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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.
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.
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It was with low hopes that I set out to the cinema to watch the latest
offering from George Lucas, considering the out-and-out failure of The
Phantom Menace, a film which helped to sour the image of the bearded
god for thousands of former fans. In the three years since, Lucas seems
to have learned something about film-making and has perhaps even
managed to recapture some of the magic which was missing from the first
movie. The characters have more interactions this time around, the plot
isn't as boring and as a whole the film holds together a lot better
than it rightfully should.
Most of the flaws from The Phantom Menace are once again evident, but not as drastic in this offering. Lucas spends more time developing supporting characters to good effect, leaving the leads feeling all too wooden and unrealistic. Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen are definitely the two worst things in this movie, and their slow, cheesy romantic interludes feel a whole world away from the Star Wars universe. They don't belong here, and serve only to drag down the pacing in spots. Both actors fare badly with their dialogue and become laughable at times.
Thankfully, other characters have improved somewhat. Since The Phantom Menace, Ewan McGregor has developed in his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi and actually does feel something like a younger Alec Guinness, unlike last time. He seems more relaxed and more natural in his part as the mentor rather than the learner. Elsewhere, Samuel Jackson returns as ass-kicking Jedi Knight Mace Windu, and this time gets to wield the purple light saber he's always talking about in interviews to good effect. Yoda's back too, this time fully animated with CGI and pretty realistic with it, and he even has a few genuine surprises up his sleeve for the finale. Unfortunately the rest of the council, which includes Ian McDiarmid and a fresh-faced Jimmy Smits, are barely on screen. R2D2 and C3P0 are present and more like the lovable buffoons of old than they were last time.
The special effects are fantastic and go a long way in making the movie worth watching. The other-wordly vistas are nicely scenic and the backgrounds more realistic than before. Once again there are a plethora of partially-successful CGI aliens and the like filling the scenes, although (thank the gods) Jar Jar Binks is mostly ignored this time. Up until the last forty-five minutes of this film, the material is mostly harmless filler, bolstered by some adequate action scenes and intriguing characters. The last forty-five minutes consistent of a huge action sequence which begins like Gladiator, turns into Braveheart, and finishes with a climatic light saber fight between Christopher Lee and Yoda which is equal parts cheesy and equal parts cool. Yep, the grand old man of horror Christopher Lee appears in this film as bad guy Count Dooku (shame about that name) and manages to be a lot more menacing than last film's Darth Maul, although once more you can't help but feel he's underused seeing as he doesn't turn up until an hour into the film.
The action sequences of the climax are expertly choreographed and full of beautiful special effects of things exploding, people fighting and dying and hundreds of CGI-created soldiers going about their business and shooting it out to the death. My favourite moment is the arena fight with Anakin, Padme, and Obi-Wan, which introduces three excellently-animated monsters and some ferocious fighting. From then on it doesn't let up and the ending is a lot more involving and exciting than it has any right to be. If only the rest of the film could have been of this standard, then we might have been looking at a classic. As it stands, Attack of the Clones is half bad (full of revealing mistakes and inherent dumbness), half good (impressive as brain candy but nothing more), leaving it a mildly impressive but far from brilliant spectacle piece.
The positives: Ewan McGregor is much better as Obi Wan Kenobi. Samuel L
Jackson finally gets to do something as Mace Windu (and who doesn't
love his purple Lightsabre??) Janga Fett is a real bad ass, Fett V Obi
Wan in the Asteroid Field was great in the cinema and still looks and
sounds good. Natalie Portman in the tight white outfit and the battle
on Geonosis. As with the first movie, the later half, saves it from
being a total disaster. I know a lot of people don't like it, but C-3PO
brings some light comedy relief during the last 40 mins or so.
The negatives: Once again, like with Darth Maul, they kill off a bad ass bad guy in his first movie, as Janga Fett loses his head. Anakin is annoying as hell, he repeatedly talks back to Obi Wan Kenobi, showing a complete lack of respect, and his creepy lusting over Padme "she covered the cameras (which were in her bedroom) I don't think she liked me watching her." Is very disturbing!! Obi Wan jumping out of the window onto the probe was ridiculous!! As is everything that follows in the resulting chase. But at least it was some action in an otherwise slow moving Star Wars movie (Possibly THE slowest moving Star Wars movie) once again there are numerous plot holes, The Jedi are always around the Chancellor, but can not sense he is the Sith Lord, Why are there so few Jedi?? I thought they were The Guardians of Peace and Justice in the Old Republic??! How can that be with so few of them??
It's no surprise we have seen so little of Hayden Christensen since these movies as he is awful. Portman looks great in the tight white outfit, but she struggled delivering Lucas's awful dialogue, especially during the scenes with Anakin where lines such as "I'm haunted by the kiss you never should have given me" And "I'm not afraid to die. I've been dying a little bit each day since you came back into my life." are uttered.
A few things... R2 D2 can fly?? This really could have come in handy during earlier movies, and why the hell does Yoda need a walking stick?? Lol
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.
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...
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 :)
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