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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
LOVE STORY: unbelievably unconvincing and boring
GRAPHICS: not very inspired this time
ACTION: occasionally good, most of the time you think "what's the point".
LIGHT SABRE USAGE: MOST UNCOOL!!
SPOILER: expect to see a muppet and a senior citizen battle it out with telekinesis and neon signs.
The fundamental flaws in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones are
pretty much summed up in a single scene in this film. Anakin Skywalker and
Padme Amidala are sitting at a dinner table (?), and decide to share a piece
of fruit. And during this entire scene, the piece of fruit is completely
computer generated, and it shows. It's horribly obvious when Anakin slices
it in half, and becomes downright inexcusable when Padme takes a bite of it.
We can see the actors are just miming the motions. God has killed a kitten
because of this.
That piece of fruit symbolizes everything unholy about this film.
It symbolizes the hollow acting Lucas deliberately set out to draw from each performer. We have talented actors here, we know they can do better than this because we've seen them do better than this. Well, except Hayden Christensen. A friend's mother really gave an accurate assessment of him when she said that he was really good at what he did: going berserk and then crying about it later. "I don't wanna fight." His performance was as forced as everything else in the film.
The script? Don't even get me started. People who defend this film from its detractors as saying "Star Wars never had good dialogue, that's not the point" are certainly semi-justified, but what they aren't realizing is that there was at least a small standard of quality in the first trilogy. There's a reason The Empire Strikes Back is actually considered a good film. No, the dialogue and acting were never really that great, but they were tolerable, and light years ahead of this dreck. Every plot development seems forced, every line cliche. The worst part is that this is even a step backward from Episode I, and is liberally sprinkled with painful one-liners that are supposed to be witty exchanges. Folks, when I want one-liners, I'll watch Army of Darkness. If this is going to be a serious film, they need to take a hiatus.
Perhaps the piece of fruit is most symbolic of the film overall in that the film, like the fruit, looks beautiful but somehow horribly false and impossible to believe (the CG looks like a step DOWN from Phantom Menace, I swear), and is ultimately nothing but air. It's hollow, there's no substance here. The sense of fun present in the original trilogy, and even a little in Phantom Menace, is totally gone. It looks and feels like it was a chore for everyone involved to make, including Lucas himself.
I suspect Star Wars fans will finally wake up to this one like they did to Episode I and it will plummet off the top 250 here. The reality of it is that the only true Star Wars films are the original trilogy, and this senseless new trilogy will probably ultimately be disowned like Alien 3, RoboCop 3, Halloween III (noticing a pattern?), and other poor sequels. ...all in a piece of fruit.
*** 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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I always forgave George Lucas for the relative horror that was 'Return of
the Jedi', because it did have some elements of greatness alongside some
the worst decisions about the franchise ever. I won't go into detail
The new films I cannot forgive however, because they show so clearly what
wrong with the action-film industry today: artifice, shallowness, and the
unfortunate demographic and marketing discovery that the dumber you make
something nowadays, the more money there is to be made from it. (PT Barnum
realized this a long time ago, of course, but even he didn't dumb things
down *this* much)
George Lucas, if you read these reviews, please pay attention (semi-spoilers):
1. (also a fault of Episode 1) - did they go to Mitsubishi or something for the designs of the spacecraft and various machinery for these new films? One thing about episodes 4-6: *almost* everything follows combinations of the fundamental shapes - the triangle, the rectangle and the circle. This general emphasis on angularity looked great, and really signified the basic look of things in the Star Wars universe, while still managing to look sleek. Now, however, we see things that are more often based on the teardrop or beetle shape, and other flowing, unusually curved designs that are so significant to today's automotive design. And all of this technological finesse is supposed to presage the designs of the original trilogy. In our own history, we see varying degrees of aerodynamic shaping in cars and airplanes, chronologically going from box-like to curved. Lucas should have made note of this and followed suit. As is, the curvy fighter ship designs look more aerodynamic than the "later" design of the x-wing, as an example. And yes, I *did* notice the Boeing-like transport plane in the beginning of the film. It still doesn't qualify, not even with the artificial propeller sounds, and it doesn't look like a "star wars" design at all. None of it does.
