After being disappointed by "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" my expectations of "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" were much lower and as such you could say it lived up to my expectations. But again "Attack of the Clones" just felt wrong and again failed to recapture that atmosphere, the camaraderie between characters and level of excitement which the first trilogy oozed. Instead "Attack of the Clones" again feels like a movie which ends up all about the special effects which in truth did little for me.
Having served two terms as Queen, Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) has taken up position as a Senator but one who when someone attempts to assassinate the Jedi Council feel the need to protect sending Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his Padawan Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) to protect her. As they look into the attempts on her life it not only brings Padmé and Anakin closer as they battle with their feelings but also leads Obi-Wan to discover a massive clone army is being produced in the image of a bounty hunter known as Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison). Obi-Wan's snooping leads him to rogue Jedi Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) who is leading separatists on Geonosis to rebel against the Senate. Meanwhile when tragedy strikes Anakin's life it brings out an unknown dark side in him.
If you think about it these first 3 "Star Wars" movie should have been quite simple; one deliver an interesting story, two cleverly introduce us to characters who we have already met in Episode IV and recreate not only the camaraderie between characters but also the sense of excitement. Yet in the end these opening 3 movies only achieve one of them and that is to introduce us to the characters who we met in Episode IV to VI. Now in fairness this side of the movie isn't bad, we have C-3PO and R2-D2, we get to meet a young Boba Fett and we also meet Owen Lars who we already know as Uncle Owen. We also get to witness the start of the change in Anakin as a dark side starts to stir in him when tragedy strikes. Plus in a homage to Princess Leia we have Padmé rocking a white outfit with laser gun in hand.
The funny thing is that Padmé in that tight white outfit is a sign of what is also wrong with the movie because the visuality takes over. Basically "Attack of the Clones" once again feels like George Lucas having fun with a box of computer tricks and seeing how far he could take things. Now for some the CGI landscapes, armies and action will be impressive but for me it looks like CGI and maybe I am just stuck in my ways but I loved the epic feel of when movies were made on location with 100s of extras in costume. On the subject of CGI, well whilst seeing Yoda in a martial arts pose looks good it also feels incredibly cheesy and out of character.
The irony of this is that what should be most important when it comes to "Attack of the Clones" ends up least important and that is the storyline of Count Dooku, the separatists and of course the mysterious Darth Sith. It's just not interesting enough and almost seems to be over complicating matters when something simpler would have been so much better. It again boils down to the fact that what was so good about the original trilogy is missing from this new trilogy and unfortunately it fails to recapture that camaraderie which made the characters of Han, Luke and Leia so memorable and enjoyable to watch.
What this all boils down to is that "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" was pretty much as I expected and on par with "The Phantom Menace". So what that means is that it fails to recapture anything which was good about the original movies and again ends up being more about the CGI than anything else.