Skip to comments.The Phantom Menace: was it THAT bad?
Posted on 02/13/2012 8:42:27 PM PST by nickcarraway
In the dock, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace stands accused. Counsel for the prosecution is Neil Smith. Counsel for the defence is Jonathan Crocker. Court is in session!
The Phantom Menace has the dubious honour of being perhaps the most despised film of the last 20 years. With expectations sky-high following everyone's favourite sci-fi trilogy, Part I, for many, failed to deliver the pure thrill the Star Wars universe promised in the 70s and 80s. George Lucas must have instantly regretted the inclusion of infamous alien rasta Jar Jar Binks.
With The Phantom Menace coming to cinemas in a new 3D re-release (The first of all six movies' 3D versions), MSN Movies held a debate. The question: Is The Phantom Menace that bad? Counsels Smith (prosecution) and Crocker (defence) have delivered their statements below. YOU are the judges. Please offer up your verdicts in the comments!
COMPARISONS TO THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY
The Prosecution The main difference between the original trilogy and Phantom? There's nothing at stake. Where Star Wars began by plunging us headlong into an intergalactic civil war in which entire planets hung in the balance, Phantom involves a dreary trade dispute in which the only things up for grabs are figures on a spreadsheet. The original trilogy charts a young man's rite of passage from humble farm boy to heroic knight. Phantom, to quote Simon Pegg, is "a veiled whine about having to pay taxes". The first three pictures are fun, fast and epic. Phantom is slow, confusing, meandering and dull.
Choreographed by Brit stuntman/swordmaster Nick Gillard (Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, Henry V, Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, Wanted), the three-way "Duel Of The Fates" isn't just the best sword fight in any Star Wars film, it's one of the best sword
(Excerpt) Read more at movies.uk.msn.com ...
I’m more a Trekkie fan overall. But as I sat watching Jarears the Space Basset in the theater, I thought one thing. The franchise is dead.
And to many of us who grew up on the originals, it basically is. No, not financially, but as a ‘classic’ story it’s forever damaged.
Lucas killed it for cash. Personally I’d have been great with the fortune from the first three, my legacy assured. Not that idiot. Well, hope he feels it’s worth the tradeoff.
“And to many of us who grew up on the originals, it basically is. No, not financially, but as a classic story its forever damaged.”
You know the interesting thing, if you talk to anybody under 25, they almost unanimously prefer the new trilogy to the old one.
They grew up on 3D games. The first movies are not flashy enough for them...to ‘fake’ in the FX dept.
I understand why, though I still think they are idiots ;)
“too” fake...God I keep typoing that word lately....
I agree with you about Amidala and Anakin but what really set me off as being odd from the start was wondering how an entire planet could elect a fourteen year old "Queen" and leader.
Yup, it should have been an older, maybe even middle aged Anakin Skywalker still learning the ways of the force. Maybe a nice little move would have been to have him still wearing a similar armor, as a member of the Jedi Order fighting in the clone wars. We never see how he got so badly disfigured by the new trilogy, but only given the sense that it was through years and years of constant combat in the service of the emperor after falling to the Dark Side.
There are dozens of ways to have made a better prequel trilogy, but none of them were used.
Probably the most sickening part for me was when they introduced the Midiclorians or whatever. They basically reduced the whole philosophy of the Force, as laid out by Yoda in Empire Strikes back, to something utterly materialistic, inane and anti-spiritual. Leaving things as mysterious is far better.
Same here, the heck with the new ones. Besides, everybody knows ‘Ming The Merciless’ would whip up on Darth Whatever any day in a light year!
Why it sucked:
1. Jar Jar Binks.
2. Demystified the Force into “biology”
3. Obi-Wan’s history with Vader/Anakin completely depleted of meaning from Episode IV.
4. “There are only two can be.” Only TWO evil Sith Lords!? What? Really!? What fun is that? What is the point of a whole buncha Jedi, and why can’t a whole “buncha” Jedi find two Sith, take them down, what have you? (and don’t give me that “clouded” b.s.)
5. Locale, ship designs, sets, etc., don’t match up with the old series. Ships are generally unoriginal. I mean, come on! A silver SR-71 Blackbird!
6. Waste 1/3rd of the film on a “pod race” when there were obviously BETTER ways to gain parts for the ship. You’re a Jedi! Who says you couldn’t use the mind trick on other parts dealers. Did Qui-Gon really believe Watto when he said no one else had the parts? Hah!
7. Robots with EMOTIONS! They quiver and tremble in the midst of battle? Send them back to the factory! Get a refund! And what a waste of this type of AI on a BATTLE droid! Where are the big menacing droids like IG-88, the bounty hunter.. (I am so revealing my nerdiness here).
8. Sith can learn all kinds of really cool moves, yet can’t block a dude from jumping over them, then getting them from behind. Really?
9. Oh, yeah, let’s make said Sith look like... the DEVIL! Gee, do you think he’s evil? I’m not sure. Never sure what his motivation was. He never did much, only looked menacing. What revenge is he talking about...
10. “Yippee!” “I wonder what this does!” “Spinning, that’s a good move!” “Look ma, no Jedi training!” KABLOOEY!
I could go on....
In related but irrelevant news, the European cold snap brought snow to Tatooine last week:
Q(PM) = (Q(Return of the Jedi) - Q(Empire Strikes Back)) / (1983 - 1980) * (1999 - 1983)
or the quality drop from Return of the Jedi to Phantom Menace would be 5.33 times as great as the quality drop from Empire Strikes Back to Return of the Jedi (because of a 16 year gap rather than just 3). That estimate didn't even come close to the black hole of suckage that Phantom Menace turned out to be.
They could have used a second sun.
Proving that a review of a film can be more entertaining than the film itself.
Not gonna argue. Just gonna call it as I saw it in 1999 and especially after 2005: After the original Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back (and in that order), The Phantom Menace was third-best Star Wars movie. Return of the Jedi remains the worst, followed closely by Attack of the Clones.
How would you rate it against Tuskegee Airmen ?
It was worse than abominable.
Lucas tried to tell 5 concurrent stories and ended up with a meaningless mess. My brother is a Star Wars fanatic. He promptly resaw the movie the next day. I asked why. He said that he thought maybe he missed something and that it would make sense after a second showing. He said the second showing was even worse than the first.
I don’t remember if that movie had Jar Jar binks, but I cringed every time that abysmal character was on the screen.
Just an incomprehensible miss mash.
We saw the 2nd movie and it played like a 2 hour commercial for a videogame.
I never saw the 3rd movie and will likely never see another Lucas made movie.
Lucas and Spielberg both jumped the shark after Indy 3. I don’t believe they have made a movie worth snot between them since Indy 3.
My brother dragged me to see War of the Worlds, and aside from the action when the alien ships were destroying everything, the movie was utter garbage. I was on the edge of my seat every time the action came on with the alien ships, but the parts in between were so bad, a college freshman amateur could have produced a better movie.
Lucas and Spielberg are scum. And I haven’t even begun to discuss them in political terms yet.
I’ve had to work on this 3D project for awhile, dreadful, just dreadful!
It's all right there ~ the age difference makes no difference with those guys.
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