2. On that note, the über-busy CGI that densely dominates every scene of the film is distracting and unnecessary. It is impressive that the ILM computers can render so much at once, but it doesn't mean that they should. Craft dictates that the denseness of a Mahler symphony gives way to the appropriateness of a Beethoven one. I don't want to bring out the modern proverb that "less is more" really, because I don't really believe it is true of all things. But! Some discretion, some restraint please.
3. Why pander so obviously to earth-inspired architecture? We see typical Roman columns and vaulted ceilings in one scene, a horrible 1950's diner in the next (Edward Hopper would be rolling in his grave), and finally, a nod to the Gladiatorial arena in the finale. Even with his limited budget in the original "Star Wars", Lucas managed to create environments that looked unlike anything on earth. One might recall the cantina and say, "Ha! That's unquestionably a bar!" The point is, it's a 'star wars' bar, and it fit the look of Mos-Eisely very well. Whereas that new diner looked just like any diner anywhere on earth, right down to the salt and pepper shakers. One thing: it's ok to borrow from earth sources to make the architecture look unusual, just make sure that the sources themselves have nothing to do with architecture! The oval patterns all over the interior walls of the Death Star were plainly based on the cooling holes of a WWI-era Spandau machine gun, for example. When shifted over to architecture, this earth-based design became one of the most recognizable "Star Wars" patterns, and nobody batted an eyelash over it.
4. CGI characters vs. muppets/CGI spacecraft vs. models: I'm not going to elaborate here, but, some of the CGI characters look horrible, and should be shelved until they know how to make these sorts of things look even remotely organic - and it affects entirely the interaction of real characters and non-real... As for the spacecraft, I still prefer the look of the models over CGI designs. Again, even with non-organic forms, it just looks more realistic.
5. Yes, Natalie Portman is beautiful. "Hot" even...but, in the future, if you're going to give her Britney Spears fashions with no midriff to show off her lovely abdomen, please just do so - make it part of her costume to begin with. Don't have a 1000-toothed monster tear the cloth away - it looked ridiculous, and betrayed entirely what you were trying to do, but in an artificial and ridiculous way.
6. It's too late now, but...the casting for the human look of Darth Vader has been bad since Return of the Jedi. First, we see the Humpty Dumpty, living soft-boiled egg man when Luke takes Vader's mask off in RotJ; next, we're treated to a typical American soccer kid in Ep. I, who looked like Nicholas from "Eight is Enough" and betrayed no super-intellect that we're told makes him special; and finally, we get the raver-era, n-synch-style whining weinie of "Clones". Two out of these three couldn't act at all - I'll leave you to guess who. How can any of these people live up to the physical stature of David Prowse (the man underneath the Vader suit) or the authority of James Earl Jones' voice? Who was in charge of casting here? What were they thinking?
7. It's not the fault of the actors really, but...the dialogue between Anakin and the princess/senator was *really* bad. It essentially boils down to Anakin hitting on Amidala every chance he gets until she relents - and he didn't even need to give her any alcohol! Then we're treated to interspersed lines of trite pseudo-poetry and cliche. WE're in the age of the anti-romantic, to be sure, but you can still do better than this. It was worse than bad. It made me wonder if the writer ever got any himself.
8. It's all been stated before, but...please never throw in the side-scroller video game cliche of characters having to dodge mashing machinery on an assembly line again.
