Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
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104 out of 191 people found the following review useful:

The Magic is Gone

4/10
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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19 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Great Action, Boring Romance

8/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
11 December 2015

Ten years after the invasion of Naboo, the Galactic Republic is facing a Separatist movement and the former queen and now Senator Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) travels to Coruscant to vote on a project to create an army to help the Jedi to protect the Republic. On the arrival, she escapes from an attempt to kill her and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his Padawan Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) are assigned to protect her. They chase the shape-shifter Zam Wessell (Leeanna Walsman) but she is killed by a poisoned dart before revealing the identity of who hired her. The Jedi Council assigns Obi-Wan Kenobi to discover the bounty hunter that has tried to kill Amidala and Anakin to protect her in Naboo. Obi-Wan discovers that the dart is from the planet Karmino and he heads to the remote planet. He finds an army of clones that has been under production for years for the Republic and that the bounty hunter Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison) was the matrix for the clones. Meanwhile Anakin and Amidala fall in love with each other and he has nightmares with his mother. They travel to his planet Tattoine to see his mother and he discovers that she has been abducted by the evil Tusken Raiders. Anakin finds his mother dying and he kills all the Tusken tribe including the women. Obi-Wan follows Jango Fett to the planet Geonosis where he finds who is behind the Separatist movement. He transmit his discoveries to Anakin since he cannot reach the Jedi Council. Who is the leader of the Separatist movement? Will Anakin receive Obi-Wan's message? And the secret love between Anakin and Amidala will succeed?

"Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" is the second chapter of the saga with great action, but also a boring romance. The action scenes are breathless, with many battles. The romance between Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala is annoying in many parts and weird since Amidala was a queen when Anakin was a nine year-old boy. Christopher Lee, the favorite villain of many films, is perfect as usual. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Star Wars: Episódio II - Ataque dos Clones" ("Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones")

Note: The last time I saw this film was on 17 December 2002.

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69 out of 127 people found the following review useful:

not up to par but worth seeing

Author: Roland E. Zwick (magneteach@aol.com) from United States
12 June 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Say what you will about George Lucas, you have to give the guy credit for setting himself a difficult task in `Star Wars: Attack of the Clones' (and I do mean beyond trying to deliver a film that will meet the almost impossibly high expectations of his millions of fanatical followers). By choosing to place Anakin Skywalker front and center as the story's main focal point, Lucas does what few others in this business are willing to do – which is to risk making a crowd-pleasing epic without a likable central `hero.' After all, since this film is a prequel and not a sequel to the original trilogy, we all know that this brooding young man will end up turning into the irredeemably evil Darth Vader. Of course, Luke Skywalker fulfilled the requirements of conventional hero for the original series and even Han Solo, though he was a bit of a rogue and a scoundrel, always allowed his virtuous side to break through when the chips were down. Anakin, though, for all his internal struggles in this film, is predestined to go over to the Dark Side (certainly in the next installment). The pre-knowledge the audience is privy to from our acquaintance with the later chapters gives the film a kind of poignant sadness at times - or at least it would if Lucas had done a better job as both writer and director in bringing it out. Unfortunately, the dialogue is so poorly written that Anakin comes across as little more than a petulant, peevish, moony-eyed schoolboy most of the time – hardly either the `greatest Jedi knight' we keep being told he has the potential to become nor the future Hitlerian dictator we know he will one day be. His romantic, puppy-love interludes with Senator (former Queen) Padme Amidala are embarrassing at best. We have indeed come a long way from the fun love triangle involving Luke, Han and the feisty Princess Leia.

In fact, that seems to be the basic trouble with this film, as it was with the previous installment, `The Phantom Menace.' Somewhere along the way, someone drained all the FUN out of `Star Wars.' The first three films seemed so fresh, so adroit, so light on their feet. The prequels, though they are not without interest, feel bloated, top heavy and devoid of any real conviction or excitement. One cannot fault Lucas, I guess, for becoming overly fascinated with his matted backgrounds, computer graphics and special effects, but it does no one any good to have all that hardware whirling by in the background when the action in the foreground is so banal and uninteresting. Even the set pieces here – a flying car chase through a crowded city that defies all known laws of physics, a cluttered battle scene that takes place in a gladiatorial stadium – don't get the adrenalin pumping in the same way that the space battles in the original `Star Wars,' the race through the forest in `Return of the Jedi' or even the pod race in `The Phantom Menace' did. And I will reiterate a comment I made three years ago about that last film. Why is it that, in a movie with `Star Wars' in its title, are there virtually no outer space battle scenes in this picture? Is that really too much to ask?

