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Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (Soundtrack)
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (Graphic Novel)
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (Storybook)
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (Hardcover)
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Review

Directed By: George Lucas.
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Ian McDiarmid.

Synopsis: Ten years after the events of The Phantom Menace, not only has the galaxy undergone significant change, but so have our familiar heroes Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) as they are thrown together again for the first time since the Trade Federation invasion of Naboo. Anakin has grown into the accomplished Jedi apprentice of Obi-Wan, who himself has transitioned from student to teacher. The two Jedi are assigned to protect Padmé whose life is threatened by a faction of political separatists. As relationships form and powerful forces collide, these heroes face choices that will impact not only their own fates, but the destiny of the Republic.

When the first prequel came out...I defended Lucas...when a friend of mine first trashed it I mocked him by saying 'Lucas didn't make the movie I wanted to see'. Hell, it was funny at the time, but my friend was right. The first film was a mess. I'd apologize to my friend Bill...but, well, no...I'm not the apologizing type.

Three years have passed...a long time for Lucas to take directing and writing classes and return with a sequel/prequel to slap those of us who badmouthed his earlier effort.

Not long enough apparently.

But Lucas has supplied more hope for the third film than I would have thought possible. Sadly this film suffers more from bad acting, insanely bad video game moments, and godawful scriptwriting, all of which could easily be fixed. Add in the slight miscast of Christopher Lee as Count Dooku and you have a knot tied around the faults I feel. Before you email me with notes of hate...face facts, the love scenes are atrocious, they made you squirm and laugh, and there is simply zero chemistry between Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman...both of whom are good actors as has been proven in films like Life As A House (Christensen) and The Professional (Portman). When Anakin sits and tells Amidala how he loves things soft and so on...who let him stare at her breasts for so long...he went from a Jedi in love to a leech in lust.

As for Christopher Lee...hey, the guy is great in all those old B-flicks...and his Dracula is classic...I love the man...but when it comes to having him as one of the major villains and tossing around Jedi's for a big Light Sabre need a younger person trained and fit for the moves necessary to compete with the modern age of fight scenes.

However, there are positive moments. An early chase scene through the skies of Coruscant are fun and get you thinking that things are going to change for the better in this series of films. Then 'events' happen and Ben Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker are separated...Anakin is charged to look after Senator Amidala (apparently she was voted Queen...this is all very confusing...and a new Queen is in place who apparently doesn't do much more than provide herself as a figure head because all of the assassins are still after Senator Padme). Ben Kenobi must venture off and find out who is behind the plots to end Amidala's life.

Ewan McGregor as Ben Kenobi steals this entire movie. His style recalls Alec Guiness but lets his 'version' of Kenobi shine through as well...and I like this Jedi Knight. He is interesting, thoughtful, and seems to be the only person with a sense of humour at all within this new series of Star Wars flick. How I miss Han Solo! As Kenobi tracks down Jango Fett we are led into the second interesting scene of the movie (though about an hour into the film), a sadly all too brief battle between the Jedi Knight and Bounty Hunter which shows why both Jedi's and the Bounty Hunter Fett are so cool.

Much has been made of the finale, the last twenty minutes of battles...well, too much....they don't live up to the hype and by the time Yoda does pick up his light sabre, as interesting as his entrance is, it's over too fast, over too quickly and feels like the another kick in the groin from Lucas. Everytime we start enjoying the film he reverts away from Ben Kenobi back to the horrible love/hate scenes of Anakin Skywalker or back to a meeting in the many meetings...too many meetings. The final battle has about as much emotional impact as a tic-tac, as for a running gag in it involving C-3P0...well, I'll never know who thought that was a good idea with all the bad puns (except for one killer line but I won't blow it for you here).

It's funny, when Phantom Menace came out I thought Lucas had missed the boat...having Darth Maul on Tatooine sitting on the outskirts of the city. The film needs to establish how mean and tough this character is (aside from his just looking the part), and I thought having him attacked by Tusken Raiders at night and make short work of them would do this job well. Perhaps this was suggested to Lucas, or he stole my brain one night...either way, the scene is employed in this one...way too briefly, as part of Anakin's first steps towards the dark side. However, Lucas, despite lopping off a few heads with sabres here and there, backs away from the real dark side and presents us mainly with Anakin's confession.

If one is going to become the Hitler of the Universe in the third film...well, such sanitized versions of genocide are not going to convince us. Oh, and George, having Anakin confess and then letting Amidala comfort him comes across more like the Senator has a thing for serial killer's than compassion. Every girl likes a bad-ass, even in a galaxy long ago and far, far away.

Still...still...Attack of the Clones is better than the first fact, as yet another friend of mine pointed out, had this film been released and The Phantom Menace only alluded to in dialogue...the fans and critics might not be so down on the series as they have been of late.

But better get a grip, and show some real nerve for the final score...2 out of 5 on this one.

The Balance so far?

Star Wars: 4.5 out of 5
The Empire Strikes Back: 4.5 out of 5
The Return of the Jedi: 3.5 out of 5
The Phantom Menace: 1 out of 5
Attack of the Clones 2 out of 5

Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul

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Evil Ash

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