9. Surrogate Senator Jar Jar. I don't even need to say anything else about this.
10. The concept of cute. In the original, untarnished Star Wars, the cuteness factor was relegated to jawas and the two lovable droid protagonists. This was fine, because you never knew what the jawas really looked like - they could have been hideous beasties underneath the cloaks - and the droids were relegated to an anthropomorphic, pompous, effeminate robot who happened to look very cool, and a little save-the-day useful robot who talked in chirps and moog synth sounds who also looked really cool. The mechanical nature of the droids made up for their cuteness factor, as did the efficacy in which C-3PO spoke and the non-speech of R2. Nowadays, well...stop it please. Kids aren't that stupid, and you don't need to Disney the franchise to death like you have since RotJ.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Am I mistaken or was Hayden Christensen just playing the same character fomr
Life as a House? A rebellious son, independent and who doesn't need the help
The film had no blatant plot. It appeared they rolled the dice and by chance this year of Star Wars history faced up. So they just cut at on end then the other coming up with a film that more a glimpse than anything with a story. It felt like a day in the life of type story. Just arrive film and leave. No reason or event to be there.
This then presents some issues. Episode III must be very long or the opening very long because we have only one film left for Anakin to change and become evil, reach high power, and appear as Darth Vader. Also he must marry the Queen have 2 kids and what were they thinking making Episode 3 so void of anything except (SPOILER) Jengos death.
A few action sequences that got the ticker pumpin' but yoda with a sabre was more funny than exciting. The corny: dialogue, avenge my mamma, romance and all other plot points ruined the film, embarrased the series. I am glad I am not a fan of the series its bad enough Im a religious follower of the Bond Tradition when something like DAD opens.
I just watched this on DVD last night, having seen it in the theatre. I was
very disappointed when I watched the scenes that had been cut, as they
fleshed out the story a lot more than the final cut. You learned more about
the wasp creatures near the end of the film and why Dooku enlisted their
help. Padme's character was a lot more established as well in visits to her
parents house and in a confrontation with Dooku.
Many people have commented on the wooden acting of the two leads, which I somewhat agree with, but Christensen is not that bad an actor, and neither is Portman.
The problem with both this film and Phantom Menace is Lucas' dialogue. He writes lines which no actor, even in a fantasy movie, can say without sounding like they're reading them off of cue cards. This can be excused when the line is SF technobabble, but when it's supposed to be intimate romance it comes off as clumsy, forced, and utterly unbelievable. Considering that we KNOW the ultimate fate of each of these characters, these make scenes where they are put in peril uninteresting, since you already know they'll survive. Lucas really blew the chance at creating highly developed, memorable characters in my opinion.
In addition, both this and Phantom Menace sorely miss a solid supporting cast to the two cardboard character leads. Where is the Han Solo/Chewbacca/Lando of these movies? Watching the original trilogy, the chemistry between Han and Chewie gives the movies a much broader appeal than the soap opera Skywalker saga. Imagine the original trilogy with only Luke and Leia as the two main characters -- it'd be far less interesting!!!
Ewan McGregor is given a lot more to do in this film as Obi-Wan, and he acquits himself very well, although I think the scenes on the clone world would have been much better if he had been accompanied by Mace Windu. We almost always see Jedis travel in pairs, until Kenobi's solo visit. Christopher Lee does well in the limited screen time he's given. Samuel L. Jackson gives a one note performance as Mace Windu ... we're never convinced that he's as powerful a warrior as he's said to be. And when a CGI Yoda is the most expressive character in the film, you know something's just not right.
Lucas has really painted himself into a corner to deliver the goods in Episode III. In my opinion, to tie up all the loose ends he's created between Phantom Menace and this film, Episode III might have to be 4 hours long.
In summary, this is a decent film for fans of the Star Wars saga, and certainly better than Phantom Menace, but it still doesn't break much new ground. Compared to the colorful entertaining space opera of the first trilogy it's rather dull and predictable. Hopefully Episode III will give Star Wars fans a movie that can be held up to the high standards of the originals.
