Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
Director George Lucas
Cast Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen


As with the other films, Attack of the Clones is both not very good and very spectacular at the same time.

We can report that, for all its defects, this episode is much better than the last — but then drying paint has more about it than the Phantom Menace. The interminable exposition in the Episode I has been replaced with some actual action in Episode II. Unfortunately the infantile dialogue and creaky plotting are still with us.

To its credit, Clones attempts some sophistication in tracing the slide of Anakin Skywalker, the to-be Vader, into the dark side of the force: power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and it is tempting to read parallels with certain events in the real world. Or are we accusing Lucas of substance? At the same time we learn that the Republic, the nice guys, have no problem with slavery. Moral complexity or inept writing? You don’t need to be a starship scientist to figure that one out.

The acting for the most part follows the writing. McGregor is dour and monotone, Portman as Princess Padmé learned all she knows from a Barbie doll and Anakin’s slight development is marred by Christensen who has the expressive range of R2-D2.

But this is missing the point. We see Star Wars films for the special effects and here Lucas delivers and delivers and delivers. Are bangs and flashes enough to qualify a movie as good? That depends on your own pyromania but this reviewer found himself looking round for a bucket of water.

Review by Chris Page

e-mail Psilocybe P. Pook: