on May 27, 2004
George Lucas is a genius, but ocassionally geniuses get tired. Attack of the Clones has all the elements that smells of Star Wars: talks the talk, walks the walk, the light saber sound effects are all there and recogizable.
But the films just don't have the same heart as the original movies we've growned to love. Christensen and Portman, while talented, don't really seem to have that on-screen chemistry between them the way Han and Leia did. So their relationship, to me, seems somewhat flat and forced.
And the jargon they use is far more technical and drab than the original trilogy--this is the past they're showing for goodness sake! What happened to all those great cheesy lines like "Never tell me the odds!" or "Aren't you a little short for a storm trooper?" It seems like the adventures that Padme and Anakin have together are much too serious. They don't seem to be having fun with it. That's what made the old Star Wars so loveable.
It's also what makes the old Star Trek Series more memorable than the new Star Trek Series. It was back in the days when a ship was hit, it was hit! People were stumbling all over the deck. They didn't just lean to the side bracing themselves, albeit the technology to withold a blast is significantly better than its predecessor's. Capt Kirk, despite his busy schedule, still found time to seduce every female species in the galaxy. Science fiction is much too politically correct nowadays. Lighten up. That's why people are turning to fantasy a little more because there's pleny of leeway.
Hopefully, Mr. Lucas will make the last prequel more enlightening and heartfelt. All the action and battling is a must, but give us some characters we can learn to warm up to.
on September 24, 2008
Simply put, Attack of the Clones is the worst movie in the entire saga. From the stilted dialogue, to the wooden performances, to the CG sets. This movie is so far removed from original fun spirit of Star Wars that it's hard to even consider it canon.
Even Christophor Lee (who's been in some bad movies) looks like he just wants to leave. The direction is boring by the numbers. Natalie Portman's character turns into a belly shirt wearing pin-up girl (her daughter, Leia, would be ashamed) and Anakin whines and pouts way too much. And they once again kill the cool antagonist so he won't be there for the third film.
Disc has lots of features if you want to see some more bad acting in the deleted scenes, features of special effects (ILM needs some new tricks because Peter Jackson's WETA digital is fast surpassing them). And possibly some of the most boring commentary ever heard on a movie.
I really hope Lucas never pens another movie, he needs to let the franchise go and give others a shot at it.
INTRO:Star Wars doesn`t really need any introduction,the original Star Wars movies were and still are brilliant and entertaining,but the first of three prequel,1999`s "The Phantom Menace" was a deception to many fans who hoped to watch another great Star Wars movie.In 2002 the second prequel,episode II "Attack Of The Clones" is released,is it better than episode I,or is it as bad?Read on to find out.
REVIEW:After the mistep that was "The Phantom",fans questionned themselves over wheter or not "Attack Of The Clones" was worth watching,well it actually is!Its definatly not another stinker like episode I.Episode II offers more action,a better storyline and while not extremely great it is worth watching.In this episode we start to see the transition of Anakin Skywalker from good to bad in his journey to become the evil Darth Vader.At this point it becomes clear that Anakin can`t control his anger and his feelings for Padme threaten to make him go to the dark side.While not "evil" in this episode,Anakin accumulates frustration and anger but it isn`t until episode III "Revenge Of The Sith"
that he will really become evil and achieve his destiny.
STORYLINE:Ten years after the events of episode I,Anakin Skywalker has matured to become a powerfull young Jedi with the help of Master Kenobi.The movie starts with an intense chase that takes a while to finnish so its action right from the start.Anakin is very arrogant and his feelings for Padme only causes him trouble,his love for her is something that he can`t control.A clone army has been put to action ten years before it was supposed to and they have to deal with the evil count Doku.The storyline is hard to describe and CAN be comfusing if you don`t know Star Wars a lot or haven`t seen any movies.All that to have the movie end with the awesome lighsabers fight.
We finally get to see Yoda in a lightsaber duel,in the original trilogy it has been said that Yoda is a great fighter and in "Attack Of The Clones" we learn why!His lightsaber fight with count Doku was amazing and impressive.