Easily the most tedious film of the year and of the series and of the genre. You'd find better action sequences on a cheap games console and better acting in a primary school production of the wizard of oz. And the blame lies squarely on Lucas' shoulders. This kind of dialogue would get you kicked out of film school. Dribbled with strained references to the original series and delivered with the verve of a George W. Bush speech on international trade agreements. The only people who come out relatively unscathed are the traditionally camped-up hammer-horror-style bad guys and Ewan McGregor's continuing pastiche of Alec Guinness. The "romantic" leads are like being forced to watch the world's least interesting high-school sweethearts pretending to have a squabble. Wait until it appears on DVD then at least you can edit it down to a three minute Natalie Portman fashion shoot and fifty seconds of yoda break-dancing.
I am a huge fan of Star Wars. I am also not the best critic, so I don't
usually give things low ratings unless they really were bad. But I
don't believe that Attack of the Clones was that terrible. Allow me to
I loved the original series. I think those movies were great. The Characters were amazing! The movies were action-packed and dramatic, yet hilarious too, and the action and comic moments didn't interfere! The Models looked so real, if you told me when I first saw it when I was 6 that they were CGI, I would have believed you! Everyone did their best. Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, etc. They were all so great!
Now the new series is not nearly as good as the old series, but I believe that the prequel trilogy is SERIOUSLY underrated. They aren't as good as the old movies, but they are still amazing movies! It shows a new side of things. It brings something new to the plate. It shows how Anakin was able to turn from an innocent boy to the menacing Darth Vader. It showed how Palpatine set up the trap that destroyed the Republic and created the Empire. It dug deeper into what it meant to be a Jedi, and how we can be easily led astray if we let our guard down. It gives us 2 paths. The Path of Luke, and the Path of Anakin.
Now that I have done some explaining, it's time to do what I wrote this review for. To review Attack of the Clones. I do agree it did have many flaws. I do agree that there was a lot of CGI in this movie. However, I do not think it was just to advertise its special effects. If you want a movie that does just that, go see "2012" or "At World's End." This was one of the weaker movies, but it was still amazing.
If you look closely, you see a lot of parallelism in the trilogies. "Phantom Menace" and "A New Hope" both introduced to us the characters. A major character has a major loss (Obi- Wan/Luke). The main character destroys the ship that is causing all the trouble (Anakin/Luke). The main character comes from humble origins (Anakin/Luke). The same thing happened in "Revenge of the Sith" and "Return of the Jedi" (my 2 favorites of the series). Except there are some opposites. Anakin and Luke choose different paths. But they each fight someone close to them (Obi-Wan the mentor/Darth Vader the father). Palpatine has set his plan in order. But the results are different (Destruction of the Republic/Destruction of the Empire). In one we see great sadness (Padme's funeral and Creation of Darth Vader) and in the other we see great joy (Celebrations throughout the galaxy). We also see parallelism in "Attack of the Clones" and "Empire Strikes Back." We see the characters evolve from what they were in the first movie into what they will be in the third.
In "Attack of the Clones," we see many things. We see how Anakin struggles with the loss of his mother (Luke struggled for his friends who were in danger). We see how Palpatine sets up the plan that will slowly destroy the Republic. We see what started the Clone Wars, which Palpatine used to his advantage. We see the Jedi Order starting to crumble. It wasn't the best Star Wars, but it was still Star Wars.
People criticize its flaws. They say that Anakin acts like a selfish brat. That is exactly what a young Darth Vader would be like! Anakin's anger got the best of him, and consumed him. We see that he has always struggled between good and evil (just as Luke did, on the Second Death Star). They say that there was too many special effects. I feel like the special effects didn't detract from the story. It's not like they animated all those battle scenes for no reason. They needed to show the intensity of the fight. The plot was a little confusing at first, and I feel it could've been better, but it was still better than other major series installments (such as Kingdom of the Crystal Skull).
All in all, it wasn't as strong as the other Star Wars movies, but it was still Star Wars, and I thought it was amazing! 9/10, because it had some flaws.
I liked Ep I more than most, and had high hopes for this one. When I looked
at imdb after the first few nights in theaters, read about Jar-Jar being
almost totally gone and how much better this part was, I was really excited.
I so wanted to like this movie.
