Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace 3D Movie Review
admovieso | March 14, 2012 | No comments
It’s interesting that the buildup for new movie Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace 3D has been almost as big as the buildup for the original Star Wars in 1999. This upcoming movie has theater goers very excited in an odd sort of way. It’s as if they’re looking forward to being disappointed. No one can watch the new movie release without associating it or feeling tormented or condemning it when comparing it to the 1999 movie. It just shows that Lucas feels no guilt about pulling his fans into this mess. He’s not rewarding them for supporting him – according to movie news the box office should be fairly good. However, it’s probably not going to be good enough to allow for five more 3D movies in the series.
Although I was never one of those people who felt that George Lucas had taken my childhood, I did feel that my childhood was over, at least as a movie fan, when I realized that The Phantom Menace simply wasn’t very good. There isn’t any reason to go into why it was so bad – just that it was bad. At that time in the ‘90s, Lucas had already become surrounded by the sort of staff who caused his creativity to be dulled, as proven by Episode 1. His political theories felt like they were made by children, for children.
For example, when Anakin’s mother says that the universe’s biggest problem is that no is helpful to anyone else, you know it really has nothing to do with the movie itself. The film really wants to talk about how unpredictable the universe is and how fate, not free will, rules people’s lives. Jar-Jar Binks is the film’s own comment upon the film. It says that incompetence is accepted in Episode 1. And to prove the point, the actor who plays Jar-Jar, Ahmed Best, gives the kind of performance that makes Looney Tune characters look deep.
The worst thing about the movie is that Lucas seems so bad at the building of characters and the telling of the story. One wonders why the Federation Droids each have their own personalities when, as the hive mind which is their controller is destroyed, they are also destroyed. The force fields in the sequence about the dueling fates are just cheap ways to divide Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jin, and Obi Wan. It’s hard to understand why Darth Maul is killed off in the first film when, if it were held up until Revenge of the Sith, it could have been the climax in the relationship between Palpatine and Anakin.
These aren’t actually problems with the film’s story. These are character, structure, and cohesion issues which point out how poor a filmmaker Lucas is. The battle on Naboo has so many things happen that there’s no satisfaction at the end. Anakin seems to have no idea that he’s destroyed the mother ship and neither does the audience or the other pilots who can’t figure out how they won.
The Phantom Menace is, though, a good 3D experience. Sometimes the photography is mediocre but other times, as in the pod race and some exterior shots, it’s terrific. The best acting in the film is thanks to Pemilla August who plays Anakin’s mother, Shmi. Even Liam Neeson couldn’t reach the heights of her performance and when she’s abandoned on Tatooine it’s truly a tragedy.
The one thought that viewers should be left with is that this movie picture, The Phantom Menace, should be viewed as a separate entity without comparison to any other films in the franchise. Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace, is a middle of the road adventure film that’s booby trapped by the politics and old-fashioned ideas of the maker. Should this film do well enough to cause 3D remakes of the original trilogy of Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, it’ll be worth buying a ticket. But I won’t be disappointed if this doesn’t happen.