Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

2002 PG 142 Minutes

Adventure | Action | Science Fiction

Following an assassination attempt on Senator Padmé Amidala, Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi investigate a mysterious plot that could change the galaxy forever.

Overall Rating

6 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • WHAT I LIKED: 'The Phantom Menace,' planted the seeds of some interesting things, but 'Attack of the Clones,' delivers on them by brilliantly realising the world of corruption and bureaucracy leading to a galaxy at war. We get to see the real bureaucracy of the democratic senate and the manipulation that the chancellor has over it. We finally get to delve into the foolishness of the Jedi Council's ways in how they arrogantly believe they're all-seeing and wise whilst they're really oblivious to the evil rising in front of them. And we also get to understand the teachings of the Jedi religion and how it blindly forbids love and attachment in pursuit of a strict code.

    Those things may not sound interesting on their own, but what's fascinating is that we get to see the affects of all of that on the characters who are struggling to do good in the face of it. On the one hand there's Ewan McGregor's sparky Obi-Wan who seems increasingly skeptical towards his Jedi and the Republic as he goes on a quest to uncover a dark secret about the clone army. But mostly, a more grown-up Anakin makes for a very compelling character indeed. He's desperate to please his masters and do what's right, but he's neglected by the Jedi who are occupied with the impending war. He's equally arrogant, thinking that the Jedi don't recognise him for the great warrior he is, and those conflicting feelings and his forbidden love for Padme drive him to a place of anger and turmoil which makes him vulnerable to manipulation and rash action. I for one think that Hayden Christensen does a pretty good job of selling that as well, as his performance is brilliantly tortured such that you buy into the conflict within him, which ultimately means you're fully engaged in his struggle.

    And that is primarily what makes Attack of the Clones a far superior film to its predecessor - finally the central characters are properly tested and placed in positions by the landscape of the world which challenge their moral code and allegiances. That means real development which is far more engaging and interesting than we got with the plodding breeziness of The Phantom Menace.

    WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The only real trouble with this entry is that once things have finally descended into war and the Jedi are all united against the separatists in the third act, things massively drag. It's just a big CGI battle in which we're suddenly supposed to root for the Jedi kicking some ass when really we get the sense that they're naive pawns in an even larger, more sinister game which undermines the whole thing.

    VERDICT: 'Attack of the Clones,' is a vast improvement over its predecessor because it finally tests its characters by facing their good intentions off against the contradictions of a messy political and religious world.