Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
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480 out of 800 people found the following review useful:

I loved it and I think it's getting too much criticism

Author: sixpack-3 from New Jersey
26 March 2003

I happen to be one of the folks who really has enjoyed these films in the prequel trilogy. I also can see why people would not like the films and I don't deny people the right to their opinion. What has been bothering me has been some of the reasons people are giving for hating these new films... they are childish, they have too many special-effects, the acting is bad, the writing is bad, Lucas has sold out and has lost his touch... it makes me wonder if people are actually remembering the original trilogy correctly. Don't get me wrong, I love the original trilogy, but they weren't exactly well-acted or well-written movies. We didn't love them because they were these great Shakespearian works of art; we loved them because we were little kids totally enraptured by this exciting fantastical world. It seems that those same kids that loved the films 20 years ago have grown up into stuffy old yuppies that have no idea how to have fun anymore. Our generation has grown up and it seems that we wanted Star Wars to grow up with us, to morph into some new R-rated grown up version to satisfy our more mature needs. Well, we didn't like the original trilogy because it was all grown up and serious. We liked it because it was silly and fun and awesome to look at. I am personally glad that George Lucas did not make the prequels into a new grown up version. I like the adventure and excitement and I challenge the one major complaint that says that they do not live up to the originals. Let's look at what people have complained about when comparing these to the original trilogy.

-The new movies are too childish and geared towards kids: So, somehow we're supposed to believe that the droids, aliens, spaceships swamp monsters, and warriors with mystical powers from the original trilogy were of the more mature variety.

-The new movies have too many special effects: We're forgetting that the original movies were also special effects laden. Lucas has always pushed the limits of technology, even inventing new technology all the way. He has not sold out or changed or just now relied on special effects, he has always concentrated on the effects. If he had digital technology 20 years ago, he would have done the same thing then that he has now. That's what he does; he makes up worlds that don't exist and then comes up with a way to put them on film.

-The writing has been bad on the new films: Does anybody recall Lucas ever receiving a Pulitzer Prize?

-The acting has been bad on the new films: Carrie Fisher??? Mark Hamill??? Harrison Ford??? We're not exactly talking about Academy Award winners here. Name me one of the original main actors who was actually a great actor (other than Sir Alec). Now, Harrison Ford has had a great career, but he's no Jack Nicholson. And where are Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill now?

-Anakin is just a whiny little brat: Does anybody also remember how whiny Luke was in the first two movies? I mean, he did nothing but whine and complain until Jedi. And how many times did they say that Luke was just like his father? Should anybody then be surprised that Anakin was a whiny adolescent?

I think my point here is that people from my generation have taken something they loved as a kid and put it up on a pedestal so high that they are confused as to why they liked it. They think the original movies were these serious Academy Award caliber pieces of art and that's why they liked them. In fact, we liked them because they were cool and had monsters and space battles and there were toys that we could play with and have fun. The new movies are of the same mold as the original, they are unchanged. WE have changed and we're having a hard time dealing with that fact. Some would argue that these movies are not true Star Wars movies. I say, they are exactly the same... that's why I love them. If I want a serious film, I'll go find somethings starring Daniel Day-Lewis. I like action and science fiction, so I'll stick to the childish, poorly acted stuff.

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232 out of 384 people found the following review useful:

Looking back this episode is much better

Author: lawnboy1977 from Scottsdale, AZ
28 November 2005

This episode of the Star wars saga was criticized by some when it came out for having wooden dialogue and too much digital landscaping to be any good. I wasn't overly impressed with it myself, but having seen all 6 films now, AOTC is actually a very important and well done section of the overall series.

Lucas has said time and again that this movies are meant to be seen as one long film, not to be taken as 6 individual movies. This particular installment features so much that affects every other episode. The discovery of the clones, the immaturity and arrogance of Annakin, the beginning of the clone wars. All of these events happen in this one movie, which is actually a lot more than what happens in some of the other films. I don't consider this to be the best of all 6 by any means, but it is certainly not nearly as bad as some people make it out to be.

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199 out of 320 people found the following review useful:

"Begun, the Clone War has...."

