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I consider myself a patient person, I can sit through a lot. This
movie, however, was too much. I was at a friend's house and I had not
yet seen Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. I was somewhat afraid because
I love the original Star Wars movies, and I even enjoyed the third one
(though it was not nearly as good as the originals). However, I hated
Star Wars: Episode I. As I sat on the couch waiting for the movie to
begin, I wondered if I would like it. Little did I know, I would have
much rather been in Uganda doing manual labor than having to sit
through that awful movie. Here are my reasons:
1) The dialog was terrible (I know George Lucas has never been known for great dialog...but this was just unfathomable)
2) Mr. Lucas tried to make the movie into some sort of drama (I'm speaking for Episodes I and III also) rather than sticking to the fun originals.
3) He tried to make the audience feel Anakin's "deep inner struggles" but it turned into a flop because the dialog was such as: "I...I...I just can't breathe without you." and "Where I come from it is so rocky, but here it's so soft and smooth."
4) George Lucas had an interesting idea of dwelling on how Anikan became Darth Vader, but he didn't have enough to go on so he tried filling the rest in with bits and scraps that made the movie look poorly put together.
After I watched the movie (barely being able sit through it at all) I went and did something productive like renting the "The Grapes of Wrath" which is actually good. I understand that if you're some sort of Star Wars fanatic you'll think me an idiot and you'll say this is the best movie that' s been made in the past 10 years. That's why I didn't aim this review at people like you because you're just stubborn mules with no taste and you take offense much too easily. I aimed this review at those of you who aren't Star Wars fanatics, because if you haven't already seen it...just skip it.
Existing among Star Wars non-apologists are subdivisions who realized at different moments that this film was beyond repair. For some, it was immediately, upon witnessing Padme Amidala's courageous bout with danger and learning that female planetary monarchs are subject to term limits! Another faction of viewers might take issue with Anakin Skywalker's evolution from a bratty little eight-year-old to a whining, spoiled teenager (as I'm sure Lucas intended all along). Nevertheless, few can contradict that the clear point of no return was Yoda, now reduced to a CGI. Decently portrayed in The Empire Strikes Back as a wise teacher, the little green guy here is everything and everywhere at once. First he presides over the Jedi Council (ok, I think the whole council thing has been played out about a thousand times over in science fiction). Next we see him teaching Jedi nursery school, going so far as having his pupils greet Ewan MacGregor with "Helll ohhhh Mass Terrrr Obeeeeee Wannnnn" as pronounced in younglingspeak. Later on, he appears as a George Patton-like General in the heat of battle, uttering what will surely be the century's most ridiculous line: "Around the survivors a perimeter create!!!" erasing any remaining doubt of Lucas's incompetence in writing dialogue. After such horrible silliness, the average cinema patron is not even phased by the so-called Jedi Master's swordfight, which is so fast that it looks like Kermit the Frog working late in a meth lab without a mask.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Whatever you thought about Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace, whatever you disliked about Jar Jar Binks or the little child Anakin had been in the first part of this spectacular space saga, forget you must about all your concerns! I had the possibility to watch Episode II this night at about 1:00 o'clock in the city of Munich/Germany at a charity preview screening! What I saw some 13 hours ago is the movie of the movies, the movie every true fan and every moviegoer has waited for! This time director George Lucas managed to deliver a fine performance in directing, storytelling and visualization of the great events that take place in this 2 hours 22 minutes thrill-ride I'd like to call the second best Star Wars movie of all time which means that this is the second best movie of all time (after the original Episode IV - but, hey, I've only seen it one time until now so things could hint at a No. 1 spot in my personal list!). The movie's atmosphere is far more darker than that of Episode I and I think that Episode II is even darker than Episode V. The galaxy's in a real turmoil, because of the separatists that want to leave the Republic. The story has a wonderful pace I'd like to compare with Episode IV. There's not a single second one feels bored or one feels strange about anything. All the different subplots are developed perfectly and find their climax in a gigantic battle in the end of the movie. The actors all deliver excellent performances. Especially Hayden Christensen's performance marks the perfect portrayal of the later Darth Vader. You can really feel his inner battle with the dark side. He is a good person with a good heart, but certain things make him turn. In Episode II, during one of the highlights of the movie, Anakin is confronted with his first dark actions. It will take your breath away, I promise you! Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor do a great job and keep up the fine pace of the movie. McGregor gets to do a lot this time and some of his quotations will be remembered! The hidden star of the movie, now one can deny that, is Yoda. Yes, you heard it right, Yoda. The Jedi-Master shows the audience why he is the greatest Jedi of all time and also proves that the advance of digital animation can't be stopped...... The Special Effects are totally exciting, excellent and brilliant, but they never stand above the story, no, they drive the story forward and underline all the aspects of the movie. The CG-characters in this movie look so realistic (especially Yoda) that you just won't believe it. Compared with Spider-Man (a very good movie, too!) where the animated Spider-Man can be recognized during a lot of scenes as an animation Episode II's CG-characters interact perfectly with the real actors. And talking about technical aspects...... I didn't see any hint that the pictures were entirely shot digitally! The picture looks brilliant, colourful and very rich! The sound effects are superb and John Williams' score perfectly underlines this motion picture experience! What else to say than well, I already have my tickets for the midnight premiere on Wednesday/Thursday and I'll again enjoy a hell of thrill-ride watching this movie that tells us a story of good versus evil from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... May the force be with you! Always!
As a Star Wars fan, I've often wondered why the latest two Star Wars
have taken quite a beating, and I think part of the reason is this:
to the fact that we saw Episodes IV thru VI first, we already know how
story ends, and so much of the suspense is lost, leaving fans with much
energy to expend on their complaints. I mean, let's be honest, the acting
and dialog in the Star Wars series has always been more a matter of
competence than brilliance, it was the wonderful imagination and
groundbreaking visual effects that made them great.
That said, my feelings about the new films are thus: The Phantom Menace is definitely underrated, sure Jar Jar is annoying and Lucas was a fool to throw in those references to the Midicloridians sp? and Annakin's `virgin' birth, but these can be easily overlooked (as Lucas himself seems to have done, since nowhere in this film are they mentioned). Phantom Menace has the same epic quality that made the other three great - sweeping vistas, beautiful scenery, and a plot that takes its time developing; after all, there's a lot of background to establish. And when I saw this in the theater, I was most pleased, figuring it would finally shut up all the critics who hated TPM. But, truth be told, after buying it on DVD, my enthusiasm has waned. Giving credit where due, the effects are still outstanding and so are the action scenes, but the `epic' quality is lacking. Lucas seems much too eager to show off his technical skills, and too much effort was put into developing great action sequences at the expense of basic plot and character development. For example, it is crucial for the plot for Annakin and Padme to fall in love, but in this movie they just don't have any chemistry. Put aside the problem of the fact that he ages over a decade while she barely ages at all, I can willingly suspend some belief here, but their basic characters just don't gell. She is dignified and wise beyond her years, and would surely see that Annakin, despite his talents and good intentions, is seriously unbalanced. To be fair, I don't think it's either actor's fault, in fact, the `clunky' dialog between them struck me as refreshingly realistic, the way real first time lovers speak, awkward and tongue-tied as opposed to the usual slick Hollywood product of highly paid professional writers, but no amount of acting or writing can save a romance that seems as forced and unrealistic as this one does.
As for the rest, the pairing of Annakin and Obi Wan is quite good; the former clearly respects his mentor but also resents his often-domineering manner and it's fairly obvious that there will be a violent falling out between these two in Episode III. There are a number of memorable scenes, including the one on the water planet where we first meet Boba Fett and his father, a beautifully filmed space dogfight in an asteroid belt, and of course the climactic final battle scene. No question but that Lucas has not lost his touch for SFX laden action scenes, although I personally found the fight between Yoda and Count Dooku to have been a bit silly, like watching an attack hamster on speed. The problem is Lucas seems to have lost sight of the larger story. While Annakin and Padme are frolicking on Naboo and Obi Wan is chasing after a mysterious assassin, in the background the Republic is faced with division as thousands of star systems threaten to secede. Why? Who knows, Lucas is far too busy on scenes like the one in which Annakin and Padme have to fight off a bunch of bug people to explore this seemingly vital matter more fully. And the Clone Army, we are shown in much detail how they are made, but not why, which is surely the more important issue. In short, the problem with this movie is the story simply takes a back seat to the action, and what we get is a highly competent piece of entertainment, but an effort that doesn't quite measure up to the standard of being a truly epic film like the others in the series.
