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Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

  Directed by: George Lucas
Starring: Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, Ewan McGregor, Temuera Morrison, Frank Oz, Natalie Portman
Links: Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones on the IMDb, Official site, Buy the Soundtrack, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Action

This movie gets: 7.33 (3 ratings)
nofreelist.com Ranking: Ranked equal 95th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) is also mentioned in andy-j's review of Life as a House (2001), pearly's review of Life as a House (2001), pearly's review of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) and pearly's review of The Hard Word (2002).

"A marked improvement" - a review by mino

I'm not sure I'm sold on the whole Star Wars concept. Sure, I'm a fan of the 'original' trilogy; not a rabid, die-hard, dress-up-as-Chewbacca-to-go-down-the-shops-for-milk-and-bread type fan, but a fan nonetheless. They were good fun movies. They had some terrible acting, and some worse dialogue, but generally they were pretty entertaining. The ewoks were a pretty serious letdown, but you can't have everything.

Then along comes The Phantom Menace. That was a pooch. I'm sorry George, but it sucked. It was a pretty serious disappointment to even the casual fan. So really, I'm not sure what to think of the Star Wars films. They're good, but in a crap way -- but are they really good in a crap way, or just crap? I wasn't sure. So when Attack Of The Clones hit the screens, I was kind of hoping for something a little less... lame. Happily, I think we got it.

Now I'm not about to come out and say the Attack Of The Clones was a great movie. It's not. The acting is still, in parts, moderately terrible. Some of the lines are awful; the feeble attempts at humour from, say, C3PO, are supposed to be deliberately bad: instead, they're unintentionally execrable, and fall astoundingly flat.

The action sequences are exciting, if even more unbelievable than usual. Basically, the whole Star Wars saga treads a series of fine lines: escapist vs. ludicrously unbelievable, high camp vs. kitsch, exaggerated characters vs. melodrama, and so on: while The Phantom Menace fell down clearly on the wrong side of all these divides, Clones does a lot better. Not brilliantly, but better.

I was on the edge of my seat for a goodly portion of the movie. The love scenes did drag, largely kept back by the fact the Hayden Christensen is one of the worse actors in the movie. It was more than made up for, though, by the truly kick-arse special effects. If there's one thing Lucas knows, it's special effects. And as an Aussie, of course, one of the highlights was, as always, looking for the Australian (and New Zealand) actors in minor roles, and I wasn't disappointed. I haven't seen that many second-rate Antipodean actors on screen at once since... well, since Hey Hey It's Saturday finished. Top stuff.

All up though, I had a gay old time at Clones. For a couple of hours of escapist fun, you can do much much worse. Ignore the terrible acting in parts, the awfully clichèd scenes (I mean... really. Does anyone thrash around crying 'no... no' while having a nightmare? Didn't think so.), the odd apparent continuity error, and the kitsch dialogue, and you'll have a fun outing at the movies, I promise. Now roll on Episode III!

mino gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review last updated on Mon 27 May 2002

"Worth the wait" - a review by andy-j

I've been waiting a good few years for this movie to come out, and now that it's here, I have to say I'm thrilled with the result. It continues the story of Anakin Skywalker, now a young man, and begins his shift towards the Dark Side. While his romance with Padme starts to develop, the Jedi Council slowly come to the realisation that all is not right, and soon start to recognise that events are taking place that will forever change the universe.

I really did enjoy this movie. The storyline was involving.. the ending especially rather unexpected - setting things up very nicely for Episode III. There were lots of great forward-references, twists, and neat little bits that explained some things from the earlier movies. I was captivated from start to finish.

The special effects were absolutely brilliant and no doubt what really made the film. I doubt I would have been as enthralled as I was if the effects weren't such a major part of the film. They add a huge amount to the enjoyment and atmosphere of the movie.

The acting was great.. well from what I know about acting anyway. I really loved the Count Dooku character (played by Christopher Lee), as well as Chancellor Palpatine.. not to mention Temuera Morrison as Jango Fett. It's a pity that Count Dooku didn't get more screentime, as he absolutely ruled every scene he was in. As usual, Ewan McGregor did an amazing job with his part.. totally convincing, absolutely switched on for every second that he was onscreen. Brilliant.

There are just a couple of small things that I didn't think worked. I think that if a movie's going to deal with momumental concepts such as events that will shape history, the audience really need to have that concept shoved in their face in order to make them realise the enormity and scope of what they are witnessing. It adds a huge amount of power and involves the audience's emotions on a much deeper scale. Unfortunately, I didn't really feel that this movie did this quite as well as it could have. It's almost like the climax was over a little too quickly, and I kinda felt a little robbed. But I guess that gives Episode III somewhere to go!

Another sticking point for me was the humour. It just didn't work. Why George Lucas insists on including the stupid sight-gags and R2D2/C3PO nonsense, I'll never know. At times it was just embarrassing.

The other small distraction was the CGI effects on Yoda. I'm sorry but at times, he just didn't look real.. kinda disappointing considering that the flawless special effects were one of the big drawcards of the movie. Maybe they'll have gotten it right by Episode III. I can't wait to find out!

andy-j gives this movie 9 out of 10.
Review last updated on Fri 24 May 2002

Movie review statistics

Ratings given without reviews:

Number of reviews: 2
Number of ratings: 3
Average rating: 7.33
Lowest rating: 6 (by pearly)
Highest rating: 9 (by andy-j)
 
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