The sound is pretty impressive,you won`t find much better sound quality than this and episode III.If you have speakers or saw "Attack Of The Clones" in theater you know what i mean,if only the original movies would have this kind of sound!
After watching "Attack Of The Clones" the missing pieces of how Anakin became Darth Vader start to put themselves into place and we learn more in this episode but its episode III has the final pieces and answers,its also great Star Wars movie.
SPECIAL FEATURES:The special features are also pretty good taking a closer look of the movie,has 8 deleted scenes and even a docummentary on R2 and much more!
OVERRAL:Not the best of the prequels,but it ain`t worst either its pretty good and should please most Star War fans."Attack Of The Clones" could have been better but it still is a big improvement over episode I and its a solid Star Wars movie that you have to see.
on July 16, 2004
OK, here's my rant. I'll keep it brief (unlike some other reviewers)
1. Phantom Menace - Pod Race, Darth Maul
2. Attack of the Clones - Yoda's lightsaber flight
That's it. Everything else in these films is an utter joke. I could go on for many paragraphs, but I'll spare you. You gotta realize that there was a reason George didn't direct Empire or Jedi. He's an awful director. He has no ear for dialogue. The newer digital film process looks really awful. Only good ol' George could manage to waste the talents of Christopher Lee, Sam Jackson, Ewan McGregor, and Natalie Portman. And I think Hayden Christensen is the only other actor who possesses Keanu Reeves' atrocious wooden technique. His Anakin doesn't possess darkness, just stupidity. I hope Lucas gets a tumor in that fat double chin of his. If you don't like it, sue me. He's destroyed the meaning of my childhood favorites, so the hell with him. Do you really think the next film is going to make up for it? Only if it's about four hours long and is directed by someone else.
on July 11, 2004
This is a debate I recently had with George Lucas. (This "debate" is partially inspired by the posts of other viewers, and I apologize if there's any plagiarizing. I just thought it would be funny)
GEORGE LUCAS: With my integration of CGI and completely computer-generated characters into my films, "Star Wars" is now the ultimate power in the universe!
LORD TAYLOR: Do not be so impressed with these technological marvels know as the "prequels" that you have created. The power to computer-generate an image and give a voice to it is insignificant compared with the power of human actors.
LUCAS: Spare me your empty talk of "human acting", Lord Taylor! Your sad devotion to that ancient method of filmmaking will not stop me from completely computer-generating my films, and making millions at the box office...
(LORD TAYLOR chokes him to death with the Force)
Getting serious now, it is the level of acting and dialogue in the prequels that is killing the magic of the "Star Wars" franchise. Lucas was never very good in these arenas, but he has somehow hit a new low in "Attack of the Clones". In some stretches, I found this movie to be something that I have never before seen in a "Star Wars" film- boring.
The main problem with "Attack of the Clones" is that it spends a huge amount of time on a love story that is far from captivating- in fact, it's not even interesting. The fact that a strong woman like Padme would fall in love with the whiny and unsympathetic Anakin Skywalker seems like an absurd idea from the beginning. I initially blamed the acting for the lack of believability in the love story, but now I realize that Christensen and Portman were doing the best they could. The problem was mainly the painful dialogue they had to mouth, which has all the absurd lines of the Han-Leia love story but none of the charm or passion.
Ewan McGregor was also doing the best he could considering the circumstances, and his storyline (a detective subplot) is slightly more interesting than the love story. One almost wishes that he had been given more screen time over Christensen and Portman, but it probably wouldn't have affected the film's quality much. The entire middle hour of this film is about the detective story and the love story, neither of which has much action at all. And for a supposed action film to have such long stretches of no or little action is to risk boring the audience, which is exactly what "Attack of the Clones" does.
As mentioned earlier, the level of CGI here is absurd, something not seen again on this level until the equally disappointing "Matrix Revolutions". Don't get me wrong, it's decent-looking CGI, but it still looks fake. It seems that every other character is computer-animated. It's amazing but true that the puppet Yoda from the previous "Star Wars" films looked more real than this CGI version. Even our old buddy Jar Jar Binks returns. His role in this one? To grant emergency powers to Palpatine, thus making his rise to emperor inevitable and dooming the Republic. Way to go, Jar Jar!
