Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
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43 out of 79 people found the following review useful:

Great Big Steaming Pile of Dooku

1/10
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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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Episode II is terribly flat and uninspired.

1/10
Author: Toby Danna from Hammond, LA
16 May 2002

Sigh, there are times when you yearn for the glorious victory songs of Ewoks. "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" may have destroyed the glorious Star Wars mythology, and I am not sure whose fault this is.

The script is choppy and cheesy. While we are not privileged to see Anakin kick butt in an offscreen maniacal rampage midway through the movie, we are treated to Obi Wan in a stupid intergalactic diner (one-part Mos Eisley Catina, three-parts CGI American Graffiti), Senator Jar Jar Binks getting cheered by his alien comrades in a monumental political speech, and a three-fingered Yoda in a lightsaber duel with Christopher Lee's Count Dooku.

The dialogue is at its best times bad and at its worst times filled with cornball jokes by C-3P0 and even Obi Wan. Hayden Christiansen and Natalie Portman deliver a romance less convincing than a bad daytime soap teen couple, and I cannot begin to decry how terrible the usually brilliant Samuel L. Jackson was.

The introduction of Jango and Boba Fett into the film gave the audience its only interesting characters, but Lucas just let us nibble on filler instead of giving their story the meat it deserved. It seems Lucas is treating the prequels more as backstory than story, that he is more interested in showing the latest innovation in computerized special effects than forging a new saga. Sadly, the CGI eye candy does not match up to the beauty of the Holy Trilogy, nor to more recent special effects spectaculars (The Matrix, Spiderman).

Ultimately, Episode II does much worse than Episode I in captivating the imagination. The cast does not have the chemistry of Hammil, Fisher, and Ford, and Lucas is content with asserting his new and radically different vision of Star Wars in spite of the protests of the legions of fans he won over a quarter century ago.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

When CGI goes berserk!

1/10
Author: hnt_dnl from United States
6 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Not even an argument as far as I'm concerned, STAR WARS, EPISODE TWO: ATTACK OF THE CLONES is the absolute WORST of all 6 STAR WARS films! And, given it's budget, some of the actors in it, and just the fact that it is part of the STAR WARS saga itself, perhaps a contender for one of the worst films of all time, at least worst big-budget films.....Wow! And I remember when this first came out that a significant number of fans thought THIS was better than PHANTOM MENANCE...Nope! Not even close, actually.

While MENACE has its share of sorry dialogue and characters (Jar Jar Binks!), it mostly benefited from mimicking the fast pacing of the original A NEW HOPE and has some exciting set pieces and moments (fast-paced opening, the pod race, climactic battle). The acting and dialogue in MENACE certainly wasn't spectacular, but it was way better than what we were served with in this clunker! But most importantly, the CGI effects of MENACE essentially did not detract from the film the way it does in CLONES.

CLONES begins with the former Naboo Queen, now Senator, Padme Amidala (played by Natalie Portman) being transported to the planet city Coruscant and and an assassination attempt occurs. Her stand-in is killed and so Senator Palpatine (Ian McDarmid) "suggests" a Jedi escort/bodyguard for her protection. Of course, the duty goes to teenage Jedi-in-training Anakin Skywalker (played by Hayden Christensen). Another attack occurs and so Anakin accompanies Padme to Naboo where the Senate and Jedi feel she will be safer. And thus, the Anakin-Padme romance begins! And that ain't good! A terribly realized, cringe-inducing set of interactions ensues and takes up a large portion of the film. I really don't blame the actors. The dialogue is atrocious. I don't think Meryl Streep and Robert DeNiro could have looked better in this!

Other stories include Anakin's Jedi Master Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) investigating the creation of a clone army on the faraway Kamino star system, and Jedi Masters/Council members Yoda and Mace Windu (Samuel Jackson) sensing a dark, ominous disturbance in the Force. All stories converge to a climactic battle on Geonosis, where the Jedi must battle a droid army led by Count Dooku (Christopher Lee), who is responsible for the attack on Padme's life.

