Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Sequel Spotlight: Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones

Welcome to a weekly feature here at Movies With Abe. In this series, I’ll be taking a look at some famous (and infamous) sequels to see how they compare to the original. I'll do my best to alternate between the greats and the best forgotten. Leave your thoughts or a suggestion for a spotlight in the comments!

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
Directed by George Lucas
Released May 16, 2002

For the first time in this series, I’m returning to a franchise I’ve already featured. I think this will also be my most controversial choice thus far, since most will tell you that the prequels are useless pieces of garbage, with the possible exception of the third, which offers a semi-satisfying conclusion to the saga. I’d posit that the third film is hardly as competent as the first and the second. Many despised “The Phantom Menace” because it didn’t spend much time in space, featured Jar Jar Binks, and was too hokey an update of the original films. Putting that film aside, since it’s one that I greatly enjoyed when I first saw it in theaters at age eleven, the second film is a different beast. What the first film lacked in continuous action, it made up for in spectacular fashion with a handful of memorable fight scenes, most notably the circle of Jedi Council members all brandishing their lightsabers and the epic fight between Yoda and Count Dooku. There’s no excusing Hayden Christensen’s miserable performance as Anakin Skywalker, but Star Wars was never about acting, Oscar nominee Alec Guinness aside. It may not boast terrific dialogue either, but it’s hard to argue with the magnificent visuals and the impressive effects. The introduction of Jango Fett and the charting of Palpatine’s rise to power make for compelling story arcs, and this action-packed sci-fi adventure doesn’t reserve the bad rap it gets.

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