27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
The great thing about going to a film that has been out for awhile, and that many people have trashed, is that your expectation level is reduced to a normal level of expectancy, which is where it should be to begin with.
Flat out, I thought the film was terrific and that nearly all the criticisms I have read prior to seeing the flick were groundless, inane, and overblown. First, this absurd idealization of the original films is nonsense! They weren't that damn great. They were new & original and breakthroughs, but the stories weren't that hot with the exception of Luke's quest & discovery of who his father has become. There was little great dialogue, and no jaw-dropping performances. There was, thank goodness, Alec Guinness as Obi Wan. The rest of the cast just limboed in under the age limit not to be ridiculous in their awkward teen love scenes. At least the young performers in this film are young! Their awkwardness fits. I always found the byplay between Carrie Fisher & Harrison Ford embarrassing.
Anyway, I'm not going to compare and contrast the two sets of films. The old ones are what they are, the new ones are what they are. I will just comment on all the vitriol heaped on Lucas, e.g., that he is too isolated & out of touch on his ranch (read empire). Well, he may be, but he's also busy inventing worlds & universes out there that I found beautifully realized, detailed, and exciting in this film.
The movie has some slow spots, but they don't last long. There are some eye-popping, stunning and fantastic set-pieces: the chase through the nightscape of the huge city; the great fight on the water planet; the chase through the asteroids; the narrow escapes of the foundry/assembly line; the battle in the arena; the climactic battle with the clones & droids, and of course, Yoda going Postal!
All of this is done with seamless and gorgeous CGI work, with new and amusing characters, with all kinds of mean & nasty critters, with a new villain (our beloved Chris Lee) and with a drop-dead beautiful Natalie Portman (sorry Carrie) and a young Anakin who has a nasty temper and has committed a war crime already. And Ewan McGregor makes a nice young Obi Wan.
The look of the film is fabulous (I saw it in digital) and the inventiveness and immagination throughout is phenomenal. I ask his critics: what else can Lucas do? He cannot make it all new & never-seen-before again. He is presenting a complex story of how an individual and a society can turn to the "dark side". The groundwork for this story made Phantom Menace slow-going at times, I agree. But the pace is accelerating.
Lucas presents us with fabulously imagined worlds & creatures, done with meticulous care. He has this film filled with mind-boggling action scenes. He stretches the capability of the technology with each outing. It's enough. Works for me.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2004
Episode II, Attack of the clones is a continuation of Lucas's great story telling. Great movies today can be appreciated when they appeal to both the young and old . Films like Aladdin and Shek are great because they both on the surface appeal to children but also contain many elements that appeal to adults. The Star Wars sagas aim to do the same with limition of live action which Lucas has tried to overcome with CG.Today the Lord of the Rings has done the same.I believe most people get so wrapped up in the exterior, intended for quick visual entertainment, that they miss out on the superior plot and twist in the film. And yes the new films do have some inner plots and political messages. Remember, Lucas is working with a film where we know the ending so the interest must be in the human messages the movies are relaying. As we see Anakin go though his trials we parallel Lukes choices and we see where Anakin fails - Lukes overcomes and Succeeds.(sins of the fathers) Intend of looking at the inconsistances between the movies, we should be noticing its plot,the manipulation by the sith to draw Anakin to the dark side. The Sith plot the capture,torure and death of his mother to bring out the anger that as the film progress move him closer and closer to the edge.(A result shown in his murderous rampage of the sandpeople.) They bring Anakin and Armdala together to later break them apart to get the emotional responds that will later draw him to the dark side. We will probabily learn that the Sith are manipulating his emotions and causing him to act as errational as he is acting. They are surely effecting the minds of even Master Yoda when he can not sense or see the dark side of the force operating right in front of him. Star War is a political drama that mirrors how even today goverments manipulate events to achieve their own goals. In these films we must understand that they are meant for viewing by everyone. So enjoy the sillness of Ja Ja Binks and the ewoks, marvel at the action of the Jedi and Storm Troopers , and learn and be entertained by the plot twist and messages that George Lucas aims at the older audiences. And when the day is over remember ,they are only movies and you are hard pressed to find better story telling than this.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2004
A film by George Lucas
"Attack of the Clones" takes place ten years after the events of "The Phantom Menace". Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is an Apprentice in the Jedi order and is studying under Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). When Senator Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) from Naboo barely survives an assassination attempt, Kenobi and Skywalker are assigned by the Jedi Council to protect her and eventually to look into who is trying to have her killed. This sets the events of the film into motion.
