Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
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48 out of 94 people found the following review useful:

Great Big Steaming Pile of Dooku

Author: Todd of the Greater Mid-Atlantic Metropolitan Region
2 June 2002

Can you follow moving objects with your eyes? If that's all it takes to thrill you, then watching "Attack of the Clones" may well be the most titillating experience of your life! The barrage of mobile things on the screen just doesn't cease. There's even something here for the audio buffs...plenty of those signature rumbling ships, whizzing lasers, and humming lightsabers. Pair up those noises with the visuals, and you have a summer blockbuster!

George Lucas is back, all right...with the second worthless Star Wars movie in a row. I can't understand the ridiculously effusive praise that the majority of reviewers here seem to be heaping upon this stinker. I can only hope that most of the people who hated it felt no inclination to review it at all. I especially love the masterminds who proclaim, "If you don't like it, don't go see it." Yeah, thanks. So we're supposed to walk into the theater with a pre-formed positive opinion? Morons!

If I plunk down $10 for a widget that I soon discover doesn't work, am I not entitled to get a refund or at least a replacement? Of course! Warranties and the Better Business Bureau were created for precisely this purpose! Well, I paid money to see Episode II, and I was extremely disappointed. So why is it that I'm somehow not entitled to criticize Lucas?

George Lucas is just plain lazy...a lazy director and a lazy storyteller. And audiences are lazy for letting him off the hook so easily. Incidentally, Lucas himself deserves absolutely no credit for the "incredible" CGI. His studio paid other people to do that. You will probably never know their names. And I'm positive that Lucas is profiting far more from this venture than all of them combined.

Look, Lucas has countless millions at his disposal. He damn well should shoot for an Oscar-caliber film! Or maybe he's just too afraid of the challenge, so he rests on his laurels and hides behind the brand-name of this movie franchise. And when the critics come out of the woodwork, he can babble on about how it's "not supposed to be great filmmaking" or some other lame excuse. Lazy, lazy, lazy.

A few others here have panned the lifeless acting, glaring plot inconsistencies, and general lack of true Star Wars atmosphere more eloquently than I could, so feel free to comb through the effluvium of laudation below to find the few precious gems of honest criticism.

Never mind the absurd Yoda fight scene, which will only appeal to those who can't let well enough alone and who demand that every movie character be proficient in some martial art. Why, why, why must every big budget sci-fi or action movie nowadays give a nod to "The Matrix"? Can't Yoda just remain a gentle, wizened teacher?

The only thing I really liked about this movie was the Tusken Raider encampment. It wasn't overdone or garish, just very Star-Wars-ian. Of course, it was quickly ruined by Schmi's hilarious death scene. In reference to Anakin, a little boy sitting behind me in the theater said, without a trace of irony, "What's he so sad about?" From the mouths of babes!

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51 out of 100 people found the following review useful:

Riight... What happened?

Author: ramshot from Helsinki, Finland
4 December 2002

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...

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54 out of 106 people found the following review useful:

Boring, plastic people

Author: Lambert from Utrecht, The Netherlands
23 December 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

LOVE STORY: unbelievably unconvincing and boring

PLOT: n/a

GRAPHICS: not very inspired this time

ACTION: occasionally good, most of the time you think "what's the point".


SPOILER: expect to see a muppet and a senior citizen battle it out with telekinesis and neon signs.

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57 out of 112 people found the following review useful:

Terrible script & poor editing make this a poor clone

Author: xteve from Chicago, IL
26 November 2002

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.

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59 out of 116 people found the following review useful:

Send in the clones...

Author: James Wilkinson (wilko_3000) from Hull, England
23 September 2002

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 hammered 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 fanboy love.

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.

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64 out of 126 people found the following review useful:

Who made you Cinema King for a day?

Author: BatStarIndyFreak from UT, USA
14 February 2003

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.

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77 out of 152 people found the following review useful:

Stunningly tedious

Author: Sam-280 from UK
29 May 2002

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.

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126 out of 250 people found the following review useful:

All in a piece of fruit.

Author: Caustic Pulp from Antioch, CA
31 May 2002

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.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

bad dialog but love Kamino

Author: SnoopyStyle
27 February 2016

The Republic is threatened as Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) agitates for a rebellion. Senator Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) arrives at Coruscant to vote on the creation of the Army of the Republic. After an assassination attempt, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is assigned to protect Padmé. They haven't seen each other in 10 years. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) traces the attacks to bounty hunter Jango Fett and the hidden water planet Kamino.

This dialog is horribly flat. It's not simply the stilted awkward romance. The expositions are all done in tired uninteresting way. There is a lot of walking-and-talking and sitting in a circle. It is all terrible and I would suggest fast-forwarding several sections of the movie.

