Here’s Luke from Oracle of Film‘s submission for this months Genre Grandeur – Space. He chose to review George Lucas’ opening salvo for his Star Wars Prequel: The Phantom Menace
It still isn’t too late for anyone still wanting to participate in this month’s Grandeur. Just send me your review by next Sunday, 28th September to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post it before the end of the month.
Let’s see what Luke has to say about the first movie of the trilogy:
“At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge.” – Darth Maul
Number of Times Seen: 4
Brief Synopsis: Two Jedi Knights are sent to negotiate peace between the Trade Federation and the planet of Naboo, unaware that the Sith are using the conflict as means to resurrect their order.
My Take On It: The Phantom Menace is probably one of the most hated Star Wars movies out there, possibly due to the fact that it was the spearhead of the prequels, summarising everything the diehard fans hated about George Lucas’s control of the franchise.
However, compared to the other two prequels, The Phantom Menace probably offers up the most fun. It has the fastest pace, not weighed down by the badly scripted character arc of Anakin Skywalker. Something is happening in every moment and when the movie does slow down, it feels well deserved. A lot of this is helped by Liam Neeson, who as Qui Gon Jinn, could be the best actor and performance all six movies have ever seen.
Sure, there are some bad eggs buried in the movie. Portraying Darth Vader’s origin story as an annoying kid in Tatooine annoys me, as does the addition of Jar Jar Binks. Worst of all the midi-chlorians try to explain something that did not need to be explained. These are all valuable tools in the arsenal of anyone who wants to slate the Phantom Menace. However, to me, they do not ruin the movie, only briefly break away from a well-made Sci-Fi action.
People who are not movie critics or do-or-die Star Wars fans have no problem admitting that the Phantom Menace is their favourite Star Wars. While I disagree that it holds a candle to the original three movies, it does cut through some of the ropier flaws with the franchise and deliver a decent action, helped by Darth Maul, one of the best villains in the Star Wars universe, which is saying a lot. I think quite a few people like this movie, but, thanks to a witch hunt online, they are a little too ashamed to admit it.
Bottom Line: The Phantom Menace is not a perfect movie, looking poor when displayed next to the original three, but despite everything, it is not a bad movie. Quite a fun one, in fact.
Rating: BAFTA worthy
Thanks again to Luke for this review!