Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

a review with some spoilers

8/10
Author: rinesin from United States
17 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was better than TPM, but still didn't quite make it to the level that most fans had expected. Again the story was great and the politics even more interwoven and subtle. George Lucas again shows he is a master at weaving a complex story while making it seem straight-forward. His directing even got a little better; still not great, but a lot better than before. The action was well done, though the lightsaber fighting wasn't quite as engrossing as in Episode I. A fight against CGI opponents doesn't look nearly as good as a fight against a live person, and most of the saber action was just that: the actor swinging at imagined enemies to be filled in later. Getting to see Yoda fight was a lot of fun, unfortunately too short. I did like the fact that after all of that twirling and spinning, he still pulled his cane to him to walk. It showed a great amount of discipline and respect for the Force that he only called on it when it was needed and didn't allow it to become a crutch (figuratively and literally). Yoda also looked far better in AotC than he did in TPM, one of the few times a CG character completely outdoes a "real" character (Yoda was a puppet in TPM). I was also hoping to see Anakin swinging two sabers for a bit longer (and Dooku picking up two as well, which is a scene they apparently cut from the film). I thought that Anakin was good, if a bit whiny; but then again, so was Luke in A New Hope… Like father like son I guess. His speech about his love for Padme in the infamous "Fireplace Scene" while admittedly coming across as bad Goth Poetry did also seem rather chilling when you think about how intense his emotions are. The scene where he kills the Tusken Raiders then crying describes it later were very well done. It still suffers a bit from George's directing and not getting as good a performance as he could have from Hayden Christensen, but the moment for the character is wonderful in how it sets up the beginning of his fall to the Dark Side. The blossoming love between Anakin and Padme seemed a little rushed between "Hey! I haven't seen you in 10 years!" to "Let's get married!". And the "I truly, deeply, love you." line Padme gives Anakin as they are taken into the arena seemed really corny, but considering what it was supposed to portray I can be a bit forgiving. Count Dooku a.k.a. Darth Tyranus played by long time actor Christopher Lee was also very convincing as a political minded aggressor; but as a Dark Lord he seemed a bit weak. Political manoeuvrings and the fact that he had the plans for the Death Star in his pocket aside, he didn't have much else. If he hadn't gone over to "Darth" status and had still been in the beginning of his fall to evil it would have been a lot more in sync with his place in the story. He saw the corruption of the Senate and the stagnation of the Jedi; he tried to do something about it but was manipulated by Palpatine into falling to the Dark Side, not having enough willpower to stand up to him. Dooku is a very tragic character in the Star Wars saga, a man who wants to make the galaxy a better place, but winds up helping along the start of one of it's darkest times. In a way he is foreshadowing Anakin who will one day do the same thing, albeit on a much grander scale. Jango Fett was a pleasant surprise. New Zealand born Temuera Morrison brought a smart, calculating and menacing presence to the screen. He made you believe that this was a warrior who didn't fear the Jedi, no matter how powerful they could be. When he stood up to Obi-Wan when they first met you could tell the only thing he was worried about was being found out by the Law, he wasn't afraid of the Jedi. He proved it later when he defeated Obi-Wan on the landing platform, even if it was a close fight. Though like his son Boba in Return of the Jedi, he went out in a very quick manner that wasn't nearly as satisfying as you might have wanted for such a cool character. Mace Windu, the purple lightsaber wielding Jedi played by Samuel Jackson is supposed to be the best sword fighter in the Jedi order, and second overall to Yoda himself. Unfortunately all we really get to see him do is fight CG opponents, which doesn't do much to show his prowess. The only other things I found disappointing was the use of the reverberating sound effect. It was really overused, the ships made it, the speeders made it, even the animals made it. It was used so often that I lost my suspension of disbelief every time I heard it. C-3PO's constant barrage of puns didn't endear me to him much either. Lastly the "do everything button" that Amidala uses in the ship when they are about to leave Tatooine. It's a break in believable continuity as they zoom in showing her press it twice for two totally different functions; but it's not that big of a deal; just an annoyance. Overall though the movie was entertaining, a couple of great chase scenes and a great weaving plot that really progressed the characters and Palpatine's bid to rule the galaxy. It also seemed to redeem Lucas a bit in terms of Jar-Jar. When he falls for an amazingly transparent manipulation and calls the vote that will give full executive power to the Supreme Chancellor, he single-handedly puts the reigns of the government into Palpatine's hands. In other words we now have a story based reason to hate him. It's all Jar-Jar's fault. ;) 4 out of 5 stars.

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

drowning in a special effects pool

6/10
Author: ekinomania (ekinomania@yahoo.com)
16 February 2004

i could never guess that star wars would be drowning in a special effects pool.the star wars of the 80's were much more exciting than the last ones.i think the things that make star wars exciting are its diologues and its main idea.star wars don't need tricks to be a perfect film.the advance in special effects made george lucas's eyes blind.if he had gone on as he was,the last two films could be even better than the first ones with such options he has.he shouldn't be concerned about the box office,he should be concerned about how we,the true fans of the star wars,will react to the film.otherwise he loses more than he wins.

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

junk

Author: Donny_Stay from Arctic Village
16 March 2003

There seems little point in commenting on this film, its story, the acting, or whatever else. We've all seen it, and we've already made up our minds.

However, it must be said: There were moments during -Attack of the Clones- when I felt... bored. Never during any of the previous four Star Wars films had I ever felt bored. But whenever Anakin and Amidala were frolicking in the meadow, or snuggling by the fireplace, or slow dancing at the Jedi prom, I nearly fell asleep. God those parts were boring. You know, Han and Leia sorta just ended up in love with almost no courtship whatsoever, and no one complained. Why did Lucas bother this time?