I know most Star Wars fans were thoroughly disappointed with episodes
1-3, but I found the back up of the Trilogy to be great. Sure they
weren't exactly the Trilogy, but I don't think I'd love Star Wars as
much had the prequels not been made. They provided background and depth
to the Trilogy, and they enable the Old Republic Era the evolve. I
definitely understand why Lucas made these movies and appreciate them
for what they have done for the Star Wars Universe.
Attack of the Clones is by far the best of the Prequels. I believe it to have the best action and intensity of all three of the Prequels. Of the Prequels, I believe it to have some of the best acting and story line. I would advise this movie to anyone.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The prequel trilogy is no match for the original, if for no other
reason that it rehashes similar ground 20 years later. But it's not bad
space opera, and of the three prequels, I thought this one is the best.
It suffers the usual problems of a middle segment without a real beginning, middle, or end, but the story really makes some progress her, taking us from an assassination attempt of Anakin Skywalkers's love Padme to a long-brewing plot to create an army of the Republic, soon to be an army of the Empire. The Jedi plausibly fall for the manipulations that lead to the need for such an army to counteract the Sith puppet, the Trade Federation. Film 2 also sets up all the key characters from an ambiguously good Anakin to the Emperor, and introduces great new ones, like Count Dookoo.
You can't go wrong casting Christopher Lee as an evil mastermind. He and Peter Cushing, who played the evil mastermind in the original, are grand relics of the glory days of Hammer films, famous for the 60s Dracula and Frankenstein productions. It would have been great to have both of these good friends in the same film (and of sorts, they are in Episode 3). Alas, it was not to be due to Cushing's untimely death many years ago, but it's nice to see them strut their stuff in different parts of Star Wars.
On the other hand, you can go wrong with Hayden Christensen's Anakin. The attack on Anakin's mother provides some background for his fall, but not enough. HC is just not up to the task: he can look brooding, but more like an awkward teenager. The same awkwardness permeates his attachment to the much older and more self-secure Padme. This role, in all three prequels, really needed a more weighty (literally!) actor, a big intelligent farmhand who resented his slavery and had a chip on his shoulder from his earliest days. The actors in the prequels try their best, but they just can't pull it off. They needed someone of David Prowse size with a voice that could mature into a James Earl Jones voice, not just someone with dark rings around his eyes.
The movie has a lot going for it, though, besides Christopher Lee. Interesting chases of assassins and bounty hunters employing them, a Ewan McGregor who is getting more into his Obi Wan routine, a dark background story for the imperial storm troopers, the factory from hell, and a silly but awesome Roman Colosseum scene that segues into a serious battle, where the Jedi in the waning days of their wisdom employ their very undoing to win a temporary victory, as Yoda immediately recognizes. The John Williams music, now derivative of himself being derivative of Dvorak is still great. Some good use is still made of the humor of R2 and 3PO, but not enough. In general, the original trilogy had more fun being a humorous and adventurous space opera, whereas the prequels are lacking in the humor department (unless you think Jar Jar Binks is funny).
As always, Lucas overdoes it on the special effects, and doesn't know when to cut what does not work (like Anakin flying fruit onto Padme's fork). One of the things that made John Carpenters The Thing so great was his good taste in when to cut out unsatisfactory special effects, as anyone who has seen the "deleted scenes" from said film knows.