This film was not without its perks. As mentioned before, Ewan McGregor possesses a certain charm that help to keep his scenes alive. The action at the beginning and end of the film is pretty good, and everything especially comes alive when the reliable Christopher Lee appears. Indeed, the film's final half hour is as impressive as some classic scenes from the original "Star Wars" trilogy.
However, I worry that the thrill is leaving the franchise. I sincerely hope that Episode III repairs the damage done by I and II, but considering the history of third entries my hopes are not too high for it. Lucas claims he can do whatever he want with "Star Wars" because it's his franchise, but I wish he would let go of that ego for a second and let other writers and directors step in and help him. Because when that happens, you get "The Empire Strikes Back"- still one of my all-time favorite films.
on July 8, 2004
It goes without saying that an installment of the Star Wars series will have superlative effects, and that's why I give it as many stars as I do. It's effective eye candy, although I think director-writer George Lucas may have reached the point of diminishing returns. The whole film has a very artificial, superficial look to it and the actors are like zombies. No doubt spending their days in front of green screens and blue screens and fretting about maintaining proper eye contact with CGI creatures that wouldn't be finished for another seven months put some constraints on their spontaneity. As for the story, there's a lot of political intrigue that I didn't care about and a romance that didn't convince me. Wasn't anyone else bothered by the fact that Anakin Skywalker's (Hayden Christensen) aging process appeared to have overtaken Queen Amidala's (Natalie Portman)? Wasn't he seven or eight in the last film, while she was about nineteen? Now they seem to be the same age.
Not a horrible film, but certainly not worthy of being part of such a high-grossing franchise.
on July 7, 2004
If it were possible to give negative stars, I would. I sat for nearly five minutes at the end of the film, watching the credits, waiting for George Lucas to pop up say it was a bad joke, and then the real movie would start. It didn't happen. George was obviously trying to prove that he can make a piece of crap film, and still make millions because it has the magical words "Star Wars" slapped on its title. That can be the only logical explanation for a film this bad. Now, where to begin?
The main points of irritation: the casting, and the acting. The first films each actor was perfect for his or her role. No other person alive could have played Luke's part other than Mark Hamil, or Leia than Carrie Fisher, etc. In AOTC, they went for good looks, not portrayal, or acting ability. Speaking of acting ability, where in the nine hells did they dig up Hayden Christensen? The boy can't act, and he seemed to drain away the entire cast's ability to do so. Even Ewan McGregor, one of my all time favorite actors, was at his artistic low. His performance was forced and tired sounding due to poor characterization and bad lines. Your local library has some B-rated classic Sci-Fi with a lower budget, but the same acting ability.
But, I suppose that's being unfair, you can only work with what you're given, and script-wise, the actors were not given a lot. The lines were reminiscent of bad 80's anime. E.g., Obi-Wan seems to have lost the ability to say Anakin's name and can only refer to him as "My (Young) Apprentice". The attempts at humor were poor to say the least. Instead of employing the typical Star Wars humor gods of irony and sarcasm, they went for the puns. And lordie above, did the puns burn. News flash, any writers out there: No one, not even small children, find puns even remotely funny. And instead of subtle foreshadowing, they went for the blatant. Such as Obi-Wan informing Anakin, "You'll be the death of me". In short, my 10 year old cousin could have written a better script for Episode II.
They simply went overboard with the special effects. Plain and simple. Now, some may say it was to make everything more lifelike, but the result was a world more fake looking than a lego-set. Everything had a ridiculous, plastic sheen to it. The non-human's(including Yoda's) movement were too fluid, too calculated to be real. They really should have just stuck with the muppets.
The film even managed to throw consistency with the real trilogy off-kilter. Mainly, in the technology. Now a question: If the prequels take place over 20 years before the original trilogy, how come the technology is more advanced in the prequels? Then, isn't that the way it always goes when an empire takes over. The economy slides, and everything returns to the 70's(Especially the haircuts). Right? Wrong.
