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Movie Review: "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones"

There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.

Theatrical Release: 5/16/2002

Theatrical Release: 5/16/2002

Synopsis

Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his padawan learner, Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), have been assigned to protect Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) after an assassination attempt was made on her life. They have not seen her for a number of years, so they appreciate the reunion, but a second assassination may be imminent. Obi-Wan and Anakin are one with the force, so they are able react quickly should another assassination attempt be made. However, the search for the assassin responsible has raised more questions than it has answered.

There is a mysterious and very dangerous bounty hunter trying to kill Padme. While Anakin has been assigned to remain close to Padme to keep her safe, Obi-Wan has been tasked with finding answers. He needs to find out who the bounty hunter is, but more importantly, he needs to find out who hired the bounty hunter in the first place, as they will surely still want Padme dead if this bounty hunter is caught. On his search for answers, Obi-Wan Kenobi makes some discoveries that puts Anakin, Padme, and himself in great danger, but his discoveries will also spark the beginning of the infamous Clone Wars, a war that would go on to have a lasting impact on the galaxy for generations.

Official Trailer

The Pros & Cons

All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then added or subtracted based on each Pro and Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points, ranging from 0-10, to convey how significant these Pros or Cons are.

The ProsThe Cons

Obi-Wan & Jango Fett (+5pts)

Anakin & Padme (-6pts)

The Clones & The Arena Battle (+6pts)

The Separatists & Geonosians (-2pts)

Yoda & Dooku (+5pts)

The Plot & The Climax (-4pts)

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Pro: Obi-Wan & Jango Fett (+5pts)

Throughout this movie, Obi-Wan was hunting the bounty hunter responsible for trying to assassinate Padme. I liked this hunt because it added quite a bit of mystery to this story. It showed the detective side of a Jedi's lifestyle, and it led to a number of interesting revelations that kept me engaged in this movie. With each revelation came more questions, and it ultimately led to a final reveal that would have a significant impact on the fate of the entire galaxy.

This storyline was far from being all mystery, however. There were a number of suspenseful moments, and cool action sequences. Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison) was a dangerous bounty hunter, and Obi-Wan Kenobi was a skilled Jedi Knight. When the two met, it was interesting to see them trying to use their different skills and weapons against one another offensively, and it was interesting to see how they used their unique skills to defend themselves. The characters complemented each other well, the chase was suspenseful, the mystery was interesting, and the fight sequences were pretty darn entertaining. All of that came together to make this storyline easily one of this movie's strengths.

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Con: Anakin & Padme (-6pts)

This was the worst part of this movie and I even thought it was cringe-inducing. The awkward obsession that Anakin had toward Padme was creepy, and it got so much focus that it was hard to look past. This storyline was made even more obnoxious by Anakin's constant wining. To be fair, I do not blame Hayden Christensen for how Anakin came across in this movie. I disliked the character, and I disliked the performance, but I am fairly certain that this was exactly what the young actor was directed to do.

It made this storyline creepy, when it should have felt like the natural beginning of a forbidden romance. The creepiness made the romance feel unnatural, and then there was the fact that Padme seemed to randomly switch from not wanting to be with Anakin, to suddenly wanting to be with him. I get the need for this romance to happen, but the filmmakers tried to push it too far, too quickly. It just did not work, and to focus on it so heavily made the issue even more apparent.

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Pro: The Clones & The Arena Battle (+6pts)

I thought everything with the clones was interesting, and the climactic arena battle was really cool. The storyline surrounding the clones was tied to Obi-Wan and Jango Fett, which meant it was shrouded in mystery, with Obi-Wan trying to get to the bottom of what was going on. Then there was the climactic arena battle that flipped the state of the galaxy on its head. With the Jedi taking on an army of droids, a deadly bounty hunter, and the big climactic arrival that happened toward the end of the arena battle, this battle was epic and it was a lot of fun to watch. This movie gets a lot of hate, and most of it is warranted—although I feel like the hate is exaggerated in terms of its severity—but I really enjoyed the clone storyline and the arena battle provided some great Star Wars action.

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Con: The Separatists & Geonosians (-2pts)

Much like in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, the Separatists were developed poorly in this movie. Their plan made no sense, and it seemed to do nothing but work against their best interests. They were evil for the sake of being evil, and they looped the Geonosians into the group of Separatists in this movie. The Geonosians were nothing but nameless, faceless enemies for the Jedi to go up against, and they joined the already nameless, faceless droid army. The Separatists and the Geonosians were both part of the really epic climax of this movie, but these groups received no development during everything that led up to that climax. For any Star Wars fans reading this and thinking that the illogical actions made sense because of who was pulling the strings, I understand that, but I do not understand why the Separatist leaders went along with it.

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Pro: Yoda & Dooku (+5pts)

I liked Christopher Lee as Count Dooku, as he brought a unique vibe to the character, like only he could. Count Dooku was mysterious, he was suspicious, and he felt dangerously intimidating, and Christopher Lee deserves a lot of credit for making the character come across this way. Then there was seeing a younger Yoda, and his role in the Jedi Order. He was in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, but he was seated the entire time. In this movie, we saw Yoda as a teacher and an advisor, we saw him using the force in combat, and we even saw him using a lightsaber. Both Yoda and Count Dooku added a lot of great moments to the movie individually, and their scene together was truly great.

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Con: The Plot & The Climax (-4pts)

There just was a lot about the plot of this movie that did not make any sense. To start, I did not understand the relationship between Jango Fett and Count Dooku. They seemed to be allies simply because they were both antagonists, but there did not seem to be any reason why either of them would want to work with the other. I also did not understand what the Separatists were hoping to accomplish at the arena, or how all the Jedi managed to infiltrate the place unnoticed. Then there was the horrible decision—by the Jedi Order—to assign Anakin to watch Padme, when that was very clearly a conflict of interest for Anakin. I did not hate this movie, but there were enough minor plot holes to make this movie seem like a block of Swiss cheese. These issues did not individually have a severe impact on my enjoyment of the movie, but they were a lot of them, and they were all head scratchers.

Grading Scale

GradeCategoryPoints

A+

Amazing

95-100

A-

Great

90-94

B+

Good

85-89

B-

Decent

80-84

C+

Average

75-79

C-

Watchable

70-74

D+

Bad

65-69

D-

Terrible

60-64

F

Garbage

45-59

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Grade: C+ (79pts)

This movie did not live up to my expectations, but I definitely did not think it was a bad movie. It had some problems, sure, but it had some really great moments as well. The problems were mostly related to having a poorly developed plot, and a creepy, forced romance that was hard to watch. These issues were significant, but the movie definitely had its strengths too.

Christopher Lee was great as Count Dooku, as he added his unique flavor to the character, making Dooku both mysterious and menacing. Then there was getting to see a young Yoda—younger in comparison to his age in the original trilogy—which meant we got to see him using the force and a lightsaber, like no one else in the galaxy could. I also enjoyed the mystery that Obi-Wan had to solve, and how Jango Fett and the clones were involved in that mystery. Finally, there was the epic arena battle, which provided a ton of awesome Star Wars action, and I ate up every second of it. The movie had its flaws, sure, but it was far from being a bad movie.

Best of the Star Wars Franchise

RankMoviePoints

1

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

95pts

2

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

93pts

3

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

92pts

4

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

90pts

5

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

89pts

6

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

87pts

7

Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker

86pts

8

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi

83pts

9

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

79pts

10

Solo: A Star Wars Story

78pts

11

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

77pts

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