On the other hand, the CGI continues to be great. The best is Kamino. That world is sci-fi heaven. I love the aliens. I love Jango Fett and Anakin is nowhere to be found. McGregor gets to leave behind that dead weight. I also like the Blade-Runner-like lower levels of Coruscant although that bar should have been a lot seedier. It has too much of a sports bar feel. The coliseum is good and who doesn't love that outfit on Portman. There is plenty of fun action in this movie but it needs a better writer to punch up the dialog.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Prequel that Suffered...

Author: robinson25119 from England
16 February 2016

So after the critical disaster that was the Phantom Menace, George Lucas was very hesitant to return to the writing desk, when he did, we got Attack of the Clones, the most underrated film in the series.

10 years after the Phantom Menace, Padme Amadala returns to Coruscant where she is almost killed by an assassin. The Jedi council decide that Padme should be hidden on Naboo while they investigate who is after her, so they recruit Obi-wan Kenobi, now a Jedi master, and his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, now a Jedi Padawan, to help.

Anakin is sent to protect Padme on Naboo, where they begin to fall in love, but Anakin's nightmares about his mother force him on his own mission to his home planet where his journey to the dark side begins, and Obi-wan is sent to find the assassin who tried to kill Padme, but instead he finds a clone army being built for the republic...

The plot for Attack of the Clones is less political that the Phantom Menace which is nice, but it instead puts a lot of its focus on Anakin and Padme's relationship which results in a lot of awkward dialogue and forced romance, which is why a lot of people consider this film the worst of the saga, I feel there's not enough of this to overshadow the good points.

The love plot isn't even that long. Half-way through the story, Anakin decides to head to Tattoine to see his mother after he has a nightmare about her, when he arrives he finds her having been tortured by the sandpeople and she dies in his arms, so he kills all the sandpeople in a fit of rage. The next scene is really cool but spoiled mostly by Hayden Christensen's acting, where he proclaims his hatred for the sandpeople, this is the first glimpse we get of Darth Vader.

The other storyline is that of Obi-wan trying to find out who tried to assassinate Padme. I really like this storyline, it has a real element of mystery about it. We also visit many imaginative worlds throughout this storyline, and while there's too much CGI, it at least looks better than the previous film.

Let's talk about the cast, Hayden Christensen gives a very forced performance as Anakin Skywalker. Jake Lloyd wasn't exactly Oscar standard but he was competent and knew how to act the lines he was reading, Christensen just reads the lines and hopes for the best, which makes things feel very forced. Natalie Portman is OK but she doesn't do the romantic dialogue too well, almost as if she doesn't know how to act these lines, which makes me think it's George Lucas' writing rather than the acting.

Ewan McGregor is naturally the best actor in this film, but his character just isn't there. As for the others, Samuel L. Jackson is great when he's being given things to do, Ian MacDiarmid is suitably mysterious in the role of Palpatine, and Jimmy Smitt does a great job with his small role as Bail Organa. Newcomers include Temuera Morrison as Jango Fett who has a great mysterious presence on screen, and even Daniel Logan as the young Boba Fett isn't that bad, despite being a nothing character. And then there's the main star of the Dark Side, Christopher Lee, as the wonderful Count Dooku, my favourite villain from the prequel trilogy. This guy is so awesomely creepy and gives off this powerful screen presence whenever he's in the shot.

This film is heavier on the action than its predecessors, and it's very cool. The hover-car scene at the beginning of the film looks awesome even if I am always thinking of Mega Man X8, and Anakin jumping off the car and skydiving down to the car of the assassin is freaking awesome. I also love the droid factory scene and Obi-wan's fight with bounty hunter Jango Fett on Kamino, it's so fun. The space battle that follows is also really cool, although it lacks the tension of the asteroid scene in the Empire Strikes Back. But it's the Jedi battle on Geonosis that really seals it for me, seeing so many Jedi fighting is awesome, and I admit, I rather like C-3PO's one-liners during this scene.

The finale contains a three part lightsaber battle between Anakin, Obi-wan and Yoda against Count Dooku. The Swordplay is really cool, although it lacks the super fast fun of the Phantom Menace battle, but it's very well choreographed. There is however this one awkward scene with Anakin and Count Dooku just sort of waving their lightsabers above their heads, not even hitting each other, it's really awkward, but Anakin fighting with two sabers is pretty cool. Yoda fighting with a lightsaber is really cool too. His constant jumping around make an incredibly fearsome opponent, although the fight is incredibly quick and doesn't last long! The score during this battle is amazing, seriously, watch this with the volume up, the score makes this scene so epic.

So... Overall, I really like this film. It's not quite the original trilogy but it's still really cool. It has a better plot that the Phantom Menace, as well as being more interesting and less dull. This is a film that I can actually watch and have a really good time with, unlike the Phantom Menace which I just want to turn off as soon as we reach Tattooine. This film is heavily criticised because of its awkward love scenes, people seem to overlook the really awesome moments this film has to offer, and I don't consider the love scenes to be something that's impossible to sit through, I've seen worse.

The only thing left to do was to finish Anakin's story, so in 2005 we got Revenge of the Sith, which is considered by many to be the best of the prequels...

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