Author: JTurner82 from Highland Park, NJ
20 May 2005

It seems as though there is no way to dispel negative atmosphere once it has been started. George Lucas's STAR WARS trilogy was well-loved by audiences (even though critics were split) but for some reason (and I can't figure it out), the first entry in the prequels, THE PHANTOM MENACE, earned a HUGE onslaught of critically divided posts just about everywhere in the world, from the press to the internet to fans in real life. While I do agree that the original trilogy is a tough act to follow, I wasn't as grossly let down by this movie as some were.

The same thing has happened to the second of the STAR WARS prequels, ATTACK OF THE CLONES, released in 2002. Many predicted that this movie would satisfy those who disliked Episode I with a vengeance, but alas, such was not the case. Once again, critics damned the movie for one reason or another, and the heated debate on whether Lucas "trashed the original trilogy" or not is still going on. I find it very sad that Lucas would still receive unfair critical attack, even after making a much darker, somber, and ominous movie in ATTACK OF THE CLONES. I'm guessing that such naysayers will continue to say nay to Lucas no matter what just like rabid fans of Anime would continue to slam-dunk dubs... even if a lot of them have recently proved to be excellent.

This is not to say that ATTACK OF THE CLONES is a flawless film. It actually has its share of problems that THE PHANTOM MENACE didn't have. The dialogue, although nowhere nearly as bad as critics and some disgruntled fans say, lacks the spark of the original trilogy. My biggest gripe with the movie is that it moves at a leisurely pace, with lots of weak, unsatisfying sequences that last too long. Most of these scenes consist of a love subplot involving Anakin Skywalker and Amidala Padme. When not interacting with each other, Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman are fine in their respective roles. (Christensen's monologue about his slaughtering of not only Tusken Raiders but--horrors!--women and children is frightening.) But there is a sense of awkwardness when they contribute to scenes which involve schmaltzy lines and screen kisses. I'm guessing that they both felt uncomfortable doing these scenes, hence why the chemistry between them isn't as interesting as, say, Han and Leia's from the original trilogy.

Only when the movie is in action does ATTACK OF THE CLONES become worthwhile--there's a dizzying chase through Coruscant on floating cars, maneuvering through a dangerous asteroid field near a planet, and a half-hour long showdown that showcases a lot of amazing CG work. Actually, what also make Episode II worth watching are the fantastic set designs. Every location in the movie, from the metropolis skyscrapers of Coruscant to the water planet where prototypes of Stormtroopers are being constructed literally bursts with imagination and eye candy.

Of the performers I liked Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan) the best; his acting is still a little shaky at times, but here he seems more comfortable with the role. Christopher Lee makes a surprise appearance as the new villain, Count Dooku, and once again he delivers first-rate evil with this character. And it's great to see C-3PO and R2-D2 up to their usual banter again (although sometimes some gags occur when not necessary). Ultimately, however, the film belongs to Jedi Master Yoda, played to perfection by Frank Oz. His appearances in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI featured him as a rubber puppet (and a delightful creation), but in this movie he really comes alive, thanks to first-rate CG effects. His mouth is perfectly in sync with every word he says, and the final showdown between him and Dooku is an absolute highlight.

While ATTACK OF THE CLONES is, in some ways, a lesser entry in the STAR WARS franchise, its assets outweigh its weaknesses; most of the questions I had from the first episode seem to be addressed a little bit in this chapter, and, frustratingly enough, provides more questions for Episode III. Flawless or not, this is still a STAR WARS movie, and for what it is, it's still worth a look.

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165 out of 264 people found the following review useful:

Movie for the fans (and no one else)

Author: bigstonemonkey from Springfield, MO
6 July 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First off, don't blame the actors or the special effects. It's not their fault. Whenever someone knocks a bad movie, which Episode II qualifies as, they immediately raise the pitchforks towards the actors. If your going to lay some blame, lay it at the feet of George Lucas. It was his puerile script that brought the actors to their knees, and his lack of direction that made them stay there. It was George's unholy fascination with all things digital that massacred the screen with billions of wasted pixilated images, making the flesh and blood actors seem like they stepped into the Twilight Zone.

This movie serves one purpose and one purpose manually pleasure George Lucas' fanbase. The only things that seperate this wheelbarrow full of fertilizer from the average sci-fi schlock are the overinflated budget for Lucas' digital toys and the useless insertion of previous Star Wars characters.


The movie flows like a frozen sewage runoff. It goes from high speed, high altitude car chases, to boring, forced angst by the fireplace. To say that Christensen and Portman have no chemistry is to say that the Middle East might be facing some political problems. Their romance is about as believable as grass growing on the moon. Maybe they could have done better if the script hadn't been written with crayons.

I thought these prequels were about Anakin's spiral downward from the path of balance into the Darkside. Is that ever going to happen or are we going to be forced to watch a third episode of video game previews for the Game Cube? We were given a lackluster hint with the slaughter of the Sand People but that barely cuts it. It wasn't even shown, thereby castrating the power of the scene. We just have to hear Anakin whine about it for about three seconds. Usually, when someone butchers a whole village of men, women, and children there's a whole lot more soul searching going on afterward. Of course, Lucas goes the pansy route and glosses over the whole thing. Most people I've talked to didn't even remember the scene until it was brought up to them.

I'm probably one of the few people completely disgusted witht the Yoda fight at the end with the unimpressive Darth Sarumon (Lee plays the exact same character in LOTR: former wizard turned evil lackey=former jedi turned evil lackey). It's almost as if instead of a hand being up Yoda's posterior they've inserted a heroin suppository. Lucas has, in a brief half-minute, meaningless fight scene, destroyed the mystery of Yoda. The entire fight was unwarranted. If Yoda can raise ships from swamps and hold big chunks of pillar in the air, why can't he just pick up Count Poopoo and bang him against the wall a few times, soften him up a little, so to speak. Why? Because Lucas has toys he must abuse, that's why.

The real star of this movie is the CGI. And CGI doesn't make good film. CGI is a support for a movie, that's it.

There were far too many real world references, as well. Death sticks=cigarettes. Lame. Fifties diner in a galaxy far, far away, complete with sassy robo-waitress. Lame. This is supposed to be far removed from our world in the aforementioned galaxy far away. All I missed was the Fonz. Where the Hell was he? It might have been an improvement.

In closing..Lucas needs to stop writing, directing and editing. Let a grown up handle these things. All that crap about these movies being for kids is a lark. These movies are for the nerds of the late seventies and early eighties who can't seem to move on in the world. The charm of Star Wars was gone before Lucas unveiled his uber-deluxe, special treatment of the films for the third time. And now he's doing it again. Maybe he'll go the Spielburg route and replace all the blasters with peace symbols.

Rating 1 out of 10. I'd rate it lower, but I was never good with fractions.

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164 out of 300 people found the following review useful:

Attack of the Crap

Author: andrfenlon from istanbull, turkey
16 June 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Although I'm not a Star Wars fanatic (I certainly don't read the books or anything), I love the old Star Wars movies. In fact, when I was littler, The Empire Strikes Back was my favorite film. Now that I'm older, I respect them for what they are: incredibly creative, exciting and touching films. I have yet to see Episode 1. My friend recommended Episode 2 to me, telling me that it was better than its predecessor, but warning me "don't see it if you expect anything more than a Star Wars movie." Maybe I just have a nostalgic love for the first trilogy, but I would never think that they were anywhere near as poor, in any way, as this new garbage. I can't think of a high budget movie that I've seen that has such bad directing, bad acting, bad casting, bad special effects (or lack thereof), bad music, bad dialogue and bad plot, as ATTACK OF THE CLONES (bad title too). The reviewers on this site giving this movie positive reviews must all be brainwashed. Maybe they're all just excited that it's better than Episode One, which I can only assume must be the worst movie ever made, considering this one definitely belongs in the bottom 100.

Let's begin with the directing. WHAT THE HELL DID GEORGE LUKAS TELL HIS ACTORS? My only guess that the conversations went something like this... LUKAS: Hey Sam, sit in that chair and say your line. S.JACKSON: How do you want me to deliver it? LUKAS: Don't worry about that. It doesn't really matter. All the animated creatures don't really show any emotion anyway. In general, you should just say your line like you're reading it. Oh, but if you're supposed to be angry or upset, just screw up your face a little bit.

S.JACKSON: Okay. I guess...