The worst offense of CLONES is the CGI! This film is at present the worst example of CGI use in today's movies. It is completely overdone and really cheesy-looking in a lot of places. I mean, it dominates the film! Yoda is CGI! Not good. The original trilogy demonstrated that you have to have a story. EMPIRE STRIKES BACK had the best story, and A NEW HOPE had an footloose, tongue-in-cheek appeal that more than made up for its minimal plot and story. RETURN OF THE JEDI, actually the weakest of the original 3, by plain default, feels like a masterpiece to CLONES! At least the characters were established from HOPE and EMPIRE by the time of JEDI and we could forgive the rather juvenile nature with which they concluded the original trilogy. The characters in CLONES, however, had never really been established in the fast-paced MENACE. And CGI so dominates CLONES, with no character development whatsoever, yet the film has exposition and dialogue all over the place! And in the end, the climactic battle is deathly boring and confusing. A bunch of Jedi fighting a bunch of battle Droids with a moment that made me cringe more than the Anakin-Padme scenes: when that worm-headed Jedi used his powers to knock C3PO down so he didn't have to participate in the fight and then gave him that weird smile (really eerie!). Trust me, it's a goofy moment! Then Yoda and the Clone army swoops in. And we are "treated" to a terrible lightsaber duel where Obi-Wan and Anakin get their ass handed to them by a 100-year old Count Dooku! So CGI Yoda must save their young butts!

Essentially, the same way that MENACE tried to mimic HOPE, so does CLONES try to mimic EMPIRE: Jedi-in-training Anakin gets trumped by the more powerful former-Jedi-turned-Sith Lord Dooku the way that Jedi-in-training Luke got beat by more powerful Darth Vader and both Anakin and Luke lost one of their hands in the battle (Anakin even lost a whole arm!). Anakin and Padme joined at the end of CLONES (with a noticeably pregnant Padme) the way their offspring Luke and Leia stood together at the end of EMPIRE. Also Anakin and Padme's budding romance in CLONES doubling for Han and Leia's romance in EMPIRE. Obi-Wan off by himself investigating Kamino the way Luke went off by himself to discover Yoda in the Dagobah system in EMPIRE. And of course, the ominous, open ending where we know a sequel is to come! Difference? We looked forward to the EMPIRE sequel wanting more, but with CLONES, we wished the entire movie experience could be taken back! Do-over, please!

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

I'll Try To Be Nice...

Author: (TKnight_1) from United States
26 March 2005

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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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Special Effects Ahoy

5/10
Author: Sam Lowry (amazon@bigar.co.uk) from United Kingdom
15 November 2003

Well, the very disappointing Episode I really got me off wanting to see more new Star Wars, but as I had some free time I watched it on television when it was on.

This movie does not show any promise in the beginning, and after the ridiculous chase sequence I already gave up hope. The things that happen in this chase are totally preposterous: after the 'shortcut' Anakin jumps out of his craft and drops a mile and still ends up to catch the one they chased; moments later he loses his lightsaber. But no fear, Obi Wan incredibly has caught up to them and can catch the saber with two fingers. OK, the force is great, but this is stretching it a bit, isn't it?.

The movie then splits in two stories (as Empire did): One follows Anakin and Amidala and as the two young ones just need to fall in love, no one bothered to write any interesting dialogue. Anakin turns into a sissy for a while and whines a lot as Amidala wants to stretch the running time of the movie and holds of falling in love proper. Anakin then wants to prove he's not a sissy and decides to go off and rescue his mother, never forgetting that he needs to fall in love by the end of the movie. To makes sure this happens Amidala just tags along not doing anything really.

The other story then: Obi Wan leaves the two kids and promptly goes off visiting a lot of special effects. After walking around in corridors for about ten minutes, talking to a few CGI characters, he decides to fall of a roof and then chases Fett Senior and Junior around some more special effects. In the planet he's lead to he then discovers Christopher Lee, also talking to CGI characters. He then gets caught by some more special effects and needs to be rescued

Meanwhile Anakin is getting quite desperate and decides to take Amidala and go and rescue Obi Wan from all the special effects. After being captured and being reunited with Obi Wan, they decide to all fight the same special effects for once. After a while they temporarily turn into CGI characters themselves.

Finally, The Jedi and a huge army show up and save the day long enough to warrant a sequel.