But OUCH. Now first of all, the directing was utterly horrid. It was the worst part of Ep I as well, but Lucas really lost it here. The movie seemed to jump from scene to scene in the most illogical places, action scenes got interrupted, and just when you were getting into a better scene, you get hit with yet another boring "but I love you, but I am Jedi, oh no, boohoo"-scene. Excuse me, but since when has Star Wars been a soap opera instead of an adventure?
Furthermore, Haydensen was horrible, and even the old actors from Ep 1 seemed to have lost some of their interest. Most action scenes were either boring, badly directed or the effects really didn't look too good. I especially was opening my own wrists in the Arena shootout scene, looking at the princess just standing still and shooting around, without a hint of any kind of battle tactics or trying to take cover.
One scene, above all others, basically made me hurt, bad. The one with the princess and "Darth" on the meadow, riding a fat (bad CGI) blob, rolling around, laughing, jumping, kissing... God, me and my friends couldn't believe our eyes, how did that get into the film. Laughter was the only way to go.
Only in the very ending did the movie manage to create some of that good old star wars feeling, leaving some hope for a better Ep 3. I just wish lucas would give the directors seat to someone else...
I once wrote a beyond scathing review of this film that compared George
Lucuas to a dictator we shall leave nameless, and went on to describe
his blasphemous decision regarding the release of only the Special
Edition DVD's as a rape of classic film.
I'll do my best to be nicer and more focused on the horrid excuse of a Star Wars movie...no...horrid excuse of a movie that is Episode Two. I remember going to the theater, extremely excited, soaking in the nerdy atmosphere of childish bliss, knowing that even if the movie sucked it would still have an awesome lightsaber fight in the end. You can imagine how I felt leaving, provided only with a lame Gladiator/Rancor scene ripoff, an all too brief fight where Obi-Wan gets his butt handed to him, and two subsequent lightsaber fights that could have been great but wound up being trite, meaningless five-second bouts.
What was Lucas thinking when he wrote the scene when Anikan and Padme are sitting in the fields talking about politics...and what was he drinking when he wrote the following scene where Anikan rides some bulbous brown alien beast that looks more like something you'd find in an Episode of South Park? The man's talent has been drained by his children, as well as this once well-crafted space opera which has grown far out of his control.
He has attempted to put it back into his control, obviously, but it seems now that he's doing everything he wants, he is forgetting all that is good about story telling, dialogue, and action sequences. Episode II is nothing but a filler, a mish-mash of flashing lights and colors that tries so desperately to have validity through a few shadows and dark, brown leather tunics.
I almost feel bad for Lucas after watching this movie. Because he honestly seems to think it's good. It is not. Episode II is a yellow brick road that leads nowhere near as cool as Emerald City. It just keeps going round and round with a parade of irritating Munjkin like characters that have no develop, utter the dumbest lines in the world, and ultimately end up being inconsequential.
This doesn't even feel like a Star Wars movie. It seems like a lame TV rip off CBS might do. Even Episode One had a sense of grand epic scope, going from undeniably exciting pod-race scenes to superb lightsaber duels. And at least Liam Neeson was in that one. Schiendler with a Lightsaber is a winning combination.
The strongest aspect of Episode Two is Ewan McGregor and Jango Fett. Their battle through the asteroid ring was, in fact, cool. But Obi-Wan Kenobi, the only important character besides Anikan that links the two series', is not given hardly enough screen-time. Lucan has denied this character in both prequals and this is his greatest flaw, not the abysmal love story, not the unending special affects, but his inability to provide us with characters that hold half as much interest as the original cast. Ewan does an excellent job with the little that he is given and if only Lucas has not explored the benefits of developer that character.
I have high hopes for Episode III. I will go see it, despite the fact that I once wanted to start a boycott of it. The fact that it's PG-13 and the last Star Wars ever is reason enough to see it. Lucas has a lot of work to do if he is to be redeemed.
The Revenge of the Fans will be far worse than that of the Sith if we're given another Episode II.
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