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3.8 out of 5 stars302
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 11 January 2016
Unlike the predecessor, there are many elements that are absent in this film that were there in The Phantom Menace. For one, the innocence and spirit of young Anakin Skywalker has been replaced with an entirely different persona enbodied by the now teenage Anakin. Thus, we not only miss the little boy, but the very likeable performance of Liam Neeson's Qui-Gon Jinn as well. With both these central characters now missing, Attack of the Clones has a tough time introducing us to new likeable leads we can identify with.

Many people intensely dislike Hayden Christensen's performance, but I think he nails the part of a troubled young man who is ambitious and headstrong perfectly. You're not supposed to like him. You're supposed to find him irritating and talentless in the sense that you start questioning yourself whether this is truly the chosen one who according to prophecy is supposed to bring balance to the Force - and that is exactly how the Jedi council also see him, which in turn makes him more frustrated. George Lucas did a good job in bringing these rebellious teen elements into the character of Anakin Skywalker. After all, he is 19 years old by Episode II and many of his behavioral patterns are exhibited by young people around that age today as well. It doesn't help that he is also head over heels in love with Padme, while the Jedi code strictly forbids any kind of attachment. Things turn worse when Anakin loses his mother Shmi. Now, many may state this is a huge plot hole as Anakin had had 10 years to free her from slavery and get her to a safe place but didn't. We have to remember though, that Tatooine lies in the Outer Rim, and isnt under control of the Republic but under that of the Hutts. Watto, the insectoid who used to own both Skywalkers, also makes it clear to Qui-Gon in the first film that republic credits are worthless out there. And finally, Qui-Gon himself states that he didn't come here to free slaves, so perhaps in this galaxy, far-far away, the forces of good (the Jedi) do not necessarily share our own understanding that this also implies the abolishment of slavery everywhere. Further explanation is offered in the novelization of the book where it is made clear that a moisture farmer buys Shmi out of slavery only shortly after Anakin leaves, falls in love with her and marries her. Perhaps this news reaches Anakin soon enough and he and the Jedi decide she is safe, since she is a free woman now. And finally we must remember that detachment is part of Jedi training, therefore the council might have not allowed Shmi to be around Anakin anyway.

Perhaps the biggest improvement in regards to the CGI is the amounts of extra detail that go into the warmachines of the droid army, but in some places the effects still feel even more dated (e.g. the animals Anakin tries to ride during a romantic picnic on Naboo) compared to the Phantom Menace, where only during the final battle we could clearly sense the CGI to be lacking.

My biggest issue with this film is the pacing. A good initial 40% of the movie feels like a detective story: Anakin and Obi-Wan are on the lookout for a bounty hunter who had hired an assassin, with clues leading them to more clues. While Obi-Wan continues this search on remote planets, Anakin is given the duty to protect senator Padme, Queen of Naboo. The initial admiration he had as a child to this beautiful woman turns into adoration and eventual infatuation as they spend their time on idyllic Naboo. The film thus proceeds to then turn into a love story with settings some might call kitschy and dialogue passable at best. Given the fact that usually romantic stories are written around two equally likeable characters, the whole issue about Anakin being an unlikable character makes the whole love story painful to watch. Thankfully, John Williams' amazing score makes things more bearable.

The film begins to pick up pace about mid-point on, when the Republic's clone army and the army of the droids start to clash. However, before things fully reveal themselves we are once again taken to a completely different kind of setting, this time an arena fight with even more exotic alien animals our heroes have to fight against. Was anyone asking for this kind of sequence?

One can summarize that the second film is all over the place regarding its pacing, and at times hard to follow. Therefore, while its scope may be grander than the first, I still feel that The Phantom Menace did a good job regarding the narrative and presentation, while Attack of the Clones feels more like an episode in the middle of a tv series. A 3, out of 5.
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on 14 January 2016
Guess what over time Attack of the Clones actually looks and feels way better than it did when it was first released. The movie has a roundness to it and the special effects and different scenes are very welcome. OK let's talk about the bad stuff first: Natalie Portman looks stunning here but she is also quite flat and gives very little to her role. Hayden Christensen as Anakin has always looked like a softcore porn actor, not his fault I suppose. When he is involved in an action scene and fighting he's fine but when he tries to show emotion his acting falls to pieces, and it's fairly cringeworthy stuff. The casting of Samuel L Jackson a brilliant actor was a bad move. Mostly because were not used to seeing Jackson in this type of role and it's hard watching him when you think that every other Jedi next to him is a few seconds from being called a mother..... and getting their heads blown off. Miscast for sure. Then there are the many romance scenes between the leading pair, and yes we had to establish this since they must get together as the story tells, but maybe Lucas went for too much overkill which can at times effect the pacing of the movie.