Oh yes, almost forgot to mention: Anakin an Amadila get married at the end of this part. So do R2 and 3PO in he same ceremony, that explains why they argue so much in the original trilogy.

Well, now you know what happens, so you don't have to watch it. You can thank me later.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

George Lucas does it again - unfortunately

Author: (Klone) from New York & Pittsburgh
29 October 2002

Star Wars Episode Two, Attack of the Clowns... I'm glad I saw it - and I'm sorry I paid for it. Hell, I'm sorry they didn't pay *me* to see it. At the end, my only comment was "thank God" (as in "thank God its *over*").

A few million dollars worth of special effects and computer generated characters (which were spectacular, by the way) could not disguise the stilted acting, choppy directing, p***-poor script, teen angst writ large, ridiculous premises providing the foundation for a hackneyed storyline, total predictability of denoument and reascension, and wimpy-cutesy casting. The original Star Wars was at some level a space epic and at others a space opera. Star Wars Attack of the Clowns was the Backstreet Boys in a 1965 amateur movie script with 2001 CG effects. At one point a drone sneaks up to Senator Padme's window (she used to be Queen Hairdoo), and in an assassination attempt, drills a hole in the window and inserts a couple of very poisonous centipede-like things. Why the hell didn't the drone just *SHOOT* her? And WHY does the drone return to the assassin, instead of just self destructing?

The first movie was saved by the acting skills of Alec Guinness, the fresh and optimistic presence of Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hammill, the comic relief of R2D2 and C3PO, and oh yeah, a script and costumes stolen right from Akira Kurasowa's "Hidden Fortress". In Attack of the Clowns I half expected one Jedi to say "Sure is quiet in here", and the other to reply "Yeah, a little too quiet". Christopher Lee and Ian McDiarmid weren't bad, but Yoda limped like a crepitous old geezer and then fought like Bruce Lee, the monsters were ridiculous assemblages of teeth and spikes, Samuel Jackson sucked, Jimmy Smits sucked, Ewan MacGregor sucked, Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman *really* sucked (and even when they sucked face, they sucked). C3PO delivered lines that would be appropriate for a Marvel Comic (his head is removed in a fight and is now near his body - he says "I'm beside myself" amidst the action of the battle), only Marvel would have rejected the lines. Oh, and Senator Padme has an insanely intricate hairdo and stunning outfit in each scene - James Bond just has a new suit, Padme is fully accessorized! And while I can suspend disbelief and allow for a jump to lightspeed, I have trouble accepting a character falling from a vehicle moving at 70mph, going "oof", and getting up again with hairdo and/or bones intact.

The movie's tagline is "A Jedi Shall Not Know Anger. Nor Hatred. Nor Love." Yeah, right, and I Shall Not Know How To Tie My Shoes.

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17 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

This is not the film you're looking for - 55%

5/10
Author: Benjamin Cox from Hampshire, England
3 November 2005

Having not really been around for the first three, I figured that I'd not let the new three films escape me at the cinema. I was determined to catch "The Phantom Menace" and did so (and it is so much better in a cinema, let me tell you) but I had to watch "Star Wars: Episode 2 - Attack Of The Clones" by myself as I couldn't find anyone else willing to give the franchise a chance. Sadly, I didn't feel the Force was strong with this one but stumbling across it again on TV last night gave me the opportunity to re-evaluate it while my Better Half was snuggling into my chest. Hey, there were light-sabres in it and besides, she didn't mind!

The fifth film once again has Ewan McGregor as Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi who has taken young Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) under his wing as his padawan apprentice. After an attempt on the life of Senator Amidala (Natalie Portman), Anakin is assigned to protect her while Kenobi sets off to uncover who's behind the plot. But during the investigation, Kenobi discovers a secret clone army apparently ordered by the Jedi Counci while Anakin embarks on a forbidden affair with the Senator.

