Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Review
If you take the best bits of The Phantom Menace and mix in some of the energy and magic from the classic trilogy, then you get something along the lines of Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. Immeasurably more satisfying than the first, George Lucas' decision to get some outside help for the screenplay seems to have worked wonders as we are actually given an understandable and genuinely interesting plot to go along with the gorgeous landscapes and choreographed action sequences.
Most of the problems that people had with The Phantom Menace don’t really appear this time round and even in the most cringe-worthy moments (that to be honest no Star Wars film would be without) you get the impression that Episode II is set in the original universe rather than the sterile and unfamiliar place the first prequel seemed to come from.
Whilst acting has never been a Star Wars strong point, there’s not really a bad performance in Episode II, although not having an eight year old as a lead character obviously helps. Hayden Chistensen turns out to be a great choice to portray the headstrong Anakin as we begin to see his fall to the dark side, Ewan McGregor gets far closer to Alec Guinness’ mannerisms rather than just sounding wooden and Natalie Portman is strong and stunning in equal parts as (the this time Senator) Padmé.
If at all possible go see this in a digital screen; for me it beats Lord of the Rings in the looks department hands down, thought at times you do get the feeling you’re watching something closer to Final Fantasy than the original Star Wars films but maybe that’s no bad thing in a film that looks this amazing.
There’s far more to Attack of the Clones than just fancy computer graphics and contrived set pieces; it’s genuinely enjoyable in its own right and far closer to what I for one was hoping for from the prequel trilogy. It might not have the depth of Empire or the innocence of A New Hope but this is easily the most action packed episode so far and arguably beats Return of the Jedi for sheer fun. I haven’t stopped smiling since I walked out the cinema.