I breathed a sigh of relief after seeing Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones. George Lucas has made up for the sins of his past, redeeming himself for subjecting viewers to the awful Episode I: The Phantom Menace, a movie so bad I thought it might sink the whole Star Wars franchise. The latest instalment, I’m happy to say, is a marked improvement. It’s not perfect, but at least Jar Jar Binks is kept to a minimum, and Yoda’s transformation into a butt-kicking action hero is worth the price of admission alone. Torontonian Hayden Christensen is convincing as Anakin Skywalker, although falls a little flat in the love scenes with Senator Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman). Those scenes seem to be trying to emulate a 1930s mannered romance style of acting, but it doesn’t really work here because there doesn’t seem to be much chemistry between the two actors. The love story isn’t the draw here anyway. Star Wars fans want elaborately staged action sequences, and in Episode II Lucas delivers. Early on there is an exciting chase through the night time skies of Coruscant, and the film’s last 45 minutes have the kind of exhilaration and showmanship associated with the best moments from the original trilogy.