Criticisms that have been levelled at the new films is that there is far too much reliance on CGI scenes and characters and that is certainly true of Episode 2. At times, McGregor is the only real thing you see on screen although things do improve for the obligatory trip to Tunisia (I mean, Tattooine). But the magic you felt when you saw Chewbacca for the first time is replaced with bile-inducing hatred when Jar Jar Binks makes a (thankfully brief) reappearance. Other things clash with what has gone before in the earlier films. Anakin comes across as less a Jedi and more a psychotic stroppy teenager while Obi-Wan feels like a slightly neurotic mess with more issues than Greenpeace. Not the fault of the actors but more as a result for some really duff dialogue which, if we're honest, has never been George Lucas' strong point. There are only so many times you can hear someone say "I've got a bad feeling about this" without wanting to slap the screenwriter.

What Lucas does do well is action-packed set pieces and here is where Episode 2 steps up to the plate and delivers. Aside from the typically climatic battle scenes at the end, the undoubted highlight is the battle between countless CGI baddies and hundreds of light-sabre-wielding Jedi Knights. And even though you finally get to see Yoda kick some ass, there is much to disappoint too. Principal among these is Christopher Lee's villainous Count Dooku, who isn't a patch on Darth Maul from Episode 1. Personally, I also find George's obsession with cramming the film with shots of earlier characters (including Boba Fett, Uncle Owen and C3-PO) very annoying - this is supposed to be Star Wars, not Days Of Our Lives in space. And on that subject, the ill-fated romance between Anakin and Amidala feels so out of place, it's unreal. It slows the whole thing down and juggles with the already complex plot so that the viewer feel disorientated and somewhat annoyed that there is so little 'Star Wars' going on.

So is the film any good? As Master Yoda himself might say, a good film fancy visuals do not make. It looks the part and during the jaw-dropping Jedi battle, you do feel that this is a worthy addition to the series. But only during that scene - the rest of the time, you're shaking your head in disappointment. If ever a film series has become a victim of its own success then the three prequels are critically damaged. Due to massive expectation (only slightly dampened after Episode 1), this film was bound to disappoint but even on it's own, this is not a patch on the earlier three films. It's entertaining in a mindless way but because you will almost certainly have experience of a Star Wars movie, you'll find yourself wishing the Millennium Falcon would drift into the picture, Han and Leia at the helm. Although you already knew it, it's best to stick with the first three films.

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51 out of 96 people found the following review useful:

Send in the clones...

1/10
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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11 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Does this movie even have a pulse?

2/10
Author: abyoussef from Alameda, CA
25 August 2005

by Dane Youssef

Um.... did ANYONE like this movie? Anyone, anywhere... ever? This one seems to be ranking right up there with his "Howard the Duck."

But at least people had some kind of strong passion for that one. Any extreme movie (exterme in any way) is a likely candidate for the "cult following." But this one is just boring.

I wanted to kick it as hard as I could, not out of anger, but just to see if it's even alive.

If it is, it's flat-lining.

I remember when George Lucas announce that he was going to release the last three "Star Wars" movies (which ironically were the first three), the whole wide world jumped up.

When "Episode I" was finally released, it was met with lukewarm reviews (from critics and fans alike). From the fair-weather to the hard-core, industrial strength fans.

And everyone in between.

Many people ride Lucas and get on his case about his inability to write dialog (myself included).

Hey, let's face it. The man couldn't write dialog for a mime. Which is why he always hires a script doctor whenever he makes a film from his own screenplay. Hey, this is just called just plain common sense.

Many filmmakers try to re-make the kinds of movies that they first fell in love with when they were young. That not only applies to Lucas, he is the very definition of that. With futuristic Orwell tales ("THX 1138"), period action-adventure summer matinées ("Indianda Jones"), sci-fi space operas ("Star Wars," of course) and medieval sword-and-sorcery flicks ("Willow").

His abilities are in composing a movie lie in production values and state-of-the-art, groundbreaking, revolutionary special effects. Bringing everything about a genre together in one film and playing it to the hilt.

So Lucas brought on Johnathan Hales ("The Scropian King" and TV's "Young Indiana Jones Chronicles") as script doctor. Lucas' wise decision helped them take home the 2002 Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay. Hey, f--- the Oscars.

This was apparently the very first major-motion picture not to be shot on film, but on a special digital video movie camera that SONY designed specifically for Lucas himself.

I saw the movie on DVD, so being shot on digital video and being run on digital video disk, the movie was so sharp and so exact and so precise and so full of detail, I was amazed. When I saw "Episode I" in theaters, it didn't stand out this beautifully.