I can't begin to describe how boring the non-action sequences are in this film. The actors aren't interacting at all. It's astounding.

Furthermore, talk about a classic example of bad acting, Ewan McGregor spends the entire movie doing a really bad impression of the actor who played Obi Wan in the original series...uuuugh, yuck. Whoever cast this movie needs to get their head examined. I've always learned that one of the prime objectives in film, especially a drama, like this one, is to suspend the audience's disbelief (perhaps George Lukas was striving to suspend belief with this one). How could anyone accept Samuel L. Jackson, one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood, as "Mace Windu" and Jimmy Smits, another instantly recognizable household name, as Senator "Bail Organa". My God, Lukas could have at least picked actors who haven't reached idol status yet, but no, he had to make his budget LARGER. The majority of people who liked this casting probably just liked seeing Sam Jackson meditating next to a poorly animated Yoda (SHAFT AND YODA TOGETHER IN THE SAME ROOM, MEDITATING LIKE BUDDHISTS! AWESOME!).

The digital special effects were disappointing and not convincing. I prefer people in elaborate costumes to the digitally animated, and amazingly generic looking, critters that Lukas used here. You've seen 'em in the fifth element, in the trailer for men in black II (before the film started) and here they are again, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. Go figure. Furthermore, juxtaposing digitally composed fantasy settings/landscapes(as ridiculous as they are on their own), with a real, easily recognizable, famous swiss tourist attraction was appalling.

The music as a whole sounded like a parody of the original score (in other words, it was fitting). The dialogue was laughably atrocious. Probably my favorite line *POSSIBLE SPOILER* was when Anakin (or little Ann(ie?,y?,e??) as the Senator calls him) tells the senator, "I didn't just kill the men...but the WOMEN...and the CHILDREN TOO!" "Ooh am I a bad guy. I'm such an evil dude that I use cliches to describe my horrible deeds." *NO MORE SPOILERS* The plot is so delightfully convoluted that thousands of viewers at home will be able to watch this movie in less than half it's running time when it comes out on VHS. They can all simply fast-forward to the action sequences and not miss anything important in the film. In fact they might as well fast-forward through the whole thing, given that the ending credits are by far the movie's finest sequence.

I'm getting tired of writing, so I'll just say that there are so many problems with this movie that this review hasn't even nearly given it justice. PLEASE, DON'T DISMISS THIS REVIEW JUST BECAUSE IT'S NEGATIVE. IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE YET, PLEASE, WAIT TILL COMES OUT ON VIDEO. AT LEAST THEN YOU CAN GET THE PLEASURE OF TAKING THE TAPE OUT OF THE MACHINE AND SMASHING IT TO BITS IN FRUSTRATION.

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98 out of 170 people found the following review useful:

Better than I expected

Author: beccaj_ilh from London, England
17 November 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Before seeing Attack of the clones I had seen neither the original star wars nor episode I and I didn't have any particularly strong ambitions to see them, I am a big cult fan but star wars just never really appealed to me.

I happened to come across the episode II DVD going cheap while browsing in my local library and thought I might as well buy it. And to my slight amazement, I really loved it. Many fans complain that the new ones are nothing compared with the originals, having never seen the originals to compare it with I thought it was brilliant. The action, the adventure, the love story, the lightsabres, C-3PO. The chase through the city near the beginning was fast and furious and had great special effects, as did the scene when Obi-Wan first sees the clones. The arena scene is a particular favourite of mine as it flows so well passing from one piece of action to another with such ease. The fights were amazing (particularly Obi-Wan's and Jango's) and very well choreographed. The film made me laugh (which is something I almost always look for) just little lines like 'I retransmitted it to Coruscant, just as you'd requested, Master. Then we decided to come and rescue you.' [Obi-Wan looks at his handcuffed hands] 'Good job'. The whole thoroughness of it all just made me wonder about the sheer immensity of George Lucas's imagination and it made me realize why all those boys in my class used to make lightsabre noises.

I admit that some of the Anakin/Padme dialogue was sickly sweet but being a typical teenage girl when it comes to love, I'm fine with that. Also overall the acting was slightly wooden but I admit that this did suit the Jedi style characters. Overall, it was my ideal film, action, adventure, romance, comedy and some nice epic not too drawn out battles. If this is bad compared to the originals, then I really should get round to seeing those originals.


