FBMR - Star Wars Episode II
Film-Buff Movie Reviews


My first impression of this movie began when I started seeing its trailers. It looked very cool but also looked like the computer generated special effects were over the top. I was hoping that they wouldn't overshadow the story or the development of the characters.

In the theatre, my initial assumption was confirmed. I wondered what was actually real, and what was added in later with a computer ... from laser blasts and light saber effects, to beasts and droids, to buildings and scenery. It wasn't until after the movie that I thought about it a bit more. In Hollywood in the early days of film, camera tricks, painted scenery and backdrops were used all the time. Why then should I object to these things only because they're computer generated? The truth is that the scenery in this instalment is breathtaking, whether it's real or not shouldn't matter. The main problem I had is the same problem I have with most films that are heavy into special effects, and that is altering a human character using computers. Darth Maul (Ray Park) didn't really need to be altered too much, he can do his own acrobatic moves. In The Matrix, pulleys and wires altered the characters' abilities more so than computers did. That's my preference. Some may agree with me, some may not. It's just my opinion.

The special effects were spectacular, however. A real feast for the eyes. And they didn't interfere with the story too much. Now, about the story ... it's getting more complex, but I also found it a bit easier to understand than Episode I. Maybe it's because we're getting closer to events that we already know or heard about, the Clone Wars, Anakin's transformation, his relationship with Amidala. There is also a lot more foreshadowing and some clever little lines that only make sense in relation to the original trilogy. Yet there are also a number of lines that were supposed to be clever, but flopped.

The Republic is threatened by a group of separatist systems that wish to break away and are lead by Count Dooku (Christopher Lee). The Jedi, protectors of the Republic, are assigned to investigate the unrest after Senator Amidala (Natalie Portman) is targeted in an assassination attempt, but they are few in number. Senator Palpatine recommends the creation of a grand army of clones to aid the outnumbered Jedi Knights in the event of an assault.

I was glad to see much less of Jar-Jar, but longed for a roguish, wise-cracking character like Han Solo was. Also, I found that there wasn't enough of a villain. Darth Maul was a cool character, Darth Vader was a cool character, Grand Moff Tarkin was a great villain, but Count Dooku falls a little too flat.

The battle scenes are out-of-this-world (pardon the pun). The story is stronger and beginning to make more sense and is help me understand Episode I better as well. It's one of those movies that should be seen more than once to truly absorb all that is thrown at you. Try to see it on the big screen.

IMDb - Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones