Let’s get down to brass tacks right away. That was brutal.
Not brutal like ha-ha Michael Bay is having those two dogs fornicate in the foreground of a battle scene between two fighting robots. Brutal like I’m losing the will to live and goddamn there’s still another hour left.
“Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” supposedly has a 142 minute running time, but I feel like two months would be more accurate. I gave both of the original films, IV and V, reviews in the B-range but compared to this travesty, they are “Citizen Kane.”
One of my complaints about the new James Bond film “Spectre” is that the love scenes and connection between the two protagonists felt forced and a bit blasé. Looking back, at least they didn’t have a scene where the two characters stared into each other’s eyes for what seemed like a millennium, followed by them frolicking in a Bachelor-like landscape chortling in rapturous glee as the “Sound of Music” soundtrack plays and turtle doves fly in the background. The scene continued with Natalie Portman’s Princess Amidala straddling Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker as if he was a chair and she was a white teacher trying to connect with a class of urban middle-school youth. Then, the camera paused as if George Lucas knew we couldn’t believe our eyes and he wanted to make sure that what was happening on screen was really happening. It was a travesty, catastrophe and still not the worst part of the movie, which goes to Christensen’s “lively” portrayal of temper-tantrum riddled Anakin.
Anakin acted as if someone stole his lollipop in each scene. His teenage Fall Out Boy-level angst was such a transformation from the sweet, innocent child in the film’s predecessor that there was a part of my brain that just assumed it was a different Anakin Skywalker. Every time he said “master” under his breath at Obi-Wan, I could envision the tattoos and ear piercings that he would eventually get. Alongside his “character development,” the acting was abominable. Young Skywalker delivered lines as if he were the Terminator: stilted and insipid. It’s not like your dialogue is any good, but at least put some oomph into it. Pretend that you care.
Anyway, all of these complaints crest into the last three hours (or 25 minutes) of the film where battle after battle takes place. People are shooting, light sabers are light sabering and fanciful witticisms are being uttered left and right.
Then Yoda, in his Mike Miller Miami Heat type heat check, walks out with a cane and becomes Muhammad Ali in the first round. And the only reason I know that he was fighting Count Dooku is because Google told me. There are so many needless characters added to the film that it becomes more and more confusing the more you think about it.
“Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” was surely bad, but it was at least fun in a hate-watch sort of way. Jar Jar Binks is laughable, the pod racing is semi-entertaining and the whole Jesus Christ subplot is insane enough that it grabbed ahold of my attention. This train wreck, “Episode II”, was just a bad movie. It is almost assuredly the last time I’m watching this movie unless I lose a bet in the future.
Only two more. They can’t be worse, I hope.