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

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Set ten years after The Phantom Menace, we begin to see some vital changes in the life of young Anakin Skywalker, the one will meet his fate as the evil Darth Vader.

Now a protege of Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker is sent to protect the former Queen of Naboo, Padme Amidala, along with Obi-Wan when word has reached out that a former Jedi Master named Count Dooku is planning a movement against the Republic. When a bounty hunter sends in a shape-shifting assassin who unsuccessfully attempts to kill Padme, Obi-Wan asks Anakin to protect Padme while he searches for the bounty hunter. Little does Obi-Wan know that the two slowly have begun to fall in love.

Meanwhile, Obi-Wan heads to the planet Kamino, where he discovers an army of clones created from the DNA of Jango Fett, whom Obi-Wan is convinced is the bounty hunter he is looking for. This is indeed confirmed when he chases then finds himself hunted by Jango and his young son, Boba, only to successfully hide. Meanwhile, having premonitions of his mother forces Anakin to return to Tatooine, where he learns that his mother has been freed and has been married to Cliegg Lars, a disabled man who lives with his brother Owen and is helped by both he and Owen’s girlfriend Beru. However, a tragic incident slowly begins to make Anakin question why he isn’t as powerful as he should be. Meanwhile, Count Dooku begins his assault and Anakin must temporarily put aside his feelings to help Obi-Wan stop the deadly Dooku and his army of clones.

The second prequel of the Star Wars saga brings a tone that tends to being more tragedy than good in the midst of the chaos. We now see a 19-year old Anakin Skywalker, whose childhood crush with Senator Amidala has fully taken full notion as one of the major plots of the film involves the romance between Anakin and Amidala. In addition, we see the potential start of the Clone Wars and Anakin slowly begins to doubt

Hayden Christensen takes over the role of Anakin as a young, sometimes cocky and too brash, protege of Obi-Wan, reprised by Ewan McGregor. While the chemistry between McGregor and Christensen seems to have that teacher-student mentality, the chemistry between Christensen and Natalie Portman works pretty well in the romantic department. Samuel L. Jackson’s brief cameo in The Phantom Menace has upgraded to a more prominent role this time around while Christopher Lee is just exciting as traitorous Jedi Master Count Dooku. As for Kiwi actor Temeura Morrison, he pulls it off well as Jango Fett, the notorious bounty hunter whose DNA is used for the titular clones.

Once again, the action doesn’t disappoint, thanks to stunt coordinator Nick Gillard. The lightsaber fights are well done, especially in the climactic two-on-one now pitting Anakin and Obi-Wan against Dooku. However, the big surprise is that we get to see the one and only Yoda getting in on some lightsaber action against Dooku as he joins in the fight. Yoda may walk with a cane, but once that lightsaber comes out, look out and that’s all this reviewer has to say.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is not too bad of a prequel as it introduced some key points in the saga as well as hearing less of one Jar Jar Binks (thank God!), but this is just a set-up for the inevitable.

WFG RATING: B

20th Century Fox presents a LucasFilm Ltd. production. Director: George Lucas. Producer: Rick McCallum. Writers: George Lucas and Jonathan Hales. Cinematography: David Tattersall. Editing: Ben Burtt

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Pernilla August, Ahmed Best, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits, Frank Oz, Christopher Lee, Temuera Morrison, Daniel Logan, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse.

 

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