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Review Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002): Flawed but with many redeeming qualities!

genre: action, adventure, science fiction

In some comments and reviews on this film there were people complaining about Yoda and his fight. If you are one of those people let me ask you. Are you out of your mind? One of the coolest events in cinematic history and you have the nerve to dislike it? Pray you'll never meet me in person. I will hurt you. I saw this in the cinema and when Yoda was about to take out his lightsaber the audience (in completely packed theater) gasped for air. Not a single person made a noise as they probably were overwhelmed by the epicness that was to come. Yoda jumps around striking Dooku and the crowd went nuts. Me included. We didn't expect it. All this time we had heard Yoda was the greatest but never got to truly witness it until now. It was amazing. Anyone who claims otherwise wouldn't know what good is even if it would hit them in the head. 

And to my own astonishment I saw something in my latest viewing I somehow had overlooked previously. A lot of attention is paid to Anakin's struggle. Perhaps I wanted something more obvious but now I realized the subtle approach was the right choice. While Anakin obviously is too ambitious for his own good he does mean well. His youth and lack of experience and wisdom often cloud his judgement. He loves too much. Such a strong contrast to his Darth Vader persona. And yet also that one element that opts him to save his son in Return of the Jedi. The scene between him and his mother is very emotional. When she dies in his arms you understand his anger. His hate. It's so strong that Yoda senses it from a far. 

The romance between Padmé and Anakin feels a little forced and is very clumsily constructed. But for all it's flaws I did buy Anakin being in love with Padmé and that it took some time for her to realize. She still saw him as the little Ani and probably saw him more as a little brother or son. The dialogue between them is awkward for sure. But most dialogue in Star Wars is very theatrical. You can't fault Hayden Christensen for that.  He might not be the best actor he did a fine job. 

There are many funny and comedic moments between characters and droids but never to the extent that it's intrusive or annoying. Most if it was natural and logical. Attack of the Clones also deepens the plot where we get introduced to the clones and how they are put to use. We barely see Palpatine but you just know he has his hands on everything. It's deeply disturbing how he is able to manipulate and act out his plans without the Jedi sensing it. The action and spectacle might be smaller scaled it for the most part is solid to exciting. I mean you do get to see multiple Jedi knights fighting side by side. 

The ending also feels bittersweet. The Jedi and clones might have been victorious against Dooku and other separatists, Yoda is very aware that something ominous has been set in motion. The secret wedding between Anakin and Padme does give you something to cheer for especially when C3PO taps his comrade R2D2 on his head to applaud this bond.

Attack of the Clones is incredibly underrated and certainly not the worst in the franchise. That honour goes to The Last Jedi. But it's also superior to The Force Awakens because again George Lucas expands on the world and the characters. He shows us things we never seen before. For that he should be commended not reprimanded.

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