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34 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Underrated Star Wars Adventure, Full of Intrigue, Drama, and Jaw-Dropping Fun

Author: jaredpahl from United States
2 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Much like its predecessor, Star Wars - Episode II: Attack of the Clones has gained a rather sour reputation on the internet. Fortunately, many of the popular complaints about this film are either highly exaggerated or downright wrong. Chapter two of the Star Wars Saga is an energized and highly enjoyable two hours at the movies.

Attack of the Clones follows Anakin Skywalker ten years after his exploits in The Phantom Menace. An older Anakin, played surprisingly well by Hayden Christiansen, is now training under the watchful eye of Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi. Searching the Internet, you won't find many fans who praise Christiansen's performance, but I found him to be very effective in the young, arrogant hotshot role he'd been given. McGregor does similarly well in the older brother, mentor role.

I enjoyed Episode I a lot, but the story is much more focused this time, with major events happening for Anakin, and an actual political conflict engulfing the Republic. The two major story lines in the film are, one, the political underpinnings that eventually lead to the start of the infamous Clone Wars, and two, the personal story of Anakin Skywalker, including the romance between him and the former Queen, Padme Amidala. The first of these story lines is wildly interesting, following the two opposing forces of the Clone Wars, The Republic and their clone army, and the Seperatists and their droid battalion, as they prepare for an imminent war. After an assassination attempt on Senetor Amidala, Obi-Wan embarks on a detective mission to a track down the people behind the plot. The political espionage and behind-the-scenes dealings make for a fascinating and focused story. The other major storyline is not as focused, but still works as a chapter in Anakin Skywalker's overall story. Anakin and Padme's love story works as a throwback to the grand, old-fashioned film romances of the 1930s and 40s (think Gone With the Wind), but for contemporary audiences, the few extended scenes of corny "love speech" dialogue might be pretty drab. However, these aren't as distracting or offensive as some claim. In fact, a couple of them actually work well, such as the meadow picnic, where Padme and Anakin discuss the futility of politics in the beautiful fields of Naboo. The actors have chemistry, and both are likable, especially Natalie Portman as Padme. Yes the love story can be a bit forced, and sometimes drab, but it fits the feel of the saga. It is a grand, sweeping, throwback to Hollywood's golden age.

If the love story might be hit or miss, it's the other facet of Anakin's character arc that Lucas gets absolutely right. Plagued by visions of his mother in pain, Anakin takes Padme to Tatooine where he tracks down his mother, only to see her die in his arms. His response is chilling and powerful. The scene between him and Padme in a garage after he brings his mom's body back is perfectly executed, unveiling a dark, angry side of Anakin, while simultaneously showing his frailty and confusion. It truly is one of the very best scenes in the saga.

Even if you didn't find the story as interesting as I did, there is no question that Episode II is an audio/visual feast for the senses. Lucas and company introduce a stunning variety of sprawling landscapes, crazy creatures, fanciful vehicles, and formidable weapons. Once again, the sheer amount of imagination contained in this world is unbelievable. While Attack of the Clones does tend to favor CGI backgrounds and creatures too much, it still looks undeniably cool. The nighttime skyline of Coruscant, the rain-drenched clone facility on Kamino, the termite mound planet of Geonosis; They all, along with the creatures that inhabit them, feel real, and look great. On these beautiful planets, we are treated to tons of terrific Star Wars action. George Lucas once again revels in directing off-the-wall fun. This film is an adventure through and through. Set-pieces range from a one-on-one battle between bounty hunter Jango Fett and Obi- Wan on the rainy platforms of Kamino to a gladiator-like fight against intergalactic monsters. The last half hour of the film particularly impresses, with a massive battle between the two giant armies, dozens of Jedis, and a helping of fantastic war machines. The whole thing ends with an epic face-off that sees Yoda battle with mind and sword against Christopher Lee's devilishly evil Count Dooku, a memorable villain with an air of gravitas. He's a classic Hollywood archetype with a Star Wars spin; an elegant villain who just happens to have a lightsaber (with an awesome curved handle) and can shoot lightning from his hands.