However, despite all of the above Attack of the Clones is a very good entry in the series. Ewan McGregor is superb as Obi Wan who teams up with Anakin to protect the Queen. He also has his own sub plot as he hunts down Jango Fett on a mysterious planet and we get a nice back story involving one of the coolest characters ever in Star Wars, Boba Fett. The action scenes are superb and towards the end we are introduced to Coutn Dooku, Christopher Lee who gives a superb performance. Yoda appears and fights as you've never seen him before and Jar Jar Binks time on screen is very limited. This movie is one hell of an underrated ride.
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My Journey Continues to watch the 'Star Wars' saga as it became intended, this the second of the 'George Lucas' prequels -
Ten years have now past 'Anakin Skywalker' (Hayden Christensen) realizing his dream has developed into a formidable 'Jedi'
an apprentice under the guidance of 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' (Ewan McGregor) though he has become somewhat arrogant.
The Republic is in danger of being torn apart by dark forces.
Senator 'Padme') has travelled to appeal to the council to raise an army to counter the threat posed by
'Count Dooku' (Christopher Lee) a 'Jedi' that had embraced the dark-side, but, who is really pulling the strings ?
A plot to kill 'Padme' is afoot....'Anakin' and 'Obi-Wan-Kenobi' foil the plot catching the shape-shifter hired to kill her, however
before extracting the information, the hired killer is killed by a dart.
It's not safe for 'Padme' to remain, 'Anakin' is given his first lone-mission, he must take her back to Naboo and stay with her until
the threat has passed.
Meanwhile 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' investigates the threat posed to 'Padme' and is told of a distant planet, though when trying to locate
it he finds it's very existence has been wiped from the records.
As his investigation deepens he finds the existence of a clone-army he's told was being created by orders from the
record of this exists.
Back on Naboo romance between 'Amidala' and 'Anikin' begins to surface......'Anakin' is having nightmares and becomes worried
about his mother he'd not seen for 10 years, he with 'Padme' go back to his homeland to check things out, though doing so is
against a directive given to him by 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'
Meanwhile as the threat grows Supreme Chancellor (Republic) 'Palpatine' (Ian McDiarmid) reluctantly agrees the formation of an
army to counter the threat now posed.
Meanwhile 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' now a prisoner of Count Dooku' after following 'The Bounty Hunter' to the planet where the plot
was being orchestrated from, he now needs 'Anakin's' help.
The odds are formidable, a massive force has been created, can the Republic survive the threat posed and again, who is really
in control ?
The film see's a greater and more significant role for Jedi-Master 'Yoda' (voiced by 'Frank Oz') and indeed the robots 'R2-D2' and
'Anakin's' early creation C-3PO.
'Attack of the Clones' has a stronger story-thread than 'The Phantom Menace' in truth and also embraces a greater use of Special
-Effects enhancing both the visual sets and indeed the brilliant battle and fight sequences.
Must admit, so far, i am enjoying watching the films over again more than the first time around.
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on 27 July 2014
Much better than the dreadful Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, but still a vapid entry into the Star Wars franchise. This second movie of the trilogy only just about touches on the start of the fabled "Clone Wars" when in fact what George Lucas should have done was have the wars as the backdrop to this movie and show it in all its glory. Hayden Christenson takes over as the now teenage Anakin Skywalker, and instead of a hero to root for, making the eventual downfall all that more tragic, Anakin is played as a sulky, unlikeable, petulant little boy who contributes to some of the most cringeworthy dialogue known to man (Check out the scene in the house on Naboo with Padme to see what I mean) Each character has a dreadful habit of starting any dialogue by addressing the other by name, as if to remind the audience who is who. People just don't talk like that. Ewan McGregor looks almost embarrassed to be Obi-Wan Kenobi, now sporting a mullet and beard that both change length and bushiness frequently throughout the movie. There's no real bad guy to hiss at either, as Christopher Lee's "Count Dooku" only shows up towards the end, and as good as the veteran Lee is, the character isn't terribly memorable. John Williams rang in his score for this one, as it feels half-hearted. Great special effects, but not much else.
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on 5 August 2015
Positives - Soundtrack is excellent, 21 year old Natalie Portman is pretty, Ian McDiarmid is a fine actor.
Negatives - Badly written, poorly paced, badly directed, the CGI was not convincing, plus now we also have an annoying whiny protagonist. The dialogue was flat and for long stretches people stand around delivering this flat dialogue until we get to the mind numbing action at the end.
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on 1 October 2012
It does not live up to the standards of the phantom menace and the first hour and a half is about as exciting as fishing. It just seems like a small,minor part of a big story which in reality it is! Though the battle scenes after the hour and a half mark are very entertaining and this movie is worth a watch just for that. Any new buyers--don't pay more than £5 for it.
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on 15 August 2009
Anakin Skywalker (Christensen) is plagued by nightmares of his mother whilst he attempts to protect Senator Amidala (Portman) with master Obi Wan (McGregor) investigating the assassination attempt on her life.