All in all, this film is a huge dissapointment. I was raised on Star Wars, the original trilogy and the Extended Universe books, and this movie crushed my belief in George Lucas's qualifications as a director. My recomendation: Watch episodes IV-VI over and over to brace yourselves for Episode III.
on June 29, 2004
Many of the criticisms from the first movie are put to rest with this installment. The substance that was lacking in the first movie is more expanded upon in this film, as more depth is added to the plot and the characters. The acting is not quite as good as the original trilogy, but is strides ahead of the first movie. Ewan McGregor's performance, I would say was on par with the later episodes and Hayden Christiansen's acting as Anakin is quite convincing. The only criticisms are the cheesy love dialoque with Padme that just comes across as laughable, rather than heartfelt and genuine. Although some of the acting is like the first movie in its comic bookish simplicity, most conversations between the characters in this movie are more soulful and less plastic- a definate relief. The effects are, of course, spectacular, although there are parts that look too cartoonish and do not fit in the appearance of the original trilogy. Some of the clonetroopers would have been better if they were not CG. The CG capabilities have definately gone to Lucas' head. I think some scenes, like C-3PO in the droid factory were completely overdone and may have been better left out. Nevertheless, the film has some great references to the sequels and sets up the story to be more cohesive with the originals, along with having more of a feeling and sense of the originals. It feels like the movies are definately shaping up to being in the same design vein as A New Hope and beyond. Despite the criticisms above, this movie is definately better than the last one and notable step in the right direction. Let's hope that Episode III continues in this positive direction.....
on June 19, 2004
Only better than the Episode I beccuase you couldn't dig lower. I was quite disappointed but mainly uninterested. I don't hate the movie. I just don't care enough about it to feel anything about it.
I was hoping for a more-developed anakin character or any character for that matter.
The ending battle scene was long, drawn-out and flat. A whole lot of lazer beams, light sabers, robots, clones, Jedi, space ships and I just didn't care because it was filmed so poorly that it failed to keep me interested. Also very few good guys could be seen getting hurt so there wasn't a feeling of suspense or sympathy.
In contrast is the similar battle scene layout of Two Towers. Both movies have epic battle scenes at the end. They start with a small number of doomed heroes who get temporarily saved by outnumbered allies: the elves in T.T. and the Jedis in Clones. Also the moment of the ride down the rampart is similar to the Jedis arrival as its a momentarily victory but one that is doomed because the enemy is still strong. Then comes the Cavlary in the form of clones in Clones and Gandalf with 3,000 riders in Towers. The enemy is finally defeated and the battle ends.
With Towers I actually felt something for the story and characters because of the filming, scripting, and character development that went in to it. The ride of Gandalf and the riders down the hillside into the Uruks as the sun came up behind them was stirring. I don't even remember Yoda's arrival.
I think there is a valuable lesson for filmmakers to learn on how to do huge battle scenes and how not to do them by watching the end of these two films.
on June 15, 2004
The expectation for this film was incredible. And I loved it the first time I saw it... but that was high on excitement and I was with a dozen friends. Then I saw it again. And oh, MY, it's a bad film!!
The Yoda fight scene DID rock, tho, yes, it did. (The only awesome part of the movie!)
The script is bad, and we are left, again, wondering what this whole thing is about. I was so confused at the end of the first movie as to WHY there was all these battles, and what did it really matter in the end? Well, it doesn't really matter. That's what this movie showed us. These two films are totally disconnected in plot, except the personal strain going through them. (Maybe 3 will answer questions and loose ends, but I doubt it.) The acting was weak, and Anakin was more concerned with getting his way with Padme, rather than seeming genuinely in love with her. I realise that these two felt a passionate, carefree love in comparison with the more mature Han/Leia love, but the downright lust and danger of Anakin was annoying and disturbing. She wouldn't have gone for him. Her acting wasn't any better. And who wrote those lines for her? Talk about cheese!
With a weak script and bad young actors (except, of course, Chris Lee and Frank Oz, and Ian McDiarmid) Lucas has succeeded in showing the world that movies cannot ride on CGI and fame of a name alone. Well, he'd like to think so, wouldn't he?
None of the spark and substance of the original, though we're closer to it than the first movie.