Film Review: Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)



This is generally named as the least favorite (which is a kind way of saying it for many…) of the prequel trilogy by die-hard original Star Wars fans. I enjoyed it, and it’s an important installment in the saga of Darth Vader.

Pros:

  • We only see Jar-Jar for about 3 minutes.
  • We are not forced to watch a montage of Jedi padawan training as Anakin grows up.
  • Again, the effects are great and the stakes are raised. We are not disappointed on that front. From the speeder chase through Coruscant to the Jedi fight in the arena and the ultimate land battle through Geonosis, it’s amazing.

  • We get to see Boba Fett’s–an original series fan favorite–origins.
  • I love CG Yoda! Furthermore, his saber duel with Count Dooku was brilliant, and really cements Yoda as someone other than a mere philosopher. He can also fight. I’m OK with this. He’s got the whole package.
  • The Clone Wars are referred to during the original Star Wars (later called Episode IV: A New Hope). We get to see the origins of that war which was so influential to Ben Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker’s lives.

  • We continue to follow the descent of Anakin into darkness. He still remains anchored to the light side of the Force, but his anger is still so deep-seated that it has begun to seep through. He commits his first murders, which is much more telling than the fits of whiny anger that he displays. This descent into darkness mirrors the digression of the Galactic Republic into civil war, which we will see more in the next episode.
  • This universe is richly textured, fully realized, and vividly portrayed. I love that we get to go into the depths of Coruscant and the countryside of Naboo, even finally seeing the Tusken Raider camps (before they’re wiped out…).
  • This is a love story with a civil war as its backdrop. A lot of people have a problem with this, but it’s essential for the next film and the choices that he makes, as well as his desperation.

Cons:

  • Anakin’s fits of whiny anger and his angsty angst.
  • The dialogue between Anakin and Padme seems rather forced–they’re supposed to fall in love, so they have to act like it. It didn’t feel natural.

Really, those are the biggest problems I have with this movie. Hayden Christensen is a bit over his head, and neither Natalie Portman nor Ewan MacGregor knows what to do with him. I enjoyed the film, and I’ll stand by it as a necessary installment in the saga.

See my reviews of Episodes IIII, IV, V & VI

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6 thoughts on “Film Review: Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

  1. Pingback: Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith « Elementary, My Dear Reader

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  4. Pingback: Star Wars, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi « Elementary, My Dear Reader

  5. Boba-Fet ROCKS!!!

    Light saber wielding Yoda…BAD ASS!!!

    The love story did not ring true at all to me and I blame Hayden Christensen AND Natalie Portman equally. Their acting was hollow and void of emotion and their chemistry was too contrived to be believable.

    Have you watched the animated series, “The Clone Wars”? It is supposed to be awesome!

    BD

  6. I HAVE watched The Clone Wars, both the movie and a bit of the series. The series is very well done, but I haven’t really gotten into it. The movie was only OK, and I actually feel that the series is a little better.
    I think you may be right; Natalie Portman has done very well in some other things, and I feel like she didn’t rise to the occasion here, but I think that whiny-whiny Hayden Christiansen was flabbergasting to her…

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