenes. Do not skip any scene with Christopher Lee or Yoda! And on to the next chapter.

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