Star Wars Episode 2:
Attack of the Clones (2002)
Ebert: Rolling Stone: TV Guide:1/2
If you've seen the movie click here
Alternate Format: Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones, The IMAX Experience
Star Wars : Attack of the Clones is far and away the best Star Wars movie ever. The special effects are better than Phantom Menace and the action and battle scenes are much more exciting than Empire Strikes Back which previously was my favorite episode of the series.
The movie takes place 10 years after Episode One "The Phantom Menace". Following an assassination attempt on former Queen, now Senator, Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his Padawan learner Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) are sent to investigate. The investigation leads the two Jedi on separate missions, Anakin goes to Naboo to protect, hide and profess his love for Padme and Obi-Wan is sent to the planet of Kamino where he will investigate the assassination attempt. He finds out that there is a connection between the assassination attempt and a separatist movement led by a former Jedi (Christopher Lee) against the Republic.
Jar Jar Binks, everybody's favorite character from the last film, is barely in the movie at all. In one scene Padme even tells him that his presence is no longer needed. I thought that was funny. Another delight to the true fan is the many self-referential comments by characters in the film. There are tons of references to scenes and conversations that have taken place in the previous 4 films. And then there's Yoda. After you see the movie you will finally understand why he is so revered among the Jedi.
This is the first film of the Star Wars series that was shot entirely on digital technology. Because there are only about 200 movie screens in the country that support this format the movie had to be copied over to traditional film. Early reviews commented on the "graininess" and "blurriness" of the transfer. I could see what they were talking about but it was not as bad as they suggested.
The digital technology actually makes the film what it is. Without it, nearly every scene in the movie would have been impossible to film. I read an article where they discussed the digital break-down of a single frame of film from one scene. This will be a horror to technophobes and movie purists everywhere but I would estimate that 95% of what you see in the film was added, after live-action filming was complete, by computers. The scene in the article wasn't one of the epic battle scenes with thousands of individual characters but rather a scene where Anakin and Padme are getting off a train in a train station. Next time you watch the movie pay attention to this scene. Except for Anakin, Padme, and a small section of the floor that they're walking on, absolutely everything else in this scene was added digitally in post production. Even the other people in the scene are digital.
One thing to look forward to is that because of the digital technology the DVD for this movie is going to be fabulous! It will, no doubt, be the sharpest, best looking film ever produced.
Obviously, the special effects in the movie are the best ever! I watched most of the film with my jaw hanging open and my eyes wide and unblinking. The large scale battles will require countless viewings before I can say I've seen them in their entirety. The scenery is absolutely amazing and once again, there's Yoda.
All the actors in the movie do a great job. I especially liked Hayden Christensen as the teenage Anakin. He expertly portrays the conflicting feelings and emotions that will eventually lead Anakin to the Dark Side and his future identity, Darth Vader. Watching his downfall is very exciting. The only problem I had with the film is that his descent to the Dark Side, partially due to his love for Padme, resulted in a few too many romance scenes. Although these scenes were, for me, just resting periods where I caught my breath between the action sequences.
After watching The Phantom Menace numerous times on DVD I have grown to love it. It has become just as exciting and fun as the first 3 films. Attack of the Clones requires no prolonged acceptance. It is the best Star Wars movie of the series and I already want to watch it again right now!