As best I can tell, anyone who enjoyed this film simply enjoyed the sheer spectacle of it. The big, loud, expensive, visually impressive spectacle of it. There's nothing wrong with that; I like spectacle as much as the next guy. I like watching the fireworks on the Fourth of July, too. But that doesn't make it great cinema, and Attack of the Clones certainly is not great cinema.

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10 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Attack of the Terrible Acting

Author: Mr. Smith (imdb@deved.com) from Sacramento, CA
26 July 2004

Sorry everyone, I have to admit, after seeing this movie, Hayden Christensen must be the worst actor imaginable. I laughed out loud with the entire audience at his mumbled lines and fake anger and crying. Lucas has truly lost his touch with these films.

Also, the effects were corny and unconvincing. Never has there been a film so over-produced and under valued. In some shots, especially dark scenes, it is obvious that it was "filmed" digitally. I love digital, but this is a new low for Lucas to let grainy and discolored scenes into a movie theatre.

I have lost all confidence in George Lucas. His ability to create quality films has been set back by a couple of decades at least.

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12 out of 22 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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12 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Imax Imin

Author: tedg (tedg@filmsfolded.com) from Virginia Beach
2 December 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers herein.

This comment pertains to the edition of `Episode 2' remastered for Imax. My experience with the original viewing of this project was painful, from the horsey acting to the lack of imagination, to the really boring camera. The one unugly element of the film was some of the effects. I thought the big screen would help.

No, it doesn't. All the previously-mentioned flaws are merely exaggerated. Because the entire film was digitally captured at 35mm, the blowup is not at all sharp like it would have been from real film. Its downright blurry. My theater messed up the sound, and I understand from others that the transition from Lucas' own of proprietary brand was not matched.

But the surprise was how bad the effects looked. Many, many sequences that passed on the small big screen looked patently fakey on the big big screen: paintings, mismatched shadows, poor composites, sketchy background action.

If you love film, stay away.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 4: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

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14 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

well, it's a bit better than "The Phantom Menace", but that isn't saying a whole lot

6/10
Author: TheUnknown837-1 from United States
12 February 2010

"Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" was one of the most colossally disappointing films I've ever seen in my life. Now comes the second installment in George Lucas's prequel trilogy to the epic narrative that broke box office records and set standards for generations to come. The second movie detailing the past of Darth Vader, "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" is a little bit better, but that's not quite enough to make it a recommendable movie. It's close, but not quite. If it only they had thrown out Jar-Jar Binks (yes, I still cringe every time I think of that bumbling, frog-like freak), patched up some mediocre dialogue, reworked this sappy love story, and captured a better sense of the magic that we require for a Star Wars movie, it would have worked.

In this one, Anakin Skywalker is grown up to a young Jedi and played by Hayden Christianson. Since Qui-Gon's dead, he is being taught by Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). While Obi-Wan's out fighting evil, Anakin begins a forbidden romance with Padme (Natalie Portman) and of course, well, trouble begins and lasers are blasting and...yeah....

Now, I have nothing against a love story. Some of my all-time favorite movies are love stories. But I require two things: a good story and a conviction that the lovers are in deed, in love. I got neither of those from this. The 'romance' between Christianson and Portman is very shallow with utterly ridiculous and hammy dialogue such as "to me, you will always be that little boy on Tatooine." Thus, in the end, this subplot is boring, tiresome, and sappy. Not a good combination and not what we want to see in any element of a Star Wars movie. I thought Jack Lloyd was not a very good young Anakin Skywalker in "The Phantom Menace" and Hayden Christianson is awkward and wasted here in a miscast role. Again, with this, we need to have that daunting feeling that Anakin, young, innocent, and loyal to the Jedi will one day betray them and become a cold-blooded killer. We don't get that feeling. Because the original narrative and this new one don't seem to be related beyond plot. The original trilogy was artistic, imaginative, and realized good characters and stories. This new one is just like a hokey video game.

Unfortunately, the screenplay entire is crippled by bad dialogue and unnecessary characters. However, I am not going to trash on this movie too much, because I must admit, it was very close for me. There was more of an adventurous sense to the picture, which was absent in "The Phantom Menace", and I really enjoyed some parts including a scene where Anakin, Padme, and Obi-Wan have to fight with three alien monsters in a ring very much like the gladiatorial fights of Ancient Rome. And thankfully, Jar-Jar Binks has a much smaller part in this picture. That's always a relief. Overall, it's not too bad of a picture. It's tolerable, but it doesn't quite deserve to bear the words Star Wars in its title. Thankfully, by the third prequel, "Revenge of the Sith", things would improve.

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14 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

CGI is horrible, give me puppets any day!

2/10
Author: scottkellaway5 from United Kingdom
9 December 2007

I am a Star Wars fan. When I say this I refer to the 'original' trilogy (A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi).

I am not however a fan of what they are trying to pass off with the 'Star Wars' title these days. These 3 films are terrible (Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith).

The Characters are poor, there are too many random characters crammed in. Was this an attempt to make as many toys to cash in on as possible?

The computer generated graphics are over the top and obvious, I sometimes feel like I'm watching a computer game rather than a serious film. Yoda is a prime example... what have they done to him!? I'm just glad that his puppet form died before he could see this happen.

Everything is too high tech from weapons to Space Crafts, they can come up with all the reasons under the sun of why they are more high tech, but the fact is that the designers were simply trying to be clever and were making 'new' ideas rather than keeping in line with the original trilogy.

The script and acting seems to be very forced and weak, you can tell that a lot of the actors are attempting accents poorly. There are too many boring scenes with the council talking (especially Phantom Menace) What makes that more frustrating is all of the CGI.

George Lucas... I enjoyed Howard the Duck a lot more... and that's got to be saying something.

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14 out of 26 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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15 out of 28 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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