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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.
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.
Sitting in that darkened cinema, a bag of popcorn in one hand and a cup of
cola in the other, I desperately tried to hold onto the bitterness and
cynicism that the awful billion-dollar-toy advert of Episode I had
into my brain. But it was no good. John Williams' score sent those
delightful shivers of nostalgia up my spine and by the time the familiar
yellow scroller had faded into distant space I was lost in a heady mist of
Sadly, it was not to last. After a brief set-up, we got our first glimpse of Anakin mk. 2. No longer the irritatingly chirpy Jake Lloyd, our Vader-in-making had transformed into the charisma vortex that is the supremely untalented Hayden Christensen. Consistently out-acted by the logs of wood burning in the fireside scene, Christensen walks around with an expression that says nothing more than "I am concentrating very hard on remembering my next cue". In fact, he's so dismal he even sucks the life out of the usually lively Ewan MacGregor, who seems like he's become as disillusioned with Lucas as the rest of us. Portman manages moderately well, and as Mace Windu, Samuel L. Jackson does the usual badass schtick that we've seen him do in everything else. Even Christopher Lee seems stripped of his menace, possibly because most of his scenes consist of acting against green-screen - a tricky thing for even the most experienced of actors.
The direction, too, is lame. Some action scenes (such as the hover-vehicle chase through a futuristic city right at the start) go on too long and become a tiresome showreel for ILM's CGI department, whilst others are cut horribly short (most notably the Obi-Wan/Jango Fett battle scene, something us fanboys were drooling over before the movie). The battle scenes just fling computer animation all over the place and hope the audience will be suitably impressed, though the effect is rather like setting all your fireworks off at once - big bangs and lots of colour, but nothing to focus on.
The pacing of the film is woeful too. The romance scenes take up too much screen time - something that wouldn't be quite so bad if the two leads didn't have the chemistry and electricity of wet cement - whilst the potential catharsis of Anakin's slaughter of a Sand People village happens off camera! Unbelievably during this last bit, we're treated to all the other characters talking about how something <i>really really interesting</i> is happening offscreen. Show not tell, Lucas! Even the lousiest director knows that.
So many bad things, so few words to say it in: Watto returns, except as an unbelievably offensive Jewish stereotype (big nose, long white hair, a black Rabbi hat). 3-CPO and R2 wander through the film, serving no purpose at all. The dialogue is ATROCIOUS and the jokes are worse. If CGI is so great these days why is it so obvious?
Good things? Few and depressingly far between. The "death sticks" scene worked pretty well, the floaty thin white aliens were gorgeous and watching Yoda kick all kinds of arse made his battle scene with Christopher Lee the single most satisfying Star Wars moment of all time. Ever. Ever, ever, ever. But the brilliance of that last part (the only truly great bit in Episode II) only highlights the ham-fisted, amateurish trash that is the rest of the movie.
I think the worst part of Epsiode II is that it confirms that Lucas really is just a hack. Without a Kaufman or a Kasdan to do all the hard work or a Spielberg to pick up the directorial slack, Lucas is just a big stupid kid telling big stupid stories. If Episode II were some other sci-fi franchise, I would regard it merely as an unbearably awful film. But as it's another step in Lucas' ongoing mission to destroy both his own legend and the Star Wars universe, I can only give it my utter contempt.
I really want to know way some think we have to "face facts" that is is a horrid movie. In the cinema world there is NO SUCH THING as "FACT", either on the screen or on a critic's page. It's OPINION, no matter who's giving it. I knew what to expect, mediocre dialogue, whacky characters, "bad feelings", but also GREAT visuals, great mythology, and SUPERB action, so I just accept that this is to serve the purpose of "escapism". In the drama department, I felt it was the best of the series. The romance was forced, but that's minor enough for me that I can accept it as not being entertained, but rather being informed. Don't like it? Go ahead, but I'm sick and tired of others who push to dictate others to have to agree with them about a movie's quality.
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.
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.
If you read my comment on episode one, you'll know how psyched i was
when phantom menace came out. But this one was more action packed than
Once again, if u have never seen this movie, you deserve to be covered in spaghetti cuz this one had awesome special effects and twice as much action.
I didn't give it a 10 out of 10 because it was missing some of its original flavour from the 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th (which is my favorite) GO SEE THIS MOVIE IF YOU ALREADY Haven't!!!
