Benz Eye View: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

We continue the Star Wars Marathon with the Prequel Trilogy, starting with…

EPI_TPM_poster
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Pros:

Regardless how you feel about the prequels, there is still a great amount of creativity.  The music, the sound, the aliens, the costumes, the mythology (more or less), and many others still show that this is a Star Wars movie.

Even though it goes on a bit too long, my favorite scene in this movie is the Pod Racing.  It is very reminiscent to Ben-Hur‘s chariot scene, but this scene has more risks and dangers than the chariots just crashing into each other.

The battles in this movie are better than the ones in the Original Trilogy.  After getting through the way too long amount of political subplot, the battles in the climax are a huge relief and great entertainment.  The best battle is the duel between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, and Darth Maul.  Considering that Darth Maul is played by martial artist actor Ray Park, the choreography is excellent and fast-paced enough to make one exhilarating duel.

 

Cons:

It is not very good when you start a movie with Asian racist stereotypes.  In fact, there are plenty of racist stereotypes in this movie.  The biggest offender for this is Jar Jar Binks.  Not only is he not funny, but he is also really annoying, and a racist stereotype for African-Americans.

Despite making great-looking alien, droid, and monster designs; the CG REALLY stands out.  Unlike the Special Edition versions of the Original Star Wars Trilogy, almost everything in the movie has CG instead of practical effects.  They are not bad, but you can tell they are CG creatures and backgrounds.

There are plenty of things wrong with this movie in terms of story, lore, and mythology.  Ignoring some of the bad dialogue and its delivery, the writing is inefficient.  Some areas they spend are way too long, other areas they spend are too short, and other areas they should have never had covered (i.e. midi-chlorians).

 

Overall:

In May 19, 1999, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released into theaters.  EVERYONE was excited to see a new installment to Star Wars.  They all lined up for the first prequel for the new Star Wars.  They took their seats, wait through the commercials, the movie starts, everybody cheered, the movie ends, and everyone booed at it.  This is not the movie they were looking/hoping for, because it seems to contradict many things from the original Star Wars films.  Is it as terrible as everyone has said?  For me,…I do not think it is that bad.  Is it better than the original trilogy?  NO!  The original trilogy will always be the best of the Star Wars trilogy (although we will see how the sequel trilogy will do).  There are still some good things about this movie specifically, it is just cluttered with other sorts of production and story messes.  The one BIG problem that I see in this movie is that they are setting up for future sequels for the Prequel Trilogy.  This would be OK, but with so many story problems, they did a really poor job on it.  Not to mention Jar Jar Binks and Jake Lloyd as a young Anakin Skywalker, the audience were really not happy.  I still see some of the good things over the bad, but it was not a good start for the Prequel Trilogy.

5/10

This movie was so bad to many people, a man named Mike J. Nichols created a fan edit for the movie in 2000 called Star Wars Episode 1.1: The Phantom Edit.  It is said to be much better than the original.  I have not seen it, nor do I plan to review it, but I may one day.

Phantom_Edit
Star Wars Episode 1.1: The Phantom Edit

Stay tune tomorrow for the next review for the next movie.  Until then, here is something for you Jar Jar Binks haters.

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