Star Wars Memories - Part 4
Maybe I’m too easy to please, but I absolutely adored Attack of the Clones. From the opening frame to the last there was not a single moment that made me unhappy. I walked out of that theater with a glow about me and it’s lasted straight on through the night. Jon said I should sleep in today, that if I got up too early after returning home at 3:30 AM I would be sick all day but I simply couldn’t stay in bed. That’s how excited Episode II has gotten me.
Attack of the Clones, is a masterful blend of action and drama. It is a love story and a murder mystery and a war epic all at the same time. The film is a transitional piece and it should be viewed as such. In much the same way that The Empire Strikes Back got us from the hope and optimism of A New Hope to the ultimate confrontation in Return of the Jedi, Clones takes us from the expository beginnings laid out in The Phantom Menace and delivers us onto the doorstep of what I imagine will be the most climactic moment in the entire saga.
Which, by the way, cannot get here soon enough.
I’ve read good reviews and bad reviews. The good ones, when they praise, I agree with them. The bad ones I find disenchanting and bitter and the work of men and women who’ve truly forgotten the joy of the movies.
Are there moments where I wish I could’ve been the one writing the dialogue? Sure. Is the acting “wooden”? No. Not at all. Is the love story a cliched rehash of every other great love story? Maybe. But remember, this is a great epic, a myth, and the love story should be just as archetypal as the characters.
Hayden Christensen, who I loved in Life as a House shines here and there are moments in the film where I see Vader on his face, in his eyes. There’s been some argument on the internet as to whether Anakin could truly be Vader until he dons the mask. I say yes. Hell yes. There was one scene in particular where the look on his face just got me. It made me shudder.
Nataie Portman does well. I’m one of the few fans The Phantom Menace has and I’ve always loved Natalie’s work. I don’t think she’s possessed of the same sass as her character’s daughter Princess Leia and I think that upsets some people. If she’s stiff and wooden at all I think that’s a piece of her character. She’s been a politician her whole life. She talks about meeting her first love at a youth legislator’s summer camp, or something like that, for Christ’s sake. It’s very obvious to me that this is a young woman who needs to get out more.
Ewan is great, looking more like Alec Guinness each film. Sam Jackson is priceless. Morrison, Lee, and McDiarmid all reek of darkness and bring the villains in this film to life. They’ll never be as frightening as Vader but they come close.
Jar-Jar appears briefly and gives us all a real reason to hate him.
There is so much to love about this movie that I simply cannot understand someone who goes in and doesn’t come out feeling like they had a blast. There was a group of kids who stood in front of the screen as the credits rolled and began critiquing the film loudly and obnoxiously. It was like an internet message board come to life and I was reminded of the scene in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back where they beat the piss out of all the haters on the net. I so wanted to kick their ass for even tarnishing my high in that slight little way.
Maybe I’m too easy to please but I don’t think so. Star Wars occupies a special place in my heart and I guess it would be very hard for George Lucas to do something wrong. Let’s get this straight though… I had my problems with Clones. There were little bits of scenes or pieces of dialogue that made me groan but they did not… could not affect my love of the film. There was nothing so bad that it took me out of the story completely.
So, go see it. I think you’ll be happy with what you see. And if you’re not, well God help you. If you don’t have fun at this film I think there’s probably a rather large stick up one of your orifices and you need to go buy some plyers and rip that sombitch out.
And then go see it again.