Senator Amidala intended on speaking out against the Republic raising an army. There has been unrest in the Republic and thousands of star systems have already left the Republic and have formed an Alliance under a former Jedi named Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). The army would be to help the Jedi keep the peace in the galaxy, but many do not feel it is the role of the Republic to have a standing army. I do not give this background information to bore, but rather because this is the set-up that the movie is presenting us with.
Anakin and Obi-Wan are able to track a subsequent attempt on Padme's life to a bounty hunter. Obi-Wan follows the trail of the bounty hunter to a planet where he discovers there is a clone army being created, apparently at the orders of a Jedi ten years ago. He also meets the bounty hunter who is being used as the stock for the clones: Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison). Kenobi believes that Fett is also the Bounty Hunter who was trying to kill Padme Amidala. We also get to see the child: Boba Fett.
While Obi-Wan is investigating the bounty hunter and now the clones, Anakin has been instructed to return Padme to Naboo for safety reasons. It is during this trip that romance blossoms. There is a courtship, intense on Anakin's part, and our knowledge of the original trilogy tells us how it is going to end.
This movie serves to set up several important points in the Star Wars universe. We see the relationship between Anakin and Padme which will eventually provide us with Luke and Leia. We see Anakin begin his descent into the Dark Side and also have him start to become as much machine as human (as Vader is in the Original Trilogy), and we also see how Chancellor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) gains so much power as well as the clone army, which is the precursor to the Imperial Stormtroopers.
Is this movie perfect? By no means. Much of the dialogue feels stilted and awkward, and I can only imagine how difficult it is to act against a blue screen because the creatures will only be digitally added later. Still, this was an enjoyable movie with excellent effects and more of a feel of "Star Wars". Besides, there is a certain sense of justice in Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best) being indirectly responsible for the rise of the Empire. This is a science fiction "Star Wars" movie. We're not going to get classic cinema, but we will get a fun trip to the movies.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2002
Attack of the Clones gets off to a slow, albeit needed start. In other words, for an Action/Fantasy movie, "Clones" had to have a basis to bring you up to speed from the first movie to this one. The first 20-30 minutes will leave the casual viewer in the dark because of the backstory that needs to be told. That said, here's my take on the film from then on.
Anakin Skywalker was a gifted, God-fearing and wide-eyed boy in "Phantom Menance." Obi-Wan Kenobi, on the other hand, just semed to shadow his master Qui-Gon Jinn until the final battle with Darth Maul. Queen Padme' Amidala is now a Senator in the Republic and Jar-Jar Binks, well, he's just a passing character in this film with little screen time. However, Jar-Jar has one scene which turns the tide of what will be in Luke's world.
Obi-Wan has matured to the point of a Jedi Master training Padewan Anakin Skywalker who has become self-indulged in his own powers and love for Senator Amidala. Some reviews have called his character a joke, but maybe they're missing the bigger picture. This is the seed which turns the story into what will be in IV, V, & VI. I don't think a hulk-type like "The Rock" (Scorpian King) would have been the best choice to play an arrogant teenager.
Casual space opera/fantasy fans will be lost, as I said, but not disappointed as there is plenty of action, romance, and a sense of spirituality to this movie. Surely, it's the most intimate. If you noticed, I did call this a 'Space Opera" and "Fantasy" because it is. Science Fiction it borders on in remote ways, unlike its rival "Star Trek" which uses a lot of real theoretical and factual basis.
What this movie exceeds on is the telling of the story. All the small things add up to the bigger picture, as I keep mentioning. That's what the plotline is all about. The visuals are outstanding and we finally see the power of the Jedi, what they did in the Old Republic, and the fierce warrior of Yoda alluded to in "The Empire Strikes Back."
Episode II is a long movie coming in at around 2:20 (long by Star Wars movies) yet the final 1:30 minutes are gripping with the final battles. Yes, the Clone War has begun.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2002
Be still, my heart.
