For those of you just planning on skimming through my review, let me make it easy for you.
Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones is the most deep and rich Star Wars film of them all.
When I say deep and rich, I mean from the standpoint of storyline, characters and locations. The film has definite flaws; more so than the original trilogy; but it also has a storyline that is vast beyond anything any other Star Wars film has demonstrated in the past.
Yoda is the star of the film, and thankfully has been given more than just his wise and preachy Episode I role- there is humor, wisdom and power in his character this time around. Without going into details of the plot, I will say that after this film you will never look at Yoda the same way again.
Jar Jar has a much smaller role this time around, though frankly I did not find him offensive the first time around. I actually kind of liked him. This time, much of the humor is left to Obi Wan and comic relief to C3PO. Both are handled well; especially a part where you get to see 3PO’s “dark side“.
The visuals are stunning- if you thought Episode I couldn’t be beat, Lucas and friends have outdone themselves again. The new planets and characters are very fresh; reminds me a lot of Return of the Jedi. The film also takes you back to a few familiar places and things that remind you that this is Star Wars (a certain colored milk, anyone?).
Having said all that, the film does have its flaws. The first half has the story moving swiftly, but each scene feeling laborious. The dialogue is delivered, as in Episode I, with a certain bearing that is more common on the stage than in film. I do not think it is as much a problem of quality of dialogue or acting as it is of editing- the scenes move along a bit too quickly, telling you the story but not allowing it to sink in. As a sum, these swiftly moving scenes feel laborious.
But all of this is done away with as soon as the intrigue of the political and military maneouvres sets in. This film is unique in the Star Wars saga to have a definite sense of suspense about the heroes’ choices and the villains motives.
Finally, the greatest complement I can bestow upon Attack of the Clones is that the last scene makes you want your Episode III now!
Additional thoughts on second viewing: – Most of the scenes that felt wooden the first time around felt a lot better on second viewing. I think the reason for that is that they seemed very un-starwars-like the first time around. Also, I had said in my review that the scenes move very quickly, not allowing the message to sink in; this is not a problem in the second viewing since the message has already sunk in. This is still a flaw with the film, but one that disappears for the repeat-viewing fan.
(SPOILERS highlight to read)
- Yoda’s fight felt even more spectacular the second time around! – Christopher Lee as Count Dooku is the best acting performance in the film! – Since the scenes are short, all emotions that are carrying Anakin to the dark side have to be conveyed perfectly in every inflection of his voice and facial expression- he carries it off very well. – I am surprised that Padme is not scared of Anakin!