Needless to say, Attack of the Clones is much better than its reputation suggests. Complaints of poor story, too much politics, and "fake" looking CGI are almost completely unfounded, and the few moments of clichéd dialogue (the only complaint I can really understand) are such a small part of the film, that I barely notice them. However, for some reason that I honestly can't understand, it has become increasingly more "uncool" to like this film. Personally, I value energy and atmosphere in a blockbuster like this, and Episode II of the Star Wars Saga is packed with it. Attack of the Clones is a grand, sweeping, large-scale adventure. The story is mostly great, with only a few stretches that drag, and as with all the Star Wars movies (especially the prequels), the special effects and action are top notch. That is, after all, why you watch the Star Wars movies; to visit unknown worlds and have a ton of fun doing so. Star Wars - Episode II: Attack of the Clones isn't a world-class lesson in dialogue, but between the visual spectacle, first-rate action, and heavenly John Williams score, it is entertainment of the highest degree.


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108 out of 192 people found the following review useful:

Mostly entertaining

Author: tomimt from Finland
22 February 2005

If you listen to some fans of the original Star Wars trilogy, the new one is crap. This is, I've found out, true only with the Phantom Menace, which was very poorly directed and edited piece of film.

Attack of the Clones in the other hand is in comparison a superior achievement from PM. But it does contain couple of unnecessary segments, which drag the speed of the film down. And some of the acting is, even in the standard of the Star Wars, pretty horrible. But happily all those under achievers are not in any important roles and seasoned actors like Christopher Lee (Count Dooku) do deliver what you expect of them. others deserving nomination here are Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu and Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine.

So, the plot. Obi Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) are told to watch over senator Padame (Natalie Portman) because of assassination attempts towards her life. This soon leads in Obi in discovery of secretly manufactured clone army. Who is behind all this? Will Padame and Anakin fall in love? When does Anakin fall in to the dark side? Will he become a Jedi before all this? Some of these questions are partly answered in AOTC, but some are left waiting for the third installment of the new trilogy.

But as said, this is much better film than Phantom Menace. It's not best film in the Star Wars saga, but in my opinion it does deliver. It's mostly fun to watch, action sequences are good, special effects are even better and despise some bad acting and some pretty horrible dialogs, it wasn't pain in the back side to watch.

So, my advise: don't listen to roaring Star Wars fans who claim this movie to be one of the worst things ever and don't listen to those, who claim this one to be best thing since sliced bread.

Attack of the Clones is above average, but not the greatest thing ever either.

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115 out of 206 people found the following review useful:

An insult to the great original Star Wars Trilogy.

Author: The_Crow666 from United Kingdom
3 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a film that took three of the most beloved films of all time and sold their souls to CGI. The original Star Wars Trilogy were not labelled as the greatest films ever made because of Light Sabres, or Storm Troopers, or groundbreaking motion capture special effects, but because of the human side. The quality of the acting from Sir Alec Guinness, the chemistry between Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, the excellent dialogue that made every line a memorable quote and the context of faith and religion are what made them so everlasting. In this film Ewan McGregor's acting is surprisingly wooden for such a talented actor, Hayden Christensen has less chemistry with Natalie Portman than a 12 year old student's test tube, the dialogue is boring, the lines are cheesy and clichéd, there does not seem to be any actual emphasis on plot, it just being an excuse to glue one over-long action set piece to another, so the intrigue disappears fast and the themes and contexts are given a back seat to (admittedly impressive) CGI. It seems that George Lucas thought that what made a good film was as much soulless eye candy as possible.

Star wars was once a trailblazer in Science fiction and its originality gave most of the future Blockbusters the templates for their scenes, and what was originally Star Wars innovation became cliché at the hands of other films. Now it is Star Wars using the same plot lines we have seen over and over again, copying others and Episodes 1, 2 and 3 in a lazy attempt to seem interesting.

You do not need spectacle to create a good film you need drama and humanity both of which this film sorely lacks. In my opinion the best Light Sabre Fight of the series was the Showdown between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The fight didn't have any flipping or flopping or any fancy kung-fu, but it did have the enormous tension of the concept of the final fight between Master and Pupil. That made for a great scene, and the elements of drama are completely void from this movie. This is a cheap CGI fest that misses the point entirely.

