Thursday, January 23, 2014

Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones (2002) review


Most fans see this as a major improvement over its predecessor. However, this addition to the franchise happens to be my least favorite. The acting is bland for the first half of the movie, the script's an awful letdown, and a lot of the movie just feels lazy. However, when the love story, character studies, and epic battles start to kick in, the movie picks up with a near saving grace.

PLOT:After an attempt to assassinate Senator Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and the now-grown Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) are assigned on a mission to guard her from any further disruption. However, Skywalker's rebellious attitude toward life brings the two into a hunt for the potential killer, believed to be a bounty hunter named Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison). In the search, Anakin takes Padme back to her home planet of Naboo for refuge, and Obi-Wan investigates the mystery planet of Kamino, where an unauthorized clone army is being made in the Jedis' favor. Within the investigation, Obi-Wan becomes captured by the evil Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) and finds out about his plans for the dark side. Also, Anakin and Padme start falling in love with each other: something forbidden to the Jedi way. With the making of a clone army, the capture of Obi-Wan, and the young rebellion in Anakin's heart, it is evident the clone wars are about to start and the fate of the Jedi is locked in. It's a great plot executed decently.

ACTING:The acting in here is pretty okay. For the first half of the movie, I felt the acting was lazily done. I felt like the actors weren't really feeling their performances until about halfway through the movie. Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen didn't pick up their performances as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker for a little bit. Most of the actors appeared this way, but when they really got into their roles, the performances turned out excellent. Some of the best performances in this movie would have to be from Natalie Portman as Padme, Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu, Frank Oz as Yoda, Christopher Lee as Count Dooku, Pernilla August as Shmi Skywalker, and Ian McDiarmid as Chancellor Palpatine. After the acting picked up, the performances became pretty well done.

SCORE:The score in this Star Wars, still composed by John Williams, is mainly composed of borrowed themes with the exception of a few new and unique themes. The score was pretty alright in this one.

EFFECTS:The effects in this Star Wars have to be some of the best yet. The effects of the great battles between the droids and the clones as well as the details put into the several new and different aliens, such as the Geonosians and the Kaminoans, were brilliantly done. I was really impressed with the effects in this Star Wars.

OTHER CONTENT:This Star Wars movie just seemed to be a great letdown to me. There were many good moments to it, however. The battle scenes, love story, and character study of Anakin really brought the movie together. The battle contains roaring, exciting action, the love story is excellently detailed, and the character study of Skywalker's dark heart is a key part in the overall story with most of the emotion emanating from it. Besides the acting problem, the script was a major kill point for me. The script at a lot of the parts in the movie just seemed too silly, especially the banter between C-3PO and R2-D2 on Geonosis. The script just ruined a lot of the movie for me, as did the lazy feeling of the first half of the movie. The first half of the movie feels lazily done. From the beginning up to either Anakin's search for his mother or the execution on Geonosis seemed fairly lazy. The effects there seemed not as creative, and the acting at that moment seemed to follow. Also, the movie feels very derivative at some points where you can tell they borrowed another movie's cliche. I'm sure most fans of the franchise will disagree with me on all of these points, but I can't help feeling this movie was just pretty out of it for the most part.

OVERALL,a neutral-feeling movie with a great plot, slow-to-pick-up performances, alright score, exciting action, detailed love story, and a key character study drawing the story together, however, the script was ridiculous for the most part, the first half of the movie felt underdone, and several cliches in here felt familiar.

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