Still, the film moves along nicely from beginning to end: not as relentlessly as most post- 2000 action flicks, which were scripted for an audience suffering ADD, and not as slow as a 'serious' sf drama like Solaris. If parts VII and onward are about as good as this, the audience should not complain to much. And the Abrams style is much more suited to space opera than to Star Trek in any case.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After fans were driven bonkers by The Phantom Menace, they were hoping
upon hope that Attack of the Clones would be better. Again, Lucas
seemed to misstep with a lot of them. I laugh at this movie often, but
you know, it's a much better movie than people remember. It has a tinge
of darkness to it much like Empire Strikes Back does. There are many
things in this film that I feel have to be addressed. So here we go.
Ten years or so after the events of Phantom Menace, Queen Padme is now Senator Padme, who immediately starts the movie off with her nearly being assassinated. Talk about starting off with a bang! She suspects former Jedi master Count Dooku (played by the excellent Christopher Lee) of the deed, but the council is skeptical. Now grown up Anakin Skywalker (played by Hayden Christensen) is assigned to protect Padme while his master Obi Wan is dispatched to solve the mystery of the assassin bounty hunter named Jango Fett. Fett has be used as the host for a secret Republic Clone Army (the ancestors of the Stormtroopers) While hiding Padme on Naboo, both begin to feel an attraction for one another, even though its forbidden for Anakin to love another as a Jedi.
The story actually has a lot going on here. Lucas introduces threads that will be long lasting throughout the present Saga of films. We see where the Stormtroopers come from, we learn what the Clone Wars are, we see Luke and Leia's mother, there is just a lot here. But instead of focusing on that, Lucas puts his energy into two main stories. Story A, it seems, is the love story between Anakin and Padme. Story B is Obi Wan figuring out what goes on when Jedi don't look at invisible planets. Both stories are actually very well developed and take time for them to unfold. The love story works well considering the dialog.
We all knew this was coming. The dialog during the love scenes isn't as good as the way it develops. Some lines are truly hokey or wooden in delivery. I feel this mostly comes from Hayden Christensen. In this movie he doesn't seem to be acting as he is sleepwalking through the movie, never really changing his tone unless he is screaming. Portman does her best to at least to seem interested, but if her co-star is sleepwalking, then she can't do much. Some of the lines are actually good, so we can't say every word is awful.
The characterizations in this film are where I have a couple of issues. Obi Wan seems mean and condescending to Anakin in this film, but compared to the first film, his humor is far more funny and his timing is superb. Padme is a very sweet person and dedicated to her job and morals, and she does actually see some good things in Anakin that she loves, but she doesn't become sappy. Yoda and Mace Windu (played by veterans Frank Oz and Samuel L. Jackson in all their grandeur) are spectacular, nothing more to talk about. Count Dooku is a great villain, but it seems like the role was meant for Darth maul had he survived in the first film, but it's Christopher Lee playing him, so hes really good. But the one that I don't like is Anakin. In this film, he is played like a whiny teenager who wants to be master even though he is clearly not ready. One could make the argument that at this age, teenagers are like this, and perhaps that is what George Lucas was going for. But to me, it makes him slightly unlikeable.
For some reason or another, the action scene is this movie seem like a "been there, done that feeling." Except for one scene, they all feel a little done and way too necessary. The other films scenes were as well, but there was some kind of spark that made seem more spectacular and special then they really are. The exception(s) is the lightsaber battles. Wow! These are really good in pacing and the beauty of their choreography, but what makes it special is that we see YODA FIGHT! That alone should make this movie really memorable!
The element of this movie that I think will forever stand the test of time in cinema is the score written by John Williams. Here we have one of the most beautiful themes ever in the history of recorded sound, the love theme known as "Across the Stars." It's such a truly beautiful work of art that completely blends with George Lucas' vision of this world he has created. It's also Williams' best love theme since Superman, which itself is a truly beautiful composition. The action is music is also great, punctuating each movement and tick and making the action seem much more important then how they play out in the logic of the story.
Final Verdict: Its better than I remember, but it is still kind of hokey and funny. It has a well developed story, four interesting characters, and some fantastic music. But the rest is tired, slow, and really bad dialog. So it's better than Phantom Menace, but nowhere close to the next one.