Citizen Kane is often listed as the most influentual film ever made by film critics of today, most of them in their 40s and over. But for the generation just beginning to come into its own, 25 to 35 years of age, the most influentual film ever made is Star Wars. And judging by the slack-jawed reaction of the children I saw "Attack of the Clones" with, Lucas' influence over the minds and hearts of a collective generation will continue long after he himself has become one with the force.
Oh lordy, is this movie great. ...the performance of Hayden Christensen, playing Anakin. The critics who call his acting stiff and wooden did not see the same movie I did, it's as simple as that. .... . But Christensen pulls his role off beautifully, with nuance and grace. Watch the scene when someone he loves deeply is dying, and he is trying to tell them it will be alright. He literally stops breathing midsentence when he realizes that it will not be alright, that it's over. And in the pivotal scene that follows a few minutes after, when we see the first signs of the dark side in Anakin, ...Christensen is appealing vunerable, emotionally disturbing and downright scary all at the same time. He understands his role perfectly, and plays Anakin as a person who has good intentions at heart but whom life has turned into an emotional mess. Christensen also has some decent chemistry with Natalie Portman, who starts off as wooden as she was in "Menace" but gradually warms up, until finally delivering her declaration of love to Anakin quietly and convincingly.
Which leads us to the second, more story-related issue; why someone like Senator Amidala would be attracted to Anakin Skywalker. If you are a teenage girl (as I am), you probably won't have a problem figuring this one out: The guy's a dreamboat. Amidala earlier establishes the kind of qualities she is attracted to ("Dark curly hair, dreamy eyes") when she tells Anakin of her first love. Besides that, he is powerful, he saved her life, he is tortured (think James Dean) and he loves her obsessively and unconditionaly. Nuf said.
If you haven't seen "Clones" yet ( and you must live on Mars or something if you haven't), go see it now. It has its flaws, to be sure. But it also has it moments of stunning beauty, and ultimately I did find it to be emotionally moving.
Oh yeah, and you might have heard something about Yoda and his SERIOUS big bad mojo. When nine hundred years you reach, be as cool, you will not.
Begun, the Clone War has.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2003
First, let me say some positives about this DVD:
The image and sound quality are amazing. This DVD is probably the best quality DVD to date. Great for showing off a high quality home theater. Since the movie was shot on digital film, there was almost no ghosting or image quality lost.
Now the negatives:
What made the original Star Wars movies so spectatular was their campy dialog, fake but realistic special effects (even though you knew it was a fake spaceship you still knew it was a picture of a real model). The older Star Wars films were mostly a tribute to the cheesey sci-fi movies of the 50's and 60's. A true space opera, they were classics.
Episode II relies mostly on the impressive special effects to mesmerize and entertain. Acting and story are second to this. The totally cardboard acting of Haeden Christianson is so bad, that it makes you wonder if he should play an emotionally repressed andriod instead of the future Darth Vader. It made me miss Jar Jar.
Oustanding special effects that circumvent the rest of the movie. This movie seems to be made mostly just to fill a quota and to set up the clearly superior episodes 3-6. Makes you sad to see a performer past his prime, and Star Wars is way past its prime.
21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2002
'Star Wars - Episode II, Attack of the Clones' is a really silly movie. Since there is no interesting story, Lucas spends so much time on silly car chases and light saber battles. Its basically like watching a blank screen for two hours. The dialogue is laughablly bad, and I've seen better acting on soap operas. I'm not kiddding. The charactes may be the same from the originals, but they do not bring the passion or excitement they once did. Yoda is now just a computer-generated graphic. The mysteriousness of Darth Vader has now been destroyed too, thanks to bad acting by a child and a teenager. And thanks to some pitiful dialogue and clumsy storytelling.
The "plot" is about assasinations attemps on Queen Amidila, who spends the entire movie looking pretty and saying cornball dialogue. After some political babble about the Republic, which really doesn't go anywhere, Obi-won-Konobi goes out on a hunt to find who is behind the scheme. He finds out it was Jango Fett, father of Boba Fett. Then he finds out a planet is making a army of clones. On the other side of the story, Annakin and Amidila are falling in love. Annakin then tries to find his mother. His mother is killed and he then kills an entire village of people. He is slowly going into the "dark" side. I would have cared if the acting wasn't so bad and the screenplay wasn't so wooden.