16 years after Return of the Jedi was released George Lucas returned with The Phantom Menace, arguably the most anticipated film of the 20th century. Quite right to as the Star Wars franchise had generated millions of fans world wide with it's out of the world colossal stories and brilliance. Critics and fans were left in dizziness when a long tongued creature called Jar Jar Binks stepped onto screen followed by an odd looking villain with a doubled ended lightsaber and a rather poor action hero Qui Gon as a leader. Not to mention the plot was all political with the battles oddly insignificant.

Nevertheless that didn't stop fans queuing around the block to see the second episode and in many aspects it seems the legend that is George Lucas sadly did not learn his lesson.

Thankfully that badly spoken Binks is missing for the vast majority but the essence of the plot remains intact as the plot is politically driven and whilst we see perhaps more action and new creatures, it does not prevent the fact this is in reality hardly a reflection of what predeceased it in the late 70's.

Attack of the Clones is what you might call a third party seller. The t-shirt of Manchester United that you don't see in Old Trafford.

It is easy to criticize considering how the previous 3 releases were all bravado and we had no clue what was around the corner. These films are building towards something and there clues are dropped with the eventual outcome easily noticeable. The suspense has disappeared also with the droids easy pickings and the eventual war come the end barely a blip on the radar.

Attack of the clones also seems to have a problem establishing its characters. Anakin is the exception as we know his fate and with Christensen's charm we see his temper bubbling with delicious vigour, even if the romantic scripting wears thin. McGregor's Obi Wan can be too controlling for comfort but the wise sayings of Yoda and Master Windu let the side down as everything feels stated rather than spontaneous and flowing as it should obviously be.

This 2002 release isn't all doom and gloom. There is no denying the effects are spellbinding and the lightsaber duels are as ever exciting. The final showdown with Dooku is good, if strange to see Yoda so lively.

As with all other Star Wars pictures you want to like it, and the idea of life on other galaxies is exciting and the temperature does rise in the second half. It's a let down but given the marvel of the originals there was never any competing. Worthy watch as Revenge of the Sith generates some unanswered questions.

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on 20 November 2002
In the 'documentary' that accompanied the home release of "The Phantom Menace," one of the major behind-the-scenes contributors to the making of the film said that he almost cried when he saw the results of the graphic and computer generated images on the screen, how overwhelmed he was at the visions created by electtronically artificial means. He ought to have shed his tears over the emptiness of the plot, the vapid characters, and the annoying propensity of the script writers to give 'alien' characters all but impossible linguisitic affectations.
Many of these problems have been solved in "The Attack of the Clones," the penultimate (supposedly) addition to the Star Wars Saga. Now that Anakin Skywalker is growing up a little, he can begin to exhibit some real-life conflict and concern. He is too much of a whining teenager for my taste, however; his pairing of the exquisitely grown Natalie Portman is almost ridiculous. What she sees in him is utterly mystifying. Ewan MacGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi fares far better than he did in his first outing in "Menace," and Jar-Jar is, thankfully, left in the background only to surface when he proposes the fatal suggestion to the Senate to give unlimited powers to the eventual Great Heavy of the Series, deliciously well-played by Ian McDiarmid. We appreciate most of all the presence of the superb Christopher Lee bringing his decades of experience to a wonderfully evil role in Count Dooku.
What I am most bothered by is the overabundance, once again, of CGI which, while they add positively now and again to the depth of the visuals, more often than not call attention to themselves rather than remain integral components of the story telling that a good narrative film is supposed to convey. We do not really believe that Yoda is somehow 'real,' do we, although the fight scenes he engages in are amusingly spectacular. We do not really believe that there are hundreds of thousands of clone warriors, do we? Similarly is the chase scene little more than a cartoon version of a 'let's get 'em' hodge-podge, Jedi superpowers notwithstanding.
The movie offers an extremely diverting couple of hours, but it needs more depth of character, better script writing, and perhaps a new director's vision in the last installment to bring the series to a successul close.
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on 19 September 2014
good movie with flaws,really liked the clone troopers and the beginning of the clone wars.but i think anakin and obi wan could have been explored more,the jedi are pretty boring,and count dooku is terrible as a villain.only for hardcore star wars fans would i recommend this film
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on 25 August 2012
STAR WARS: EPISODE 2 - ATTACK OF THE CLONES is the sequel to the truly brilliant PHANTOM MENACE. That film is a classic in my opinion, but this second installment is even more epic, action-packed and well written than before. It is set roughly ten years after the ending of the previous movie, which was a good move from George Lucas as it was good to see Anikan (probably the wrong spelling) grown up. I can't even begin to desribe how much I love this film! The nail-bitingly intense, half-an-hour long battle scene at the end had me on the edge of my seat, and the special effects were dazzling. There were also some genuinely sweet moments featuring the Queen and Anikan. I can't wait to wait to watch REVENGER OF THE SITH, which is supposed to be the best of the prequel trilogy! 10/10!
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