We’ve all walked out of the theater scratching our heads, thinking that what we just witnessed was completely different movie than the one the marketing sold us. You turn to look at your movie going companions with at what-the-hell-was-that look on your face and remind yourself that advertising is total bullshit. When we here at GFR take over the world, which realistically should be any day now, the only previews you’ll see for any movie will be Screen Junkies’ Honest Trailers. Until then we’ll just have to satisfy ourselves on their sporadic offerings, including this one for a movie that continues to leave a lingering bad taste in our collective mouth: Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones.
It’s been a while since I watched Attack of the Clones. I saw it in the theater, gave it another chance on video, and then spent more than a decade blocking it out of my mind. However, thanks to this video, all those painful memories came rushing back. To be honest, after The Phantom Menace, not to mention the “special editions,” many of us were braced for the worst. We hoped Episode I was an aberration, but George Lucas still managed to drop a giant deuce on our fond childhood memories. This video reminds you of that right out of the gate.
All of the film’s myriad flaws are open for bitter skewering here. You have two completely disposable armies that offer you no reason to get emotionally invested in the action on scree. And the love story that’s “as soulless as the computer it was made in” gives you even less reason to care. The acting is atrocious, Anakin is a “rat-tailed asshole” and creepy stalker, and you have to wait an hour just to find out who the bad guy is. From the pacing to the performances to the excessive CGI, Attack of the Clones is a kind of perfect storm of terrible storytelling and crappy moviemaking.
And the wipes. I had completely forgotten about the wipes. It’s like that episode of The Simpsons where Homer insists on only using star wipes. The montage of wipes, set to a Benny Hill-esque song, is damn near perfect, and captures the sheer ridiculousness of the situation.
Perhaps more importantly that anything else, this video brings up one important point that we should all keep in mind: there is absolutely no way that J.J. Abrams can do any worse than this. I never thought I’d be so reassured by such a statement, but the more I think about it, the more comfort I find. Abrams is a hit and miss filmmaker to be sure, but in order to make Episode VII worse movie than the first two of George Lucas’ prequels—Revenge of the Sith isn’t good, but it’s the best of the three—he’s going to have to try really, really hard. That’s a small consolation, but we’ll take what we can get. Mediocre would be a step up for the franchise at this point.