A few other problems plague the picture. R2D2 and C-3PO, whose one-sided bantering lent such charm to the original films, have become virtual extras in the story by this time. And since the rest of the script is so entirely witless, the few moments they have together stick out too much as obvious (and not very effective) attempts at comic relief. No longer do these two uniquely nonhuman characters feel like an integral part of the action. Even worse, the once endearing Yoda, with his annoyingly inverted sentences and his never-ending string of sanctimonious pearls of wisdom, has, quite literally, become this movie's Jar-Jar Binks (who does appear but in a much more limited role). The acting by Hayden Christensen (Anakin), Natalie Portman , Samuel L. Jackson and Ewan McGregor (a young Obi-Wan Kenobi, and who is going to believe that McGregor will mature to become the distinguished Alec Guiness?) is serviceable at best, as the performers have been put there basically to deliver the stilted dialogue and serve as foreground for the upstaging special effects.

So, after all these complaints, is `Attack of the Clones' worth seeing? Surprisingly, the answer is `yes' and it really has nothing to do with the special effects. The reason this film is worth seeing is because Lucas has undertaken to pull off something virtually unique and unprecedented in modern cinema. He is attempting to tell a complete story over the span of six different movies. Even when we can see how the film isn't coming together the way it should, we can't help but plug into the narrative development itself. Because we know how it will all end up, we want to see how the missing pieces of the puzzle will fall in to place to give us the complete, total picture. So even if each individual installment doesn't exactly carry us away, there's enough interest in the vision itself to keep us coming back for more.

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Slow at times, but the story and action make up for the flaws

7/10
Author: Daniel Loe from United States
19 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*WARNING MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS* If you remember, I was one of the few who did not hate The Phantom Menace, in fact, I gave it a positive rating. If you'd like to get a different opinion on the prequels, please be sure and check that review out as well, but now, let's talk about The Attack of The Clones. This movie has a few rough spots, Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman don't have very good chemistry together, despite both of them giving decent performances in the rest of the movie. No, Hayden Christensen isn't that bad, he's a bit wooden, but I think he plays a believable confused young man who has been isolated all his life. In fact, I think that most of the hate surrounding Christensen is less about how he plays his role, and more about what role he's playing. People don't want Vader to be a bitter and over- reacting teenager, but in the scenes where Christensen is able to show who he'll become, he's great. Besides, this is all about how Anakin becomes Vader, he can't start out as Vader in Episode II. The movie also gets heat for other stuff, too boring, too much CGI, etc. The CGI effects look great, it makes it look like a more advanced culture, by having surroundings that we can't yet physically create. Now, maybe a few practical effects wouldn't have been amiss, but I think the use of CGI is a relatively minor complaint, and one that doesn't really effect the over-all quality of the film. The plot may be slow at times, but don't forget, we have lots of action in here as well. A full scale battle at the end, a high speed chase through Courscant, a duel between Obi-Wan and Jango Fett, etc. Yes there are slow stretches, but there are also plenty of scenes that are really fun. I know Yoda fighting with a light-saber, you know, a Jedi's weapon, is supposed to be just like heresy or something, but I can't take that complaint seriously. How else would Yoda have fought? With a stick? It's not like he doesn't use the force or anything! But enough with the negatives, let's talk about why this movie is genuinely good. Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan is great! He brings the right level of sophistication and intelligence to the character, while still managing to seem like a less experienced version of the character in A New Hope. Jango Fett is a really good villain, he brings in great action and is just over all a really cool character. I already said I like Hayden Christensen, who I think accurately displays youth, and provides a relate-able character for everyone who's ever been a teenager ever. The action is top-notch as well. The speeder chase on Courscant is a great start to the movie; humor, good effects, and very fast-paced. The finale is very well done also, and it's a blast to see the first full scale battle in a Star Wars movie (the gungans don't count). The story, thought admittedly a bit muddled, is interesting enough (let's be honest, Star Wars isn't story based, it is driven by characters and action). I understand very few will agree with this review, but I wanted to give my own opinion on the Star Wars movies, so, I started reviewing them. I'll try to have my Revenge of the Sith review up soon!

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16 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

A Terrific Addition to the Franchise

8/10
Author: caseynicholson from United States
26 December 2015

I'm going back and watching all six Star Wars films so I can go see "The Force Awakens", and last night I watched "Episode II: Attack of the Clones".

I have to say that I find this to be a really enjoyable movie. I tried not to like it when it first came out due to its name. Seriously, George Lucas..."Attack of the Clones"? I mean, I get it, but there were lots of options for a better name than that. "The Clone Army" would have sufficed. But I digress...

Again, I really like this movie. It suffers from a bit of poor dialogue and bad acting between Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen--their on screen romance feels very much like a bad daytime soap opera rather than something worthy of the Star Wars franchise.

And yet, that bit of dissatisfaction aside, I find this to be a fantastic film overall. The storyline is great. The opening chase scene is great. Obi-Wan's search for the missing planet is great. The final battle is great. Most all of it is great.

And, one thing that I greatly appreciate about this film is Christopher Lee's performance as Count Dooku. Funny name aside, Lee turns out a convincing portrayal of a lead antagonist that makes you understand what the Dark Side is all about. I found Darth Maul to be rather lacking as a villain in "Phantom Menace", but Lee makes up for this in profound fashion.

But I suppose the most important thing that I enjoy about this movie is that it just brings so many pieces of the puzzle together. Anakin's story advances in a way that is plausible and believable, even if Christensen's portrayal suffers at times. This movie sets up his path to the Dark Side in profound fashion, and makes the six films flow together. I like that sense of continuity, and so I'm giving this movie 8/10 stars. Again, the cheesy soap opera stuff between Anakin and Amidala is a major blow to the film--but all in all it's a great movie.

Side Note: If I wanted to, I could get really critical about one element of the overall plot here. This whole Dark Side thing and the people involved in the plot to take over the Republic goes completely unnoticed by Yoda and Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson). That really cheapens the whole Jedi thing, in my view--the most powerful Jedi in the world are right in the midst of the people who are orchestrating the fall of the Republic, and they can't even sense it. Strange. Same goes for the fact that Dooku's back story is so wrapped up in the Jedi. How could they never sense this disturbance in the force in a way that would root it out?

Whatever the case, that does bother me when I think critically about the film. But I try not to do that, but to instead watch it at face value and enjoy it for what it is, and on that merit I give it the 8/10 stars.

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73 out of 137 people found the following review useful:

Attack on the Clones

1/10
Author: David from Boston
17 May 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I gave this film 1 out of 10 because it is honestly one of the worst films I have ever seen. *****SPOILERS***** The log-fire scene where Anakin Skywalker woodenly tells Natalie Portman about his intense "pain" and "suffering" was fortunately drowned out by the sound of the entire audience failing to suppress their giggles and guffaws. We know how you feel, Anakin. Am I the only one who thought this was actually worse than the Phantom Menace? I don't remember anything about the plot of that film but I remember feeling mildly entertained. This was just plain boring. From the high-speed chase in the city to the weird tall thin aliens to the political assassination attempt it all felt like a TV spin-off of the Fifth Element without the famous actors, the beautiful models, the slick direction, the humour, the dialogue or the fun. The waterfalls in the background on Naboo looked like the tongue-in-cheek idyllic backdrop on a Kraftwerk CD. The gladiatorial scene was straight out of your first Dungeons & Dragons game. The big battle at the end was SO BORING people were leaving their seats and returning ten minutes later... they'd probably gone outside for a cigarette. The acting and the dialogue would, by and large, not have passed muster on a Mexican soap opera; the most interesting part of Natalie Portman's performance was the surprise appearance of her nipples. On the plus side: Yoda drew some genuine laughs with his "kung fu" stance, although high-speed Yoda was a bit too fanciful for my liking. Ewan McGregor's effort was good considering the material, and his fight with Jango Fett should put him in the running for a role as 007. But what this franchise really needs to do is bring back Harrison Ford... perhaps Han Solo was a clone?

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

In defense of the movie

8/10
Author: talantgio
10 January 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was 12 when i watched this and i wouldn't even believe that this movie was panned as the bad movie.For me it was almost life changing experience,because i had never seen movie like this,even though i had glimpse of original trilogy.Well i have grown up,i realized its strength and weaknesses but that didn't lead me to hate it.

Pros of the movie are 1.Never seen before Django Fett and amazing concept of him raising his clone as son. 2."Death sticks" scene that i think is as amazing as "looking for droids" scene. 3.Shmis death scene and Anakins reaction 4.Subtle foreshadowing of him becoming Darth Vader and actually meeting future adoptive parents of his son 5.Battle of Geonosis 6.Clones 7.How Palpatine gains power through political manipulations,this adds depth to the character's arc and also symbolizes how our world politics operates on this matter. Cons: Dialogue maybe cringe-worthy but for me it still works,and especially didn't have slightest negative impact on me when i was teenager?Who is target audience of this movie?12-15year old me or a film critic,that approaches this movie like some sort of art-house movie.its Star Wars universe where even in original trilogy almost everyone talks that way,why aren't they considered cheesy? Love-Story maybe considered as very rushed but i have theory why it worked.Anakin became attached to the first woman after his mom,when he was taken from her by Jedi.And It was Padme.Padme felt in love with Anakin,because it was the first time in her boring,aristocratic life someone came and expressed direct opinion towards her. You could say that Dialogues could have been executed much better,but Panning down this movie and hating on George Lucas is another extreme.

"I hate sand"-is considered by prequel haters as a metaphor of this movie,it being cringe-worthy and awful but read it in context

Padme: "We used to come here for school retreat. We would swim to that island every day. I love the water. We used to lie out on the sand and let the sun dry us and try to guess the names of the birds singing." Anakin: "I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere." This line could have been delivered much better,but it still shows contrast between life of a Queen and a slave.And him being teenager just makes this line not only tolerable but acceptable. Movie could have been less faulty,executed better without loss of it's "concept" , but i still appreciate this as Star Wars movie and i thank George Lucas for it.

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

It was very good, unlike what I had heard

9/10
Author: dim-tripakis from Greece
4 January 2015

It is now 2014 and I finally got to watch both Episode I and Episode II, during a weekend visit to some friends. Since the 3 prequels were released (I believe Episode III was in 2005) I have heard a lot of bad comments for the movies and Lucas specifically. That all he is after is money and franchising, bad director, bad writer and the like.

When you expect less, you get more out of it. That is a rule of life. And perhaps this is the reason I enjoyed Episode II so much. Or, more precise, one of the reasons.

The other reasons are that it fully immerses you into another world. This is imperative for a movie. I would go as far as saying that movies *are* immersion, above all other things. So this one, in my book, is a successful movie. You do get the feeling of watching a world similar to ours, but orders of magnitude bigger, were countries have been replaced by planets and nations by species. And they, too, have their problems. Politics, war, greed. The political and social references of the movie are not to be taken lightly. They were well thought out and make this movie enjoyable to watch by adults as well.

Technically the movie looks fantastic, the plot feels realistic and the dialogs are good. The dialogs have seldom something smart in them, but they work. I would expect a little more humor and punchlines, but anyway, I suppose dialogs are not the strong part of the movie.

I could go on for hours but its late. All I want to end up with is that the movie is immersive, has good plot, decent dialogs and does not stall much, at least much less than Episode I.

The one thing I did not like and God I don't know how they allowed it to happen, is that Anakin simply can not act.

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12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

what's wrong with haters?

9/10
Author: t-viktor212
22 September 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Again, many people hate the prequels because someone told them to do so. That's the most stupid thing I've ever heard.

Episode II is outstanding. It begins to explain how Original Trilogy characters became how they are. Again, many people hate this. Firtst thing they hate is Hayden Christiensen, saying he can't act. OK, I agree he's not the best actor i've seen, but truly it's not about his acting, it's his role, Anakin Skywalker, to be strange. A character in dilemma with being good or bad. Many people hate how the love story between Ani and Padmè came out. Because it doesn't look real. Yeah, they don't talk like people nowadays about love, but if you haven't noticed star wars has a way of expression different than standard chatting. So that's not a reason to hate this. Many people hate how Yoda duels Dooku, because that "takes away that feeling that we had in episode V of him". Wrong, totally. Just as in episode V, we see here how powerful he is despite he's small. Some people complain about the shape of the starships and settings, as they look different. Of course they do, they have to, they're starships from a different era's end!

Concluding, again, this movie is down rated, as with all the star wars movies and prequel movies. giving 9/10 just because of the hayden christiensen section of the review

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13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

People who are negative about this film are delusional

10/10
Author: prodromosregalides
31 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

To put it very ,very , very kindly and with consideration.

I have seen all star wars episodes, including the 7nth and I must say the prequel, especially episode 2 stand out in every way.

If you whine about "only" special effects, go see the latest installment of transformers. You can't have and no one wishes to see a modern version of star wars with blatantly outdated technology of the seventies. This film belongs to the sci-fi genre and must pay respect to the fact , that it should present a believably advanced technological society

Second, it's not a Sherlock Holmes film or a mystery movie. It doesn't have to be overly complicated and it shouldn't. It's mostly about the marriage of technology and mysticism that should be addressed and what it makes the franchise different from other sci-fi films.

It is addressed primarily to kids and adolescents, as the first trilogy did. I lol very hard to 30-40 somethings who find it childish. Because only the marriage of the magical with the rational is mostly childish, but not necessarily bad, or less seducing.

It's not only about the technology or light saber fighting. It has a teenager love story ,beautiful imagery, a mother son relationship, the death of a relative, a teacher apprentice relationship and makes a decent attempt to gradually introduce us to the turning of Anakin to the dark side.

It poses important questions for those in the know that are not absorbed by the everyday routine and have a slightly longer vision to the future.

It talks about the dangers democracy faces,(very relevant especially in 2015) not always obvious. It talks about cloning and the dangers that will pose in the near future(next 100 years), but neo-luddites can't and won't appreciate these "fantasies". And of course it presents a version of practical A.I. that can be discussed and appreciated , but "serious" "respectable" but totally ignorant "adults" won't consider it.

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