However, that momentary feeling eventually disintegrated and I was left with a feeling of indifference, then some boredom, then finally contempt.

The first released chapter in the "Star Wars" saga (Episode IV: A New Hope) showed a lot of the movie's themes came from old westerns and samurai pictures. In "Episode II," I got the feeling the movie got a lot of it's inspiration from war movies. You know, "Gettysburg" and the like.

The could make for one hell of a little movie, except for the fact that this one is completely on Valium.

Breaktaking visual scenery and first-rate FX (the entire movie was filmed in front of a blue screen) can't compensate for performances by actors who understandably seem have to have almost no love for a script that could have been written by a coma patient and a director who's far too assured that "it'll all be fixed and filled out in editing and special effects later." I know damned well Hayden Christensen is capable of acting. I've seen it. He seems to be channeling his role from "Life As A House" (no doubt that's why Lucas chose Christensen in the first place.

But the script and lack of direction seem to suck all the potential out of him. He never seems to be truly there at all.

Nor does scholar and sometimes-actress Natalie Portman. I feel kinda guilty saying this and all, but I never truly believed her as a action movie heroine in "Episode I." She just lacks that spunk and fire. You know, the kind that Carrie Fisher really had for almost every second she was on screen, especially when she shared scenes with Ford.

Portman simply can't do a Bidget Fonda or Pam Grier or Karen Allen. She's too sweet and vulnerable. Well, at least she seems more at home here. Although as sweet and beautiful as she is, there is no passion. Not in what she says or anything they do together.

They never seem to be in love so much as just sitting back practicing Shakesphere-style acting and mood for a theater performance.

It's nice to know good IL' Bobby Simone, yes--Jimmy Smits (Of TV's "L.A. Law" and NYPD Blue" fame) is still out there and plugging away as an actor. He gets a bit in here as a Jedi Master on the council.

The only action sequences of any interest throughout take place when a Sith and Jedi masters have a powerful duel which leads to further hate and anger.

The dark side is claiming more and more Jedi by the second.

And all this could've great for another great "Star Wars" classics.

But the movie is has no life or energy. It seems almost indifferent. Like Lucas didn't have his heart (or anything else in this one).

He basically just wanted to get this one out of the way. The only thing he had in this movie is his wallet.

This whole damn movie feels like something he had to just something mandatory he had to get out of the way so he could bridge episodes I and III and continue with the rest of the series.

With the others, you know the filmmakers are giving it everything they had. Here... no one cares. Not even Lucas.

--For Force And Empire, Dane Youssef

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29 out of 53 people found the following review useful:

Lightsabers! Robots! Spaceships! Aliens! Bounty Hunters! Etc! Yes, it's Star Wars.

10/10
Author: lonefoxandcub from United Kingdom
31 January 2005

Stick a lightsaber in a movie and I'm happy. Seriously. Not a biased review whatsoever. 10 years after the battle of Naboo (in The Phantom Menace) Anakin has grown into a talented Jedi, though very reckless. He also has all the traits teenagers have- moody, irresponsible, fancies the pretty senator... that kind of thing. Obi Wan's becoming increasingly concerned over his Padawans behaviour, while the Jedi Council struggle to keep the peace as the galaxy appears to be on the brink of war. Amidala, former Queen of Naboo and now senator, is placed under protection of the Jedi after an assassination attempt- unfortunately her 'Jedi bodyguard' can't necessarily be trusted...

Boo hoo if you want to moan about prequels, Ewoks, Jar Jar, Anakins ghost, directors re- edited special ultimate redux DVD editions, whatever. Star Wars rocks. Fact. The film hardly lets up pace from the chase through Coruscant to Obi Wan's Raymond Chandler-esquire investigation into the development of a clone army (the precursor to the Stormtroopers of the original trilogy) to the finale when war is declared and just about the biggest Jedi showdown ever (so far). And I won't even mention what happens when you mess with Anakins mother...

Classic tale of good versus evil, jaw dropping special effects, plenty of that'll-tie-in-to- Episode-IV-nicely moments...

And you think Episode II was good? Vader's back in the next one!

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