There is no heart in the story. It looked like it was put together without any effort or passion. It is slightly better than 'Episode I', but nowhere near as good as the originals. I fear these three movie will destroy the legend of one of the most famous villians in screen history...If it hasn't done that already.
21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2005
Exciting action scenes, great special effects, witty dialogue, angst-filled romance. Ignore naysayers who say the dialogue is terrible, (I would like to know what is so bad about it. It is an adventure movie and yet the dialogue is almost corn-free, yet many pretentious "acting" movies are full of corn), or the acting is bad. Hayden Christensen is convincing showing his angst and sometimes being a petulant brat, (he does play a teenager, yet critics seem to have a problem with him actually playing his part)setting up his path to the darkside. The mentor-student, father-son relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin is well done, shown in the movie with the fast and sometimes witty Star Wars dialogue I love.
If it seems I am attacking the critics it is because I do see a lot of pandering to snobbishness in many of their reviews, instead of an honest assessment of the movie. Also, too much nostalgic feelings from die-hard original Star Wars trilogy fans gets in the way of some of the reviews. Many of these reviewers are TOO stuck on their nostagia, and review by constantly comparing them to the old movies (a very high-standard indeed!), and whether they fulfill their nostagia, instead of just taking in the new movies as they are. If they just don't care for the movie, fine, but there is too much going into many reviews that have nothing to actually do with the quality of the movie itself.
In any case, just try the movie if you haven't seen it already. Ignore the snobs and the overly nostalgic. Have fun and be wowed, and see the new movie Revenge of the Sith in theaters, another 6 out of 5 star movie!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2003
To begin with Episode II certainly isn't at the same level of quality than the original trilogy, but that may be an unfair standard to live up to. On its own Episode II is not bad SF. The special effects are excellent. The landscapes and backgrounds are great as well.
The film's weakest moments are its concentration on romance. Most of us don't go to a Star Wars movie looking for romantic storylines.
I'd recommend Episode II to anyone who enjoys the Star Wars franchise but I'd warn them that it's not up to the quality of the original trilogy. That and I'd recommend keeping your finger on the fast forward.
26 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2002
I agree with every mediocre to horrible review I've read so far. I was extremely disappointed on opening day, and still feel a bit depressed by the whole thing. The "love story" aspect was the least of its problems. And for those of you who fault the acting, I do agree; remember though that Mark Hamill and Carrie Fischer had their moments of less than stellar performances. I'll try to summarize the reasons why I hated it (WARNING, SPOILER ALERT):
1. There is such a thing as CGI overkill. Many scenes were WAAY too busy to be comfortable for my eyes, and the scenes on Coruscant made me feel like I was watching Blade Runner, The Fifth Element, or Total Recall -- and dammit, I think Yoda looked better as a Muppet!
2. I thought that the scene on the conveyor belt in the droid factory was one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen -- I could almost hear the Bugs Bunny factory music (also used in Rush's "La Villa Strangiato")!
3. I can't picture ANY Jedi hanging out in a 50s-style diner.
4. Since when do Tusken Raiders kidnap, instead of burn & pillage?
5. "Hi mom, you're alive! Oops, wait, no you're not." Could we have maybe done a *little* more with that scene to make it believable? The way it was handled, I didn't even CARE what happened to Shmi.
6. I have a hard time with the fact that all stormtroopers are actually clones of Boba Fett's father -- the only reason Jango was written into this script in the first place was because of Boba's unexpected cult following from episodes V & VI. Ultimately no reason for the dude to be there at all.
7. Hmmmm... suddenly R2D2 has jets... could have helped him out of some jams in Episodes IV, V & VI....
8. Can you say "Gladiator"? Stupid.
9. Samuel L. Jackson *STILL* doesn't belong in a Star Wars movie.
10. What was the reason for having Jimmy Smits in this movie again? The brain aneurysm his presence caused me has made me forget.
11. Finally, five words: COUNT DOOKU? NO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.
I have many more gripes, but space is limited. All in all, I feel that Episode Two was very confused and didn't know what it wanted to be. The script was very disjointed and overall not edited well. It just didn't have that "Star Wars" feel. Say what you want about Phantom Menace, but even with all it's CGI enhancements, Gungans and two-headed announcers, at least it FELT like a Star Wars movie.