The Wednesday Review – Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (possibly in 3d)

The Wednesday Review – Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (possibly in 3d)

Liam Neeson – Qui-Gon Jinn

Ewan McGregor – Obi-Wan Kenobi

Natalie Portman – Queen Amidala / Padmé

Jake Lloyd – Anakin Skywalker

Ian McDiarmid – Senator Palpatine

Written and Directed by George Lucas

As many of you might unfortunately know, the scourge of “afterthought 3D” is hitting Star Wars with a splotchy and slow to realise impact. With the release of The Phantom Menace this year, with each episode being released annually after that I thought I would touch upon one of my most hates movie franchises. The Prequels.

It is of no surprise that many people revile the newer Star Wars movies for being effectively piled of poorly made garbage and I am also one of them. However with a new 3D treatment perhaps the movie is worth another look as surely there are some good aspects to it? Well, not really.

Unfortunately the basic issue with The Phantom Menace stems from its complete lack of characters and its rather vague and unthought through storyline. When I say it lacks characters I am more refering to the lack of proper fleshing out and characterisation of its heroes. Neither Qui-Gon nor Obi-Wan, our supposed heroes of this story, have any real discernible traits that define them and unfortunatly this does not give us a good edge into the storyline. Whereas in the original trilogy we always had fish out of water Luke Skywalker to follow around and become involved in the universe with. Whilst this kind of thing could have been happening with Obi-wan as the younger Jedi we never really get it and instead are left back on the ship for a good portion of the movie.

I wont make any paritucaly mention of the much hated Jar Jar Binks whose awfulness is so obvious that its really not worthy of proper mention. I will just say that his terrible and annoying character is a symptom of this movie rather then a direct cause to why it is bad.

Our story, about trade disputes between a planet we have never heard before and an organisation that really makes no sense when you think about it cannot be more irrelevant to Star Wars then it already is. We bounce between a crisis that is not shown at all to a story about a boy that we are told is really important who engages in a race of ridiculous nature before returning and solving the original crisis that is only kind of still there. Does this sound like an interesting premise, even on paper?

This review admitably is beating a dead horse as Episode 1 has been picked apart and ridiculed by many many reviewers who have put in far more effort in de constructing it then I have. So the 3D, is it worth it? Well like any post processed 3D the answer is naturally no. Even then the 3D effects are sparse and are probably utilised in less then half the movie when the special effects are at their highest usage. Still, with over $23million already made from this re-release it can’t be said that it was a bad idea from a financial perspective.

Would I recommend Episode 1 in 3D? Not in the slightest and would infact recommend against seeing it so as to not encourage more movie making of this terrible quality. Stay away.

Rated 1 midichloriran out of 50,000


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