We saw Star Wars 2: Attack of the Clones yesterday. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I don’t want to spoil it for you with my review below. So, if you want to read my review, highlight the text below that is currently the same color as this page’s background. That will make the text visible to you. However, there are spoilers in my review so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, and want to be surprised, don’t read the review. You have been more than adequately warned.
Like most everyone who has seen the film, I came away with mixed feelings about the end product. In many respects, this is one of the best Star Wars movies. In other ways, the movie drags and drags until nearly everyone in the audience is yelling, "Get on with it already!" First, the good parts. We saw the film as Lucas wanted everyone to see it: with digital projection. There aren’t more than 19 theatres in the country that have digital projectors, so we considered ourselves lucky to see the film at one of the nineteen. The film looked incredibly sharp in digital projection. The colors were rich, and there were absolutely no scratches or other blemishes due to repeated showings of the film. If at all possible, I encourage you to go out and see this film in a theater that has a digital projector. The battle scenes in the movie were very cool. I can’t begin to imagine the amount of time that went into creating and rendering those battle scenes (not to mention the rest of the movie). In many scenes the background is just as alive and realistic as the action in the foreground of the scene. In no other Star Wars movie are there so many Jedi knights, and in no other movie do those Jedi knights do so many cool and interesting things. Also, we get an interesting glimpse of big city life in Lucas’ universe in this film. In the other Star Wars films, most of the city life that we’re shown is on backwater worlds like Tattooine and less populated worlds like Naboo. Yoda: very cool and very powerful. Note to self: do not mess with Yoda. Yoda’s lightsaber duel with Count Dooku was unexpected and, while Dooku ultimately escapes, Yoda gives a very good account of himself. The introduction of the Clone Army gives us a very clear look at where the Stormtroopers came from. Also, with the killing of Boba Fett’s dad, Jango, at the hands of Mace Windu, we can see what drives Boba Fett now. C3PO and Jar Jar Binks failed to fall into a black hole in the ten years between Episode I and Episode II, so we’re stuck with their idiocy in this film. The movie really needs a Han Solo-style swashbuckling character that isn’t Anakin Skywalker. Samuel L. Jackson is wasted in this movie, as is Natalie Portman. The horrendous dialog that Lucas seems content to serve us allows them to do nothing with their acting skills. Lucas seems to feel obligated to drive home the fact that Anakin and Padme are falling in love with several jackhammers. We got it, George. Lucas spends way too much of the movie showing them falling in love. Ugh. If I wanted to see a bad romantic movie, I’d watch CBS on Sunday nights. The hand that Dooku chops off Anakin is the same hand that Darth Vader (nee Anakin) chops off Luke Skywalker in the Empire Strikes Back. Both Luke and Anakin get robotic replacements, though Anakin’s replacement doesn’t have the look of a natural hand like Luke’s does. It wasn’t a waste of time, nor was it a waste of money to see this movie. However, it also wasn’t Empire Strikes Back, which is still the best Star Wars movie in many ways.