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109 out of 199 people found the following review useful:

The Magic is Gone

Author: gothicform from United Kingdom
23 November 2002

There used to be a time when Star Wars was the best thing since sliced bread. Of course I was about 7 then but nonetheless it was the ultimate for many people of my generation, and then we grew up but perhaps it is that I have grown up that I didn't enjoy this one wanting a film for adults. I entered the cinema expecting some good old fashioned galatic action despite the let down of the Phantom Menace but instead what I got was two hours of largely tedium.

At base level all the ingredients were there but there was nothing else, this film was completely empty at heart. What the original movies had in charm, in script and in the endearing performance of their cast (even Mark Hamill pulled it off in the end) was largely lacking here. The two leads of Christensen and Portman cannot act to save their lives, sadly in this movie their lives were saved and we'll have to experience more of their slushy badly scripted romance in the third. They have all the physical chemistry onscreen of a couple of neutered dogs.

The depth of their romance which is one of the central planks of the movie is comparable to an infants swimming pool, clearly George Lucas has been reading too much Mills and Boon and spent way too long on his special effects computers to remember just how humans work.

The supporting cast headed by Macgregor are patchy too though Macgregor is head and shoulders above the two teenage leads and at times manage to act with some gusto. Much has been said about Christopher Lee and Samuel L Jackson but they are just playing themselves being competent enough actors to just turn up for work and perform regardless of what he director says. Compared to their past performances they are both underwhelming too.

I've already mentioned the love aspect of the story, this was also supposed to be a dark plot with plenty of evil and of course Anakin turning to the dark-side. For what is supposed to be the defining moment of the entire series we get a whole three minutes of screentime where he kills people. As to get a PG rating the slaughter is glossed over and barely shown on camera it's left to the actor to communicate what happened but the evil growing in him is completely skirted around with a little bit of sobby stuff that simply isn't convincing - at no time do we see someone being corrupted by power which is really a lost opportunity.

Lost opportunities is what this film is full of though, inside is a really good story struggling to get out but the issues are dumbed down to make them suitable for children to understand. The lack of invention in it is also stunning, why introduce Jango Fett at all except to cash in on the popularity of Boba Fett, why have Kenobi hide behind an asteroid like Han Solo does in Empire Strikes Back with a star destroyer? Why did we get those terrible C3PO puns and what was it with Yoda ever having a walking stick if he can fight like a whirling dervish on speed? Why does a changeling keep it's face and not get a new one then try to kill Kenobi.

The only part of the script I did appreciate was the ever annoying Jar Jar being the cause of the rise of the Empire, ooh the irony. Script aside Star Wars has always been something of an effects movie but these days it's simply not impressive enough when compared to Lord of the Rings. The saturation of the colours throughout the film make it all look cartoony, and the CGI does look like CGI although it is much improved on the previous film with Yoda at last looking real. I imagine this is where the majority of the work went on the film but it's just not good enough. I do wish that Lucas would get back to the gritty colour tones used in the first two films, they certainly added to the realism but the Disney look seems to have infected the franchise too deeply.

Not only are many of the effects lacking any believability but Lucas can't direct action, something that is a major flaw in a film that has perhaps half of it as action scenes. We get lasers zapping everywhere but there is no coherence with the editing and it all ends up a bit confusing with none of the excitement that should be there.

The problem with editing recurs throughout the film with the love story intercut with the discovery of the clone army badly done, why do we keep coming back from an interesting story to one that just turns people off, something that was obvious in the cinema as you could hear people groan everytime the teenage lovers were on.

The sound though is superb, watching at home on my Dolby 5:1 did make it a bit more of an experience but if you are relying on technical details to carry a film then you really shouldn't be making it to start with. Anyone can buy a decent sound engineer for a movie, and just be limited by budget but not anyone can get a good performance out of an actor, then the limit is talent.

Let's face it that George Lucas is nothing more than a glorified technician being way past his limits is trading on the goodwill of fans from movies he did 25 years ago. He's no great director or writer and should leave that to others, perhaps then we can get the Star Wars movies that we all want, and perhaps he can come to rival the grosses of the old films again but I fear the magic will have gone by then. score - 4/10 for sentimental reasons.

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