It's official - Attack of the Clones is much better than The Phantom Menace (what isn't?). Now, the question is how does it hold up as a movie in its own right?
Set ten years after the first episode, Episode II kicks off with an assassination attempt on senator Amidala (Natalie Portman). In order to protect her, a teenage Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is assigned to protect her. In the meantime, Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) follows up some clues that lead him to a hidden cloning facility, a bounty hunter named Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison) and the shadowy Count Dooku (Christopher Lee).
Regardless of how much of an improvement it is over The Phantom Menace and how great the effects are, Lucas' second part in the story of Darth Vader's origin is still a massive disappointment. By trying to stretch a simple tale over three films Lucas has over-complicated matters to a point where things stop making sense (either that or he's making it up as he goes along and hopes he can pull it all together in the final film). The characters are uninteresting (nothing like the lovingly drawn heroes and villains from the original trilogy), the dialogue is almost redundant (nobody has conversations anymore, they simply draw attention to or describe what is happening onscreen), and then there's the romance between Amidala and Anakin. Even Hollyoaks contains more convincing romance than this, which just seems to crop up every time you're starting to get interested in one of the other plot threads.
I love the original trilogy, and I really wanted to enjoy this. But, Episode II just isn't well structured, scripted or acted. And no amount of CGI Yoda kicking ass can make up for that.
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