PS:im doin one for all the star wars trilogy so check those out too :)
Star Wars, episode 2, will always be the runt of the star wars
pantheon, its basically a bridge between 1 & 3, still it has its
Ten years after the Phantom Menace, Anakin is Ob-Wan's headstrong apprentice, a new threat to Padme reunites our heroes. Anakin has never forgotten PAdme, he's in love with her, though that is forbidden to Jedi. She doesn't see him as a man yet, and is more concerned with the depraved bureaucracy she sees. While Obi-Wan goes to investigate the Separatist movement, Anakin is assigned to protect PAdme along with the loyal droid C-3po. They go to her homeworld of Naboo and naturally fall in love.
Obi-Wan goes to Kamino and finds clones being made for use by the Republic, curious and curiouser. Obi-Wan begins to smell a rat amount the senators. He goes to Geonosis but is captured by the smooth-talking Count Dooku, played to the hilt by the grand old wizard himself, Christopher Lee. Anakin and PAdme go to Tattoine to rescue Anakin's mother, but its too late. Consumed by grief and hatred Anakin is slipping towards the dark side, but he's still loyal to Obi-Wan and goes to rescue him.
They are all captured and nearly killed by monsters in the arena, but the Jedi fly to the rescue led by Mace and Yoda and the clones!! A terrific final battle between Yoda and Count Dooku is one of the best lightsabre duels in history. For those who question this, note Yoda's lightsaber in Episode 5. Anakin loses his arm, but gains Padme, she marries him in secret on Naboo and the fate of the Galaxy is sealed as Palpatine becomes supreme chancellor of the Senate.
Marred by an overly long speeder pursuit through Coruscant and a unneeded droid factory sequence, Episode two falls short of the other films, but the John Williams sweeping, romantic score, "Across the Stars" and the excellent FX, make this a winner.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I love Star Wars. I like the video games, the adventure, and yes the light saber duels. It just had a little too dramatic between Anakin and Padme. I wished that the light saber duel was more than intense, but this is what we got. The mêlée between Count Dooku and Anakin had a rudimentary level footage. It wasn't really a battle. The ending was especially good though. The Jedi defending themselves against the mass-armed droids and other aliens. We finally see the Clones and how they are generated. The final climax and duel between Yoda and Count Dooku was magnificent however short. Alas, we still don't know the identity of Darth Sidious; moreover you see him on at the end. This is why it's a good movie!
After the let down on Star Wars I, people once again set the bar of
having this movie as great extremely high and once again, let down. But
what can you expect? It's very hard recapturing the magic of something
you worked on 20+ years ago. But there was something about this film
that seemed to skim some new magic, which the first one didn't.
While all the Star Wars films have been relatively light, this film heads into some darker places. Shmi and Anakin, Anakin's scene with the Tusken raiders and about what he did to them all reach into our minds and soul, grab us there, and hold us, staring us straight in the face with a cold look, foreshadowing the inevitable fate of Anakin Skywalker, want-to-be Jedi.
Hayden Christenen takes on the role of Anakin this time, and we are placed ten years ahead of the first one. The movie does start out better and the story actually has relevance to the series as a whole (which most of the first one did not, except for Palpatine taking over as Chancellor). Hayden is OK with Anakin; not terrible as most people make him out to be, but not so spectacular that you totally believed he would be Darth Vader only three years later.
The script is handled much better this time, but does have its share of faults. The good things include a tight script with a great format and it has much more importance to the future events that will shape the fate of the galaxy. It's not as light and happy as Star Wars I but never crosses into serious adultness. Music once again improves the overall quality of the film and so do the special effects (there were too many special effects, but if they're good, who cares?) Some negative notes though make mistakes the first one didn't. The first one had a good story but they told it all wrong, and that greatly subtracted from the first film. The second one told the story very well, but it got boring at times. The whole "mystery" surrounding the "Sith Lord controlling the Senate" was way too much and took much time. Anakin's story was handled well (excpet for the corny and uncomfrotable love scenes), and Christopher Lee and Ewan McGregor were fantastic.
This one made up all the mistakes in the first one, but made other mistakes in its place. The end though, made up for it (the battle of Geonosis, Count Dooku vs. Yoda). Overall, I would say that it was just as balanced as the first one (not very well-balanced, but oh well), but it was just a better film. 7.0/10
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