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Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
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On points, this beats the underwhelming
: more action, less politics and better gags. Though the old truisms about saga creator George Lucas still apply - as a director he's uncomfortable with actors (apart from those created in post-production) and as a writer he excels at stage directions - fans of the original
will find much to enjoy here, particularly the cleverly planted story seeds for what we all know is to come. Ewan McGregor relaxes into the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi, playing master rather than pupil now, and combines withering humour with credible superheroics. Samuel L Jackson finally gets to wield a lightsaber in the climactic gladiatorial showdown - an improvement on all the sitting and talking he did in
The Phantom Menace
. By cutting between three major plot strands - Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Amidala (Natalie Portman) fall in love; Obi-Wan confronts bounty hunter Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison); the Jedi prepare for war - Lucas never loses our attention, and the computer-generated imagery is impeccable, not least when Yoda duels with Jedi gone bad Christopher Lee. If only the outcome - still one long episode away - wasn't set in stone. But then, this isn't a film - it's part of a cinematic institution.
Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and apprentice Anakin Skywalker are sent to protect Senator Padme Amidala from an assassin. However, as galactic civil war threatens to erupt, the pair are forced to split their efforts, leading Anakin into an ill-advised romance and the beginnings of a journey toward the dark side. George Lucas's second prequel to the original sci-fi trilogy, starring Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman and Christopher Lee.
Cast & Crew
Samuel L Jackson
Supreme Chancellor Palpatine
Senator Bail Organa
Jar Jar Binks
Oliver Ford Davies
Kenny Baker (2)
20th Century Fox
video, DVD and Blu-ray
17 May 2002
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