I get that this is number 2 of the series, and as such a bridge between
1 and 3. Therefore I won't gripe too much about a lack of a self-
contained package. One could even argue that the love story between
Anakin and Padme IS the crux of the plot - the music (Williams is on
form this time) would suggest so - and that the final scene set to a
symbolically beautiful landscape on planet Naboo shows its fruition.
I get that an awful lot of locations (if cyber-scenes can be classed as 'location') and characters are needed to tell the continuing story of a galactic republic gone awry. Therefore I will not gripe about the hectic kaleidoscope of alien worlds and species that pass before our eyes. I might even grudgingly admire the craftsmanship that ties all this together.
I get that, in 2002, young audiences have a certain expectation of technology in movie production. Indeed, this had visibly moved on even from the CGI Menace of 1999. Therefore I will not gripe about the proliferation of digitally-created scenes, and I might even tell myself not to grow old before my time (I'm 45) and to chill and enjoy the spectacle of galactic super-civilizations that this supports.
I do NOT get that we - including children of our hi-tec times - need outrageously frenetic action sequences by the megabyte in order to command our attention. I DO gripe at this because, eventually, it becomes BORING as credibility suffers more than the Tuskan Raiders under the vengeance of Anakin's light-sabre. Please, just tell the damn story with a balance of imagination and believable action. That scene, ironically, was a good one. It was an important one - what we were allowed to see of it.
After the global disappointment that was The Phantom Menace, we got
"Attack of the Clones"! And while it's better than Menace, and an OK
film overall... The execution leaves something to be desired. The
narration is done much better than in Menace, and the acting is
certainly better. There is a bit more suspense here as well, but
doesn't make up for a half and hour Padme-Anakin vacation. Some of the
scenes work, but most of the time the scene is unnecessary. This movie
feels much more like Titianic than Star Wars, unfortunately. Titanic
was a good movie, but it doesn't really fit into Clones.
But the movie has a much more solid plot, and the scenes and lines works much better! There aren't nearly as much plot holes, and there is a very good climax at the end! This movie is kinda' interesting to watch. When you think about the action and execution, you accept it as a decent movie. But the pace is even slower in Menace, and the movie is transformed into an awkward love story.
Anakin is a grown man, so it's definitely for the better, but the chemistry between Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen is awful. And the movie is forced to center around these two characters dinner conversations and picnic trips... They should have shown more Obi-Wan!
I found the Obi-Wan segments to be quite good. It has a mysterious flow to it, and we feel like we learn some things on the way, as Obi-Wan does. We see more of the new villain Count Dooku aka Darth Tyranus, who is perhaps a more solid villain than Darth Maul. Lee is a golden template on this movie, as he is one the best actors of the whole cast! One of the most powerful scenes in this movie is the showdown between Dooku and Yoda! I gotta' give Lucas credit for filming this scene so perfect! I saw original Star Wars quality there!
In the end, Clones is a decent movie, that is quite better than Menace! The movie works better on all premises! But Clones is nothing compared to the original trilogy... Execept for the Yoda vs Dooku scene! That was awesome!
I think that based on story, excitement and character development, this
is one ranks the bottom out of all 6 of the Star Wars films. While the
special effects and action were good, the character development wasn't
there, and the story was rather boring. Here, Queen Padmé Amidala
(Natalie Portman) is now a Senator representing her home planet of
Naboo in the Galatic Republic. A faction of political separatists, led
by Count Dooku (Christopher Lee), wants to assassinate her. In the
mist, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewen McGregor) continues to train Anakin
Skywalker (Hayden Christianson) to become a Jedi, but it is apparent
that he would probably break the Jedi Code due to his growing love
interest with Amidala. What results is poor screen comprehension
between Skywalker and Amidala, and this film was drags on for too long
to be focusing on the love interest between the two. This film also
lacks the charm and excitement that the other films have. A few actions
scenes were quite good, especially the one between Yoda and Count
Dooku. The sceneries were also beautiful, especially the scenes of the
Naboo palace - gorgeous landscape and cinematography.
Overall